To get started, let’s loosen up. Let’s unlock the mind. Today, take twenty minutes to free write. And don’t think about what you’ll write. Just write.
Keep typing (or scribbling, if you prefer to handwrite for this exercise) until your twenty minutes are up. It doesn’t matter if what you write is incomplete, or nonsense, or not worthy of the “Publish” button.
And for your first twist? Publish this stream-of-consciousness post on your blog.
The Daily Post / Writing 101, Day one – Unlock the mind
This assignment was actually posted on June 2 2014 but I only now happened to come across it and I loved it so much that I want to do the assignments anyway. Better late than never! Right.
Okay, here it goes. Underneath you´ll find the unedited 20 minute free writing exercise. Let´s see where this journey will take us.
Writing, writing is something I´ve been doing for the past decade … probably even a little bit longer. No, most certainly longer. I remember writing stories when I was really little of course those stories were really short and had no real beginning, end or a middle for that matter but I loved creating things. Things around me inspired me to write and till this day it´s still something I love to do. It started to become more serious when I was around 18 years old. I was a member of a forum and we would have these huge role-playing games and before I knew it I was involved in a couple of them. One day someone challenged me to write a story and that is how I basically rolled into writing fanfiction. Getting feedback and reviews on your stories is an awesome way to get inspired. And one thing led to another now almost 15 years later I´m still active as a fanfiction writer. But I would really like to write some original stories as well.
A couple of years ago I heard of this massive online community of writers all around the globe who attempted to write a book in a month. And I was impressed! The first time I came across it was actually on the second day of November and I could have signed up and participated that year. I mean two days in is really not that much to still manage to catch up but I didn´t because I was too scared. It seemed like to big a goal to actually make it, 50 000 words in a month. That is a huge number! But I did sign up for that website because I wanted to see how people were doing and to be able to keep track of the projects. So the next year I was ready to go. I didn´t really belief that I could actually do it because it still seemed like a huge amount of words to finish in a month but I did want to sign up and at least attempt it.
Nanowrimo was a really new experience for me and I decided that I wouldn´t make it harder on myself than it would already be so I wrote fanfiction. Even if you have to ´technically´ write original work. I believe in taking things one step at a time instead of immediately setting myself up for failure. So I started Nanowrimo as a rebel! And I loved it, we – here in the Netherlands and Belgium – have a ´Kick off´ party and a ´Thank God it´s over´ party and I love going to those because suddenly you´re in a room with people who are all attempting to do the same thing. I did Nanowrimo for the first time five years ago and I have participated every year since. I also ended all of my Nanowrimo´s as a winner which basically means that I have surpassed the goal of 50 000 words. But so far I haven´t been able to finish any of my stories. Mainly because I´ve been too pre-occupied with other projects. During Nanowrimo I´ve written three fanfics and these last two years I´ve attempted to write an original story.
The first year I started with an original story was the year that I learned that writing original stories is much harder than it seems. There is so much you have to think about and so many details you need to flesh out to make sure that you know where you want the story to go and how it gets to that point. I can honestly say that I had no idea. The thing with writing fanfiction is that the characters are already there, as is the back story and the setting. So you don´t need to think about that at all. You just need to focus on your character development and the story development. And that is a lot easier when you´re not paying attention to all the other things that happen in the story.
The first attempt at writing an original story almost stopped half way through November because I knew that what I was doing was not working. But I kept on going and I made to 50 000 but just barely and I was so ready to throw everything I had written into the bin. Really I was upset and kind of worried too because I was afraid that this was not for me after all.
But the story choose differently, I tried to let go of it, but it kept going on and on in my head and I knew that I would have to give it another shot. And I did last year. I wrote a new story, the same general idea as the year before but I changed a lot of things around and started again and on the last day of November I made it through my 50 000 words.
Okay … that´s twenty minutes worth of writing without thinking. Just basic word dropping.
But let me finish that last part since I was almost done.
And a completely different story than what I had expected it to be. I have to be honest in telling that since last year I haven´t touched that story. For some reason it still feels wrong and right now I don´t have any idea how to fix that. So I have decided to let that story go for now and focus on other projects. Projects like this for instance and my fanfic which I really want to finish … soon.