Catching Up with My Blogging Assignments: Day 3 Commit to a Writing Practice

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It has been a busy week and I haven’t been online to post my assignments. Thank goodness there are no weekend assignments so I can catch up!

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DAY 3: Commit to a Writing Practice

Write about the three most important songs in your life — what do they mean to you?

Today, try free writing. To begin, empty your mind onto the page. Don’t censor yourself; don’t think. Just let go. Let the emotions or memories connected to your three songs carry you.

 

Today’s twist: You’ll commit to a writing practice. The frequency and the amount of time you choose to spend today — and moving forward — are up to you, but we recommend a minimum of fifteen uninterrupted minutes per day.

The basic unit of writing practice is the timed exercise.

– Natalie Goldberg

 

There have been many times when music has carried me through painful parts of my life. Powerful medium that it is. But I don’t really want to write about negative points in my life today some I am choosing music from other times.

When I was a teenager I stopped listening to popular music as the charts were filled by bad pop, I was interested in the 60s (the whole culture of the time) I started getting interested in my first hero, John Lennon. My parents had always had vinyl records, my dad had a lot of The Beatles.

The three important songs are;

The Doors – Crystal Ship

The Beatles – Hey Jude

Bob Marley – Redemption Song

 

The Doors – I have been a Doors fan since I was a teen, this is my favourite Doors song, there are numerous times I have listened to it when I have been in need. The familiarity of a song which can take me right back to a previous time in my life, with ease. Music I can always get lost in.

When I had finished my A-Levels I went to camp in France with other similar aged people. There was a beer tent where we all met in the evening, there were multi-languages, young people from all over Europe and beyond. This song was played by the guitarists and everyone sang along (to the chorus at least) despite language barriers – it was a moment of unity. Powerful. I loved the fact that it was The Beatles bringing us together, especially a generation who never knew them.

Bob Marley – got me down from the Eiffel Tower, now this may sound trivial – but when I first climbed up it, I had no idea I suffered from vertigo – it took two good friends and the whole of the song repeated many times over to get to the bottom of those metal (see the world through) steps. It took hours. We were performing street theatre in Paris at the time, the rest of the college group had to wait for ages for me to come down. The thought of this memory, still makes me feel sick.

 

Author Natalie Goldberg says to “burn through to first thoughts, to that place where energy is unobstructed by social politeness or the internal censor.” Here are some of her rules of free writing practice from Writing Down the Bones, which we recommend you keep in mind:

  • Keep your hand moving. (Don’t pause to reread the line you’ve just written. That’s stalling and trying to get control of what you’re saying.)
  • Don’t cross out. (That is editing as you write. Even if you write something you didn’t mean to write, leave it.)
  • Don’t worry about spelling, punctuation, grammar. (Don’t even care about staying within the margins and lines on the page.)
  • Lose control.
  • Don’t think. Don’t get logical.
  • Go for the jugular. (If something comes up in your writing that is scary or naked, dive right into it. It probably has lots of energy.)

Jorge Luis Borges said: “Writing is nothing more than a guided dream.” So, what are you waiting for? Get writing. Fifteen minutes. Go. And then, do it again tomorrow, and the day after, and the day after.

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I am committing to a 10 minute free write a day as I have a diary full of writing that I am currently working on and know that I can stick to 10 minutes, whereas 15 seems unobtainable, on the days when I have time I will write until 15 minutes passes.

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4 responses »

  1. I’ve heard people singing Hey Jude, through two sets of closed car windows at traffic lights. If music is an emotional universe, Hey Jude is the Happy planet. For some the Doors opens a portal to another world, often a happier time. Thank you for sharing your personal journey, and wonderful response to the prompt. I promise not to mention the third song. I don’t want to make you ill. 🙂

    • Thanks for your great comments. I love the universal power of music and the unity beyond language it offers. There are plenty of Doors and Beatles fans who, like me, have that soundtrack for pinnacle moments of our lives, both good and bad. Thanks for reading, glad you enjoyed it.

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