Writing exercise

It’s a very difficult time at the moment for everyone, so much uncertainty, everything turned on it’s head and a lot of fear around. Many awful stories of panic buying, selfish behavior and of course scammers and manipulators exploiting this situation from bankers and investors pushing the pound down by buying USA dollars to doorstep scammers of vulnerable people posing as co

Underlying all of this uncertainty for me there is a fear of illness and death and fear stops our breathing in the moment, being in the moment, just sometimes we have been so focused on controlling out own life’s and futures that we did not have time to sit with fear, a fear that is a reality for all human beings all the time, but sharply present now

Sit with the breath in this moment:

Lemn Sissay: ‘I would die if I didn’t live in the present’

Take a breath, dive into cool blue waters, let yourself breath in and out like the rhythm of the sea and take a pen and paper and write freely for ten minutes:
“I am scared/I am not scared”,
“I am free/ I am not free”,
“I remember/ I don’t remember
“I am home/I am homeless”,

or choose any phrase that is resonant to you, or not, something silly, something from a book anything you choose to go with, could be “I am thinking/I am not thinking”

I find it really helpful to go with the opposites as it often stimulates creativity from the unconscious, sets me free.

Also if you get stuck, write the opposite phrase it helps or repeat your last word you have written over and over again until a new word or thought, or feeling releases itself to the page..just keep writing, don’t check grammar, spelling, – as most of you know I am dyslexic, editing comes later this is not the time for your other hand to judge what you are writing. That’s why, however used to the computer you are try with pen and paper, so that you leave your other hand (the rational, the editor and most importantly the critic, out of the process for now).

Just stop after ten minutes, or don’t if you are on a roll. Or set yourself your own time, and don’t feel you have to read it back to yourself right away, unless you want to. Maybe there is a line, the start of a poem you want to explore but maybe there isn’t..

I was on a writing course last Thursday with a famous winner of a major poetry prize and I learnt a lot, but I felt mostly I was in awe and felt inferior on his course and not good enough, I think perhaps I was supposed to or maybe it is the voice in me that stops me writing: I will never be good enough, cleve enough, I will never get amazing images, my language is too basic…..I will never be successful.. and on and on….

This is my own inner critic that also says, what’s the point over a hundred times a day, but it is also the critic of high art and those whose egos, unwittingly do put others down and we let them

Writing is something for all, and if we are drawn to it we need the freedom to write without a goal, or another’s standard, it is about our voice but it is also about stories, words, unique experiences; all children in my opinion, need time for free writing, storytelling and so do we; not sure who it is that judges when writing and storytelling is art or not: editors and publishers I presume and other writers??

I was surprised when he said: “what you write on the page, is not art, it is not even writing, it is only writing when it is edited”. Well perhaps that is what gives him the resilience and strength to be published and win a prize, but I disagree, it’s splitting hairs and also quite exclusive and in that sense of course the opposite, stopping us non editors form expressing ourselves artistically by just writing, turning up to the page, writing from our souls, finding our voice…writing is what you write on the page and it is art, it may never be read until it is edited but that’s a different story and the one that stops many people from returning to the blank page by feeling you are never good enough to be a writer, you can’t spell, or you will never get heard..

Don’t go there and don’t let others hold exclusive rights to art

it is art: pen and paper..just write

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