Free writing

April 14, 2009

Malcolm: Cole, have you ever heard of something called free-writing? Or free-association writing?

Cole shakes his head, “No.”

Malcolm: It’s when you put a pencil in your hand and put the pencil to a paper and you just start writing… You don’t think about what you’re writing… You don’t read over what you’re writing… You just keep your hand moving.

Cole has become very still. He looks right at Malcolm.

Malcolm: After awhile if you keep your hand moving long enough, words and thoughts start coming out you didn’t even know you had in you…
Sometimes they’re things you heard from somewhere… Sometimes they’re feelings deep inside…Have you ever done any free-association writing, Cole?

I tried. Although it didn’t have as dramatic an effect as described, it turned out to be an interesting exercise. I could, for example, after a while recollect fine details of something I thought I’d forgotten like smell of VCR tapes, a neighbor I’d 15 years ago, fishes in some aquarium I’d seen as a kid, etc.
For best results, I recommend you keep your eyes closed and forget about what you actually write.


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