Free writing, or flow writing, is a good way to begin a new piece, or start off as a new writer. You just take a word or phrase as a starting point and see where it goes, not worrying about grammar, spelling, punctuation, etc. These things can be edited later. It can work well if you set a time limit - just 3 or 5 mins to start, building up to longer writes. Or you could set a word or page limit. Artist Paul Klee famously described drawing as 'taking a line for a walk'. This is the linguistic equivalent! Take a line of words, prose or verse , and see where it gets you . . .
Here are Laura and Matt's three-minute free writes on the prompt 'I connect with . . . '
Matt writes a line-poem built around repetition of the original phrase, while Laura, on her first visit to the Erskine Building, explores different concepts of connection.
I connect with fear and I cannot shake it.
I connect with freedom that lets my feet fall.
I connect with the lost and the cold who carry an unused map.
I connect with food - spicy, warm, pudding bowls.
I connect to family despite the miles between.
I connect with desperation when the light is low.
I connect with life - it rolls along its sluice.
I connect with me - upon occasion.
I connect with those in need - give and take.
I connect with both light and dark as the heavens spin.
I connect with places that have a history, which are old and decaying but nevertheless majestic and stand proud of their past.
I connect with people as I sit on a bench, reading my book, and watch them go past, walking their dogs, taking a stroll or jogging in the mid-afternoon sun.
I connect with ideas as I read about them on the internet and try to decipher what is true and what is not. And I think about how we can connect everyone together.
Take the phrase 'I connect with . . . ' for a three-minute walk.
Then read over what you've produced - could this be shaped or re-arranged into a poem? (Or maybe it came out as a complete 'list poem' like Matt's, or prose paragraph like Laura's.)
Is there the start of a story, a character, a plot?
Is there a word or phrase that you particularly like that could be the opening of a new write?
Post your results in the Comments box below!
To be continued . . .