September 14, 2010

Free Write: limber your lovely brain

Your imagination wants some exercise. It craves it. Your imagination is wondering what it did to deserve the cold shoulder, the silent treatment. "Hey," it bellows, "remember me! We had some good times! We used to be bosom chums! What did I do to fall from your graces?"

Our creative lives are usually the first to suffer when our "real" lives get too full. We have jobs, and our families (hopefully) are more important than our fictional characters, and suddenly you look around and you haven't written a word in months. But what do we do about this dastardly phenomenon? How can we carve out the space to be creative?

There's no easy answer to that question, of course. But one thing that might help is to find dollops of time, just five minutes here and there for yourself. Take it right now. Before you talk yourself out of it. Before you do something practical with these precious minutes, do something artistic and fun.

Today's scene:

I wonder what will happen with poor old Randy. Wow, he's having a tough go. His wife left him and he got laid off, and he's at a pretty unstable place in life. So guess what Randy does when one of those Silver Men (those guys who paint their bodies, clothing, and skin silver and act like machines on the street for spare change) attempts to make Randy the butt of his performance's joke? Guess how "good spirited" Randy is when the Silver Man mocks him publicly and the maybe 10 or 15 people standing around start to point and laugh at Randy, who's mad as hell and ain't gonna take it no more?

What does Randy do to the Silver Man? Is there a retalliation for feeling publicly mocked? How does he take the angst over the rest of his life and thrust it at the Silver Man, using him as an inappropriate outlet for his rage? And what about the crowd? What's their role in this?

Try writing the whole moment--Randy approaching the Silver Man on the street, their interaction, the aftermath of however you have Randy respond to this unwanted stimuli. And then pepper it with tiny bursts of memory into the specifics of Randy's troubled status quo.

I'm excited to see what you do with this. Send it to me if you feel so inspired. I read all of them.

Happy writing,

P.S. Please repost or forward this to anyone in your life whose imaginations need a gentle nudge out into the light of day...

P.P.S. I like knowing that you're writing. We need all the beautiful prose we can get.