Sunday, 26 October 2014
Keep Writing - Writing exercise
Well, today I just want to apologise for not posting much, but this morning I woke up with a feeling that I should write something. Inspired by a snippet of the movie "Finding Forrester", I knew precisely how I should start...
Tap the keyboard until the words find you. That’s right, writers. Tap, tap, tap. Don’t censor, correct. Let the words flow. If they are nonsense, perhaps they will make some sense later, like some obscure jigsaw puzzle that takes shape over time, and only patience will see its end.
Tap, tap, tap.
I once watched a movie on a foreign channel about a man with a violin. As far as I remember he had lots of difficulties. He had to fight to be able to play to audiences. He had to fight in a brawling world around him to be heard,but it was what he imparted with his mouth, and not his violin that was most haunting:
“Most people die with their music still inside of them”
Made me think of every penniless busker on the side of the street corners, pouring out their souls into their guitars, and yet these buskers were closer to singing their song than I, yet can you somehow hear the rhythm of this typing as my own music?
Tap, tap, tap.
I also heard a wise lady, saying that what we say is only 15% of what we feel and think comes to the surface in our actions and words. 85% of what is within lies, like a huge ice cap, under the surface, never to emerge. Makes me wonder how much turmoil there is underneath, or how much potential resides there, dormant, and waiting for its activation. Makes me wonder, as I write- tapping away, waiting for some inspiration to type. Makes me wonder about that 85% in me.
Tap. tap, tap.
So when does the story come, and from where? What ideas are waiting for fruition? What lies dormant within? Or is it from somewhere without? Is this the story of a farm or city? Here, far away or only the attic of the imagination? A review of the worlds best sneakers or mp3 player? Is it merely enough to type empty words and feelings, without some final defined destination, and If I meander does that mean I am lost? Or does it just mean I am not making any progress?
John Mayer is right. His song says:
“Take all of your wasted honour,
every little past frustration,
take all of your so-called problems,
better put them in quotations...
say what you need to say”
Is that not the anthem of every writer who ever had something to say? Chronicle feelings, ascertain meanings, be specific about your character’s or your reality; Quantify, qualify each emotion, allow your heart to feel it once more, even if only once for the painfulness of it.
Tap. tap. tap.
Keep tapping, writer until it all makes sense- with each punctuation mark and full stop, each comma and carefully worded inflection. Change direction, pause for effect and reflection. Craft or paint bold brush strokes with each word, or weave with a smaller brush a more intimate and intricate tale.
Point out, Pontificate, Educate,
Politicise or Fable-tell,
Intrigue, Entice or demonstrate,
speak truth or lies as well.
Tap hard writer, tap intentionally! Speak the whirlwind into a story. Within each character, find the 85% below the surface. Dare to dream that their lives will be like the violinist- That their dreams will drown out the drunken stupor and the prevailing sadness of the lives around them. Paint the tragic figure, writer! The seductress and the shadowy figure lost in pain in the rain at the end of that dreary dock! Write the happy and naive friend, the open hearted stranger that seems to fill the page alone with his spirit. Write about things that matter, and people that matter, and the million steps that walk them to their manifest destiny. Or speak of the sombreness of their failure, the stark, broken depths of their despair. Keep writing. Or maybe you should write about the bread and butter, the putty of life that fills the cracks. The boredom and the visionless, the restless nature of life, and the longing for a vision that fulfills.
Write about the current state of the currency in Guatemala,
or about Kings and Queens and the life cycle of a koala
Or about the chances of getting struck by lightning
Whatever you do, writer, don’t stop writing.
Tap. tap. tap.