Friday, 24 September 2010

Focused freewrites and cluster...

I've started reading through the Creative Writing study material on the train into work. The first chapter is all about finding inspiration and they have given us Freewriting and Clustering exercises to do.

Freewriting, for me as a concept, conjours up conatations of opening oneself up to spirit guides. Have I just read too many horror stories? I do believe in angels. I believe God's word when it describes demon possession. The idea of emptying oneself and letting something else write through me is what I associate with freewriting and I find myself recoiling from it. But, before you cart me off to a padded cell (and now I'm thinking that would just be a great place to get some sleep!) I can accept that is not what the OU are suggesting. Simply, all they are expecting is for me to begin writing and let my mind take over. Whether conscious or unconscious is not important.

I have used freewriting in the past and am both scared and awed by the experience. I do believe that all of us have capabilities that we do not use, that our imagination and intellect and even physical ability is far beyond what we accept on a normal day. But, believing this and experiencing it are very different.

Last year, when I forced myself to write 100 words a day, I did have to force it. I often had nothing and simply had to begin writing and hope that somehow, from somewhere deep inside, I would spark something off. I found myself creating situations and characters that I hadn't considered, at least at a conscious level.

Yesterday and today I have carried out some more free writing and it is helping spark some creativity. Clustering makes me think of brainstorming and mind mapping, both of which I already find useful. It has also sparked off a memory of a term from the film Platoon but I won't take that any further here...

I chose to do a cluster on the word purple this morning and only after that noticed the seat fabric on the train is purple, a woman in purple tights stood out as I walked through the crowded station, purple lining on a suit jacket blown aside on the wind, a fat, round white seagull stood on the steps outside the Tron church and seemed to step back as it noticed me looking at it; purple on the sign's in shop windows, purple lighting in the mobile phone shop that always looks a little seedy advertising second hand Blackberry's at £69.99; and a phone box covered in purple adverts:

"Get watered, not slaughtered."

"Don't Trust Anyone"


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