Having shown the group my little red suitcase, filled with a lot of photos and ephemera that was on my fridge in the house I left two years after my husband’s death, I asked them to bring along a case or a shoebox full of bits and pieces. We will randomly draw something out, spend some time closely examining the photo or item, dig deep into the well of memory and write freely for twenty minutes.
Mirabai Starr and Natalie Goldberg have documented guidelines for this kind of writing.
- Set a timer and write for twenty minutes without stopping or censoring yourself.
- Lose control. Allow yourself to be naked! Follow your heart and write without restraint.
- Be quite specific. Stay as grounded as possible and use expressive language.
- Don’t think! Thinking is the enemy! Just take off the leash and go for broke.
- Give little thought to punctuation, spelling, grammar, sentence construction. Liberate yourself from any constraints.
- Remember that this is not about being published. This is compost! You can write absolute twaddle if you like. There will be more than enough time to edit later.
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