Perhaps this isn’t the thing I’m supposed to be writing at the moment. Frankly, I don’t care. This is what I want to write. This is the best way I know how to write. I don’t always get my best lines from free writing like this, but it’s freeing nonetheless. It’s an important part of my writing practice, and the exercise fuels the rest of my writing. This is where I learn how to write. This is where I discover what I need to write. This is where I find out what I’m going to write for today.
I need to do something that doesn’t matter before I work on the stuff that does. Right now, this is what doesn’t matter. It’s just a word. It’s just five minutes. It’s just moving my fingers across the keyboard and hoping that the words which fall out will make sense when someone reads them years from now. Days from now. Moments from now, if I have the courage to look back when the bell rings and read what I’ve just written. Sometimes, I don’t even have the courage to read what I’ve written years ago, long after the emotion and energy have left.
Those words are still there, sitting in a box downstairs, a box filled with notebooks dating back to the beginning of this century. That isn’t a typo. The beginning of this century. And I’ve been writing longer than that, but most of those words are lost to the earth. The notebooks are what I keep, not the school assignments, the books written and drawn with friends, the stories I wrote on pieces of foolscap and in the backs of school books. Only the notebooks, with their spiral bindings and their date stamps, that is what I keep. Those words don’t mean more, but they’re easier to collect, collate, store in one big cardboard box that lives in my parents’s basement.