Friday Freewrite

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The human mind is pregnant with ideas, tumbling and spinning, popping in and out of existence deep within the labyrinth of the subconscious, souls without bodies, dreaming of a day when they will finally be allowed to surface, granted new life through the power of articulation. Sadly, the conscious mind capable of freeing them from their dark and lonely prison is a frail and cumbersome thing, burdened by the often bulky and imprecise tedium of language; it’s an old man with arthritic joints, hunched at the shoulders, weak in the knees, capable of bearing to the surface but a handful of thoughts at a time. By the time a few of them have been released into the world, at last expressed in the full stature of their essence, a million more have winked into being, most of them doomed to an eternity in Hell, forever denied an audience with those who would otherwise know their secrets.

The blogs, short stories and books I write represent an infinitesimal fraction of those which come into being inside my head every day, some of them known to me and some of them not. In an effort to capture more of them before they’re lost forever, I’ve been practicing the art of freewriting.

What’s freewriting?

Ordinarily, sitting down to write is an active conscious experience, subject to the rules of spelling and syntax. The number of thoughts we can allow into our awareness in such a state is merely a trickle, thicker and slower than molasses. In the time it takes us to express those thoughts, thousands of others have come and gone, lost forever, cursed to drift in the empty space of the subconscious, eternally out of reach.

Grammar and structure are important, of course. They allow us to communicate in a concise and organized manner. But sometimes we need to bypass some of the many layers of the conscious mind, filters that prevent so many good ideas from ever surfacing.

Freewriting is setting down on paper whatever pops into our heads as soon as it pops into our heads, without a care for spelling or grammar. It’s a leap of faith. You don’t know what’s going to come out of you until it’s already there before your eyes, granted life in its rawest nascent form. It’s a mode of expression that heavily favors the wellspring of the subconscious. Ordinarily intended for private consumption, there’s no need for editing. It’s a seed, a literary embryo whose soul has been anchored to the world so that it can someday grow up to be a novel, short story or a blog.

Okay. And What’s Friday Freewrite?

Unfortunately, my time is limited. I have a full-time job, familial responsibilities and other duties that have nothing to do with my art. The time required to feed and water all these seeds is exorbitant, and far more than I can ever hope to afford.

I would like that to change someday. But until I win the lottery or post that magic blog that will make me go viral and sell a million books, I thought it would be fun to at least share some of these seeds. They may not be well structured, consistent or grammatically sound, but they’re the ideas from which my fiction is born in their crudest form. Like unrefined ore, they may not be as polished as smelted gold, but they nevertheless contain interesting concepts and images that deserve an audience, and I believe it’s better to share them imperfectly than not to share them at all.

Starting next week, I’ll post a selection from my freewriting every Friday. Some of them may blossom into more fully developed entities later. Many of them will not. But all of them will enjoy existence, however skeletal, because it would break my heart if they were to be lost.

Most of my freewriting is abstract and dreamlike, containing disjoint symbols, thoughts and sensations. Some of it, however, ponders more tangible and concrete ideas. I’ll try to curate an interesting mix of both.

I’ve already scheduled posts to automatically publish through the end of this year, and I’ll continue to add more to the queue, so expect regular content. I hope you’ll enjoy reading it as much as I’ve enjoyed writing it. Stay tuned!

Author: Jeff Coleman

Jeff Coleman is a writer who finds himself drawn to the dark and the mysterious, and to all the extraordinary things that regularly hide in the shadow of ordinary life.

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