“The worst thing you write is better than the best thing you didn’t write.”
—Unknown

The Magic of Free Writing

One of my favorite things to do is free write. I love it, for so many different reasons. For the most part, I love it because it’s freeing, just like the name implies. But there are three specific cases when it can be especially helpful.

Writing is magic.

Writing is magic. Photo by Evonne. Modified by The Write Practice

1. As a warm up 

This is one of the best ways for me to start the day. I don’t think, don’t go back to fix mistakes, I just write. It’s such a wonderful feeling, your fingers flying across the keyboard, creating nothing at all, yet the words are filling up the page faster than ever before. 

2. When you’re stuck

Whether you have writer’s block or you just can’t figure out what project to work on next, free writing is a great way to get those creative juices flowing. There’s no such thing as a mistake when you intentionally set out to write absolute gibberish.

3. To work through a problem

This works with any kind of problem, writing-related or otherwise. If you have a big decision to make or you’re unsure how to approach something in your life, free writing can help you to figure out your feelings on the situation. If you’re like me, you probably have an easier time expressing your thoughts on paper or by typing than you do verbally.

How does free writing help you?

PRACTICE

Free write for fifteen minutes. It can be about absolutely anything you want, there are no rules or prompts for this one. If you want to start a story, talk about what you ate for breakfast, or simply write down a shopping list, the choice is yours. After your time is up, if you feel so inclined, share your practice in the comments. Be sure to give your fellow writers some love, as well!

About The Magic Violinist

The Magic Violinist is a young author who writes mostly fantasy stories. She loves to play with her dog and spend time with her family. Oh, and she's homeschooled. You can visit her blog at themagicviolinist.blogspot.com. You can also follow The Magic Violinist on Twitter (@Magic_Violinist).

  • I’ve free a free writing fool for years. I call it, “Writing on Fire!” It has saved me over and over — whether it’s a PLOTTING problem, or a personal problem. Free writing ALWAYS helps me find solutions. Thanks for the great post.

    • Isn’t it great?! I use it for everything. 🙂 Works like a charm. Glad you liked the post!

  • abuggslife

    My first time free writing. That was fun.

    The beer store called me the toher day to figure out how to get from A to Z and i just told them the best way to figure out a routine is to sit down and think about it. There’s no reason to even worry about the easiest way from one oint to another. it’s easiest to figure it out before you even start. just like with bacon and eggs. Sit down and figureo uthe best way to cook them and the easiest way will almost certainly present itself. Maybe that’s true of life too, the easiest way to get from one spot to another is to think first, we all try to hastialy run through life whethere it’s decisions or its planning or it’s running from one spot to another, it’ll all be better if you sit down and think things over before you even start. Which is pretty funny since right now i’m free writing and tryingnot to think at all, i guess that’s irony, or maybe i am thinking while i’m writing this and missing the entire point of free writing? i’m not sure, since this is the first time i’ve actually tried doing it,. It could be that i’m too new to understand how to do it, or maybe this is the point, to reflect onw hat you’re doing while you’re doing it/ i guess i could talk about my day and the breakfast of thee vcrappy bagel that i tried but i forgot the cream cheese at home, what a deflating start to the day. A dry crappy bagel, but at least there was coffee. Then that pbandj for lunch but what a waste that was without some nice salty chips on the side. Dinner could be better, why am i talking about food so much? do i focus on those three parts of my day too often and just look forward to meals? That can’t be good. I guess it’s better to focus on fun things, but eating is a fun thing, especially when it’s a good meal to look forward to. Like that wedding this saturday, i bet the food will be bonkers good so i’m looking forward to that and then maybe on sunday for football i can cook up something even better. Ah there I go again talking about food food food, what else is going on in the world. Or maybe I should tell a story? He woke up and rubbed the crusty goop from the corner of his eyes and blinked the haze of the night away. Yaning and stretching he peered out the window and begged it to be saturday, ignoring the fact that hundreds of people in suits were walking by clearly headed to work. Hmmm maybe that’s how i felt this morning is that why i wrote that/ i am kinda tired and my eyes are drooping but this exceercise is more fun than I thought. Wo i bet there’s tons of mistakes in here but i can’t bring myself to actually look at the block of text oi’ve created, i bet there’s red quiggly lines under all of it, but who cares! You’re supposed to! I think! it’s my first time so who really knows, i do feel good though, i feel like writing, let’s go write right now! write right haha that’s fun to type write right write right write right, i think i got all those spelled correctly! Welp there’ goes my capitalization, i guess i gave up on that so i could type faster, it worked! FAST! keys are flying, hands are moving like lightning this is great! ok better stop, better go write right now. Adios.

    • Avril

      That was fun, and if I read that in the morning, I won’t need any coffee!!!!!

    • This was so much fun to read! 🙂 You’ve got it down, all right. Good for you for posting this exactly how you wrote it.

  • Great prompt. Here is my free writing.

    Close to perfect. It isn’t every day you find beauty on the
    inside and out of a person. Too kind for mankind. How was someone always this
    nice and considerate of everyone else? I had to ask.

    “You are always smiling and
    you always have a way of making people feel special. Why is that?”

    “I’m not always smiling.” Answering with a smile on her
    face.

    She lowered her head and shrugged, “I don’t know, I just try
    and treat everyone the way I want to be treated.”

    “Good answer.” I nodded. “Well, you have a good day.”

    I wasn’t looking for some long philosophical answer but I
    thought there was more to it. Her answer was simple but perfect. Treat everyone
    the way I want to be treated. I’m sure people weren’t as nice to her as she was
    to them but she could only control her own actions.

    I challenged myself this week to let things slide and not
    react like I normally would.

    So today when I was crossing the street and the taxi driver
    almost ran into me, knowing it was my right of way, I flipped him off instead of hitting
    the cab and cursing him out like I usually would.

    I took a deep breath while I did it, and muttered “Baby
    steps.”

    Yep, I’m on the right track.

    • Wonderful lesson and great freewrite, Lauren. Thanks for sharing! Smiles make a big difference. 🙂

    • Avril

      Lauren this is so funny! Before you know it, you’ll be saying, “Have a nice day” to everyone you meet.

    • Short and sweet. I loved it! 🙂

  • Sidney G Fox

    Climbing spoons cling to purple cushions, giggling furiously at my cummerbund of chocolate and flips flop flapping wiggle waggle in a wonky donkey way. Fifteen soldiers march in minutes, holding myriads of burgundy buns and braids with clips and pins and plaits but no needles. Not sharp. Not blunt. Just burgundy. Orange tins ting and make mugs of teatowels and I remember how I gazed, stupendous, at that hot young man walking up the beach; his shorts dallied and slung regardless of the dog risk. That young man’s shorts have a father. My brain dings the word dangerous and my molars salute. He has a jutting jaw and inane oversized grin. Offputting. Terrifying. Go back to your catamaran and leave the preying mantis in peace, let his startled little pointy head (ready to sizzle in this popping heat) revert to its dormant cornlike wonder. Is it yet time for a taste of ginger wine? Oh microwave hellhole sitting in the corner flashing green times at me and my Nutella as the climbing spoons await the b.
    eep.

    • patty

      wow, what fun!

      • Sidney G Fox

        It was, the best fun ever!

    • C…..raaaa….zy.
      I loved ‘My brain dings the word dangerous and my molars salute.’
      Hope it loosened up your creative muscles.
      Thanks for sharing
      Dawn

    • Avril

      Great fun. Loved the microwave hellhole ending, and “Go back to your catamaran and leave the praying mantis in peace.”

    • I read this out loud because it was so much fun to listen to. This could be the start of a great poem.

    • Diane Turner

      Wonderful!

  • Chloee

    We lose ourselves in the flame ridden hole falling faster and harder till all you saw was a blur the clock ticking by slowly as you tried to hold on your eyes rolling in the back of your head as you try to calm down huddled in the fetal position as Fall Out Boy echoed though the stereo. Hold on don’t let go hold on don’t fall hold on don’t waste away on the devastating world where the weak are picked on. Their fangs gleam in the light of the victims as they tear them down pulling them into insanities place. Sweetheart it’s going to be a bumpy ride in life.

    • patty

      i like this one. how creative!

    • Leah Hona

      This is really awesome. It’s so poetic.

    • Avril

      This is a very good stream-of-consciousness piece. Very real and scary. Sounds like someone is having a very hard time coping with this bumpy ride.

    • Diane Turner

      Interesting and scary at the same time. A bumpy ride? Absolutely.

    • Very poetic. 🙂 It has great flow, too, which is hard to do with a free write, I think. Great job!

  • Pingback: Getting Back on Track | Tycie's Writing()

  • Claire

    Yesterday was Wednesday—food shopping day. I’ve always dreaded to do grocery shopping. It has always been my pet peeve. Regardless of that, it has to be done, and I’m the designated person. The problem doesn’t lie in doing the shopping, per se, but aside from picking out what is needed, I have to take the chosen items out of the cart, bag them after they’ve been scanned, pay for them, haul and put them in the trunk of the car, take them out of the trunk and haul them into the house, take them out of the bags and, finally, put all the items away. All in all, it takes make about three hours to accomplish this. I try to limit myself to do it twice a month, but even then, I find it to be a real burden. I believe that the only way I can bypass this process is if I were to win the lottery and maybe then, I would be able to hire someone reliable who would be able to do the job for me. Maybe one day; maybe one day…

    • Avril

      This is exactly how all those nagging chores take up so much of our precious writing time! 😉

    • Such a simple thought–going to the grocery store–brought you an entire paragraph. 🙂 I always think it’s encouraging to look back on how much material you actually have when you finish a free write.

  • patty

    Ok, so I’m writing for about 15 minutes. Haven’t written like this since 2007 after my
    son, Michael died, and right before my mom died. I was in this small writing group where ladies
    about my age – 50 then- got together weekly and started writing. So, I’m not limber, not lubricated, and think
    this just might be the safest writing I will post on the writers blog. I keep
    getting the prompts, but never share cause I’m so new again to writing. Hey, how will I know when the 15 minutes is
    up? Where there be a bell or a
    buzzard! God, I don’t want to keep
    tabbing back and forth to see what number the stopwatch is at. I’m sitting in my hospital be as I have done
    for 3 months now. Two broken legs, one broken left arm, which incidentally may
    not be weight bearing, but sure is strong and flexible enough to find that home
    row and type like a secretary.
    Sendentary life is not good for me.
    I am flabby and have situational depression. That’s what my orthopeautic trauma surgeon of Indianapolis, Indiana calls it. Don’t
    worry, it will go away when you start walking.
    What the fuck, what about right now, doc? How am I to get throught this very
    excrutiatingly boring moment right now?
    I know I’m situationally depressed, and I was engaged with that novelty
    for about 2 weeks, but now that has worn off.
    What do you have for me now, three months lateer. I sound like a bitch. Am I
    allow to cuss? Will you guys publish
    this if I say Fuck? Inside cat is crying
    to me to let the outside cat in. the
    outside cat is a murderer of tiny, precious baby bunnies. Neither of them
    understand, I don’t think, why I won’t let the murderer in. well, I can’t walk. That’s why, pea brain. Wait till your enabling father comes home @ 6
    pm. You know the one who takes your
    collar off after either I or my “companion” lordes puts it on. It’s probably hanging on the door knob
    upstair, with the soundless bell not jingling from the metal jumpring. The sun shines in the living room, where I my
    body finally reaches a perfect temperature, then a few minutes later, I began
    to heat up, till I can’t stop it cause I can’t stop typing till that friggin
    bells rings. Not the one on the doorknob—the
    one on my laptop.

    • Hi Patty,
      Welcome back!
      Looking forward to that whirring writing muscle to limber up again. Hope to see more of your sharing.
      Cheers
      Dawn

      • patty

        thanks for the encouragement, dawn!

    • Hi Patty.
      Welcome back to the whirl of writing. Looking forward to your muse muscle stretching itself awake and joining in TWP more often.
      Regards Dawn

    • Avril

      Hi Patty, your post is so honest and intense. In fifteen minutes you have communicated a hint of many difficult twists and turns of life. Keep writing and practicing here!

    • Diane Turner

      Wow! Intense and personal writing. Avril said it best: In fifteen minutes you have communicated a hint of many difficult twists and turns of life.
      Thank you for sharing.

    • Bravo for sharing something so personal. I was immediately drawn in by the simplicity of the piece and could really feel the anger in it. Fantastic job. 🙂 I think you could really turn this into something.

  • Leah Hona

    I just woke, when I noticed that something wasn’t right. Quietly, I walked over to my brother’s room, and knocked on his door. “Can I come in?”
    “Yes, come in.” I slowly opened the door, and stepped in.
    “Something isn’t right, It feels– somethings just not right.”
    “I feel the same thing”
    “Should we investigate?” I was unsure of myself.
    “No need–before you woke up, I saw something, it was–you might want to come see it.”
    “What, or where is it?”
    “Come on, let me show you” He led me to Mom and dad’s room, what I saw frightened me. The papers were scattered about the room, furniture was practically turned over, and some, broken beyond repair. I also noticed, that there were traps everywhere.
    “W-w-what happened?” I stuttered, trying to get the words out of my system.
    “I don’t know–whoever did this, had a particular reason for doing it.”
    I sunk to my knees, deep in thought. Where’s mom and dad? what’s going to happen next? What if we get caught by Adrian Shadowhart? I felt a gentle hand on my shoulder, shaking me from my thoughts.
    “We can’t stay here, we gotta get moving. If the Shadow guards find us– we’ll be toast.” I stared at my twin brother as if I was in a trance.
    “Can’t we just stay here for a little longer?” I felt very childish, did I really just say that?
    “Vivian, you know we can’t–they’ll be here any minute”
    “We’d better start going then.” I hurried down to my room and started packing my bag. In it there were: Pencils, notebooks, some of my jewelry, some clothes, my diary, and so on. Once I was done, I went up to the living room where My brother Luke, was waiting.
    “You ready Vivian?”
    “I guess so–got food?”
    “Yea, I packed a whole lot of it.”
    “What about flint and steel?– First aid?” I wanted to make sure we didn’t forget anything.
    “I have it all, now let’s get going.” Luke sounded anxious.
    “What about your necklace?”
    “Yes, I told you, I have everything!” Luke was basically yelling, although he didn’t realize it.
    “Luke–we’d better leave. Now!” Just then, Luke saw his mistake.
    “Sorry,” he said in a whisper.
    “Not now, the shadow guards already heard. They’ll be here any minute–Hurry!” I started running towards the secret door with Luke at my side. I pushed him in front of me, and shoved him through it. I looked back and soon realized, that the shadow guards arrived. I ran quickly through the door, slammed it and sealed it off.
    “Where are we going to go?”“We need to head to the far forests–no one will find us there.” I grabbed Luke’s hand and started running towards the rising sun.

    • Avril

      This is very cool

      • Leah Hona

        Thanks Avril!

    • Ooh, I’m intrigued. This would make a great middle-grade novel. 🙂 Is it fantasy?

      • Leah Hona

        Yes, it’s fantasy. What do you mean by, middle-grade novel?

        • A middle-grade (or MG) novel is a book for kids ages 8-12. And this seems like the start of a great MG novel. 🙂

          • Leah Hona

            Well, that makes sense. Thanks ^-^

  • alexpenland.wordpress.com

    My attempt:

    Back when the world got cold, it got really cold. Chills shooting like arrows through the thickest coats, the hottest fires, the brightest days. It didn’t matter what we did to fight it off. Mama used to bundle us up: down cloaks over leather coats over thick sweaters and underclothes, dark hydrophobic boots, our heads covered with thick cloth to keep the frost away. We could hardly see and hardly move, but it was better than what would happen if we went outside unprotected. I mean, the neighbour girl next door lost a toe one year when her soles finally wore through. It was cold.

    We used to look up at Slant-top Manor wistfully. The chimneys of that great house smoked, the windows grew bright. From where we peered inside at night we could see the Family inside dressed loosely, relaxed, uncaring of the chill. It was completely unknown as to how they kept the cold out: the windows were not thick, and they were numerous. The chimneys were a multitude but the ice in the air could have easily beaten it back. The neighbour girl next door used to tell me they weren’t human in there, that they were a trap for curious girls and boys who wanted more than they deserved in life: for those who dared to walk up the long steps of the Slant, freezing slowly, and knock on the door. I laughed that off. It was a story her own Mama must have told her to keep her away from the Family.

    I guess she was right, though, because when she did do it she never came back. We even lost the memory of her name.

    • Leah Hona

      That’s really good. I like it. 🙂

      • alexpenland.wordpress.com

        Thank you! 🙂

    • Avril

      This is mysterious and enticing. Sounds like a fable, or a story that might have been passed down the generations.

    • I’m shivering from your descriptions! I wish I could read more of this. 🙂 I want to know what exactly is in the Manor.

  • Miriam N

    I LOVE free writing. I’ll definitely post my practice when I’ve got the time.

  • Avril

    This is a short story idea that’s rattled around in my head for awhile. Have never figured out an exact plot, nor ever written any of it before:

    Within hours that day, Greenfield Police identified a likely suspect in the Summit High School “Mean Girl Murder”.

    Hope Howard sat in her her room, watching the news nonstop. She’d been there since first hearing that Dana Kendall’s battered, lifeless body had been discovered behind the tennis courts. When the reporter announced on-camera, “Police have identified a suspect, and they expect to have that person in custody this afternoon”, Hope knew they would be picking her up in a few minutes.

    Linda and Monica were in the room with her, and they went ballistic when they realized Hope was soon to be in an interview room with law enforcement. Monica, hostile and angry on her best days, yelled at Hope. “Why didn’t you make a plan? You better not blame this on me!” Linda, normally cool and condescending, was yelling too. “All that stuff about killing Dana was a joke! Don’t tell them this was my idea, because it wasn’t!”

    Getting even more upset, Monica wailed, “We never said to kill her! We said ‘teach her a lesson’, that’s all! She pointed her right forefinger at Hope, the one with the nail filed to a sharp point, and painted metallic black. “I don’t want to be executed or put away for life!”

    Hope didn’t usually bother to argue with these two; it took too much energy, and they never listened anyway. This time, with blatant betrayal and literal finger-pointing thrown in her face, she jumped in and shouted back. “You BOTH said she deserved to die! All you two talk about is how she bullied us every day since kindergarten! You told me I had to solve this problem for us three, because I’m the strong and brave one!”

    The arguing stopped abruptly when the girls heard three loud thumps at the front door. Quickly, Linda spoke to Hope in a whisper, “Listen, Hope, you’re too stupid to do this yourself! I’m telling you what to say.You speak only the words I tell you, k?” Hope nodded hopelessly, and pretended to listen as Linda recited instructions.

    Hours later, Sergeant Riley and Captain Plenger weren’t getting anywhere interviewing Hope Howard. She stared at them blankly, trembled, cried, and refused to speak Frustrated, they left Hope alone in the room while they took a coffee break. After they left the room, Hope sat very still, feeling stupid and guilty, unable to remember any of Linda’s coaching. Her brain was buzzing with frantic thoughts about what she had done, her friends blaming and abandoning her, and the sounds of Monica’s and Linda’s constant harsh commentary on her.

    She could hear Monica, spitting out her usual, “God you are so stupid. You ruin everything!” In the pauses between Monica’s verbal kicks and punches, she could hear Linda clear, calm and snide as ever, “Hope you would be nothing without me. You can’t do anything yourself. You can’t do your homework, you can’t make a fake note for skipping class, nothing. I spend my time explaining away your pointless behaviors.”

    Riley and Plenger returned with their coffees. Their teenage prisoner had stopped crying. She was different now: She appeared to be stress-free, leaning back in her chair, and sitting up straight, with her head tilted back just far enough so that she made eye contact literally by looking down her nose.

    Sergeant Riley, who had been playing “bad cop” for hours, glared at this new, cool, imperious attitude, and barked, “Hope,are you ready to talk?”

    The girl lowered her chin just a little. When she spoke, her voice was brisk and professional. “Sir, we haven’t been able to talk to you, because you’re doing this all wrong. If you want the right answers, you need to ask the right questions. And I’m not Hope. My name is Linda. I will be happy to explain what Hope did today.

    • Leah Hona

      Avril, that’s really good. I Love it! ^-^

    • Diane Turner

      Really good, Avril. Great lead-in sentence.You had me right away.

      • Avril

        Thank you!

    • Oh now come on Avril…. Don’t stop there! I want to hear the rest of the story.
      Tantalising. A great entree. I’m ready for the main serve now. 😉
      Great sharing. And good on you for letting some free form tip the story out of your head.
      Cheers Dawn

      • Avril

        Thank you for encouraging words Dawn. 🙂

    • What, that’s the end?! I’m so intrigued!

      • Avril

        Oh no, that’s 3/4 of the way. Preston will be showing up soon…..

  • Daniel Rocha

    Hello there! Very nice this text. My name is Daniel and I’m from Brazil. I’m writing
    a novel called “Piano Para Pequena Clara” (“Piano For Little Clara”) that I
    started in last Nanowrimo and I wrote all of it with this free writing. It’s an
    amazing thing, I never know what I’m going to write (neither Maria, who is
    telling the story) before start write… And something happens. Every night is a
    challenge. And I just write. I wrote more than 200 pages, only free writing. And
    the novel was born. For those who understand Portuguese, be welcome:

    http://www.distantestrovoes.blogspot.com.

    All best and a great hug to all free writers around the world!

  • Fifteen Minutes Starts ….. Now!

    Clickety-clack. Tappety-tap. Sliding across the qwerty map.

    Free write
    Free form
    Free fall
    Freedom.

    How else could one write? What other way is possible? How can authentic voice be set free if we cast it in rules, cloak it in grammar, conceal it with surface syntax?

    Write free. Relax. Clickety-clap. Tappety-tap.

    Dog snoring on her worn out mat. Fire crackling. iPad bouncing on my lap. Dishes done and gleaming clean. Washing swirled in washing machine. Kids fed and tucked in bed. Words pouncing around my head. Deep sigh. Breath tumbles out. Fingers smile. Rhyme spouts.

    Relief conquers doubt and squeezes rational inaction out. Dog awakes and smiles at me. iPad continues humming happily. Fire glows beneath warming flames. Head considers exotic names.

    Heart purrs and stretches her limbs. Fingers dance and muse sings. SO LOUD. Getting frantic I can’t blot her out. She’s put on her grandest dress and tangoes with my pounding chest.

    Synapses shine through window pane. Dark of night calls my name. Stars clap across the galaxy. Muse twirls so fast – I’m getting giddy.

    Ticking-tock measures time. Clock’s wise face slides it’s spindly black whiskers to the right.
    Ahh. Quarter to. Bang on time.
    The End.

    • Miriam N

      Nice Dawn! I really liked this. It made me smile. Keep up the good work!

    • Avril

      Love this Dawn! That’s for sure, why write any other way? Next time I’m stuck I’ll remember this, and let it flow, feeling the joy.

    • LOVED this! 🙂 I smiled throughout the whole thing. It was so much fun to read. I’m impressed that you got it all to rhyme.

  • Diane Turner

    She struggles to remember, and finds summer 1943, the year she turned 4. In a rundown Highland Park neighborhood, a steamy southern sun beats down on her grandmother’s peeling clapboard house. Without her noticing, her father had left, and she and her mother came here to live.

    Inside the dark house, scraped, pitted wood floors and old tapesty furniture are in shadow, musty brocade drapes pulled taut. Bare tables lean on loose legs under dim overhead light fixtures of trapped dried-to-dust moths, crisp in the heat of the enclosed bulbs. She sleeps with her grandmother in a tiny bedroom, smelling of overripe fruit. Her mother, not always alone, sleeps in the other one.

    Her grandmother, a domestic, takes her along while she works, and tells her not to be afraid. I watch her. She spends her days alone, wandering the yards and hallways of her grandmother’s employers. She lives in her head, pretending normal, and recoiling from the shadows cast by her loneliness.

    Her mother, a 20-years olf cocktail waitress, works nights, sleeps days, and vanishes into the depths, swallowed by the double bed in the corner. Memories of her mother are splintered and few – like playing a game of peek-a-boo from a great distance. I watch her. She recalls no maternal tenderness, warmth, or soothing voice. The voice she knows is not that of a young mother, but of the tortured soul her mother has become, alfer alcohol robbed her of her humanity.

    Weeds, taller than she, overrun the yard behind the house and provide hiding places, dreaming places, escape. Glorious towns and roads emerge from the cannas, neglected daises, built around a leaning ladder with a missing rung and dry dirt beds of forgotten shrubs. Here and the front porch nook are her havens, her hidden world.

    I watch her. She pushes her squat toddler thighs down hard onto the front porch and scoots into the safety of the nook, where the porch ducks sharply behind the door frame, forming a space hidden on three sides by a ragged honeysuckle hanging heavy over a sway-backed trellis. The nook is her vantage to watch Mrs. Barrington pick up her mail, or Charley mow his parents’ lawn, to heear neighbors laugh. Pretending normal.

    I watch her and present an objective, detached account of her hiding places, physical and other. From that perspective, it’s easy to note the details and recount them. Objective and detached, yes, and pretending that she wasn’t, isn’t…me.

    • Avril

      Well done Diane. Crisp detail, a difficult situation gently rendered. The narrator can see back, and remember the daily existence, thoughts, and realities of this child. Physically, the child has grown to be the narrator, but emotionally the narrator feels detached, and wants to deny the link. Maybe you’ll write more about this sometime. Why is the narrator detached? Unlike the child, has she lost her innocence? Or has she had such difficulties that she’s lost the link between the child and the woman, and doesn’t know who she is (metaphorically speaking)? Or is she just ashamed of her hard scrabble beginnings? Good writing. I just wanted to keep reading.

      • Diane Turner

        Thank you, Avril, for your insightful questions about the piece, questions I hadn’t thought to ask. Food for thought. I have worked on several pieces about the little girl, her mother, and grandmother, and will pose those questions when I return to them. Also, thank you for your kind words. They are much appreciated.

    • Nice work.
      Very descriptive. Reading this piece it feels hot and hazy. Like a stuffy summer.
      I get the sense that the scene/ experience is seen through a yellowed hue with a slightly fuzzy edge framing it.

      It feels like the childhood experience, though possibly less than joyful, is still perceived with some ‘light’.

      I hope I’m not prattling on too much. I found it intriguing.
      Thanks for sharing.
      Dawn

      • Diane Turner

        Thank you, Dawn. Sometimes digging into the past requires that yellowed hue, as you noted. You are so correct.

    • This was lovely. 🙂 Simple and beautifully written. I loved this line: ” Memories of her mother are splintered and few – like playing a game of peek-a-boo from a great distance.”

      • Diane Turner

        Thank you for your kind words.

  • Rebecca

    The sun shined on your strawberry blonde hair on a beautiful spring afternoon. I watched you pull into the drive way, and I hopped into your car… half embracing the confrontation, half hoping that my blow up the other night would be acknowledged, forgiven and forgotten.

    You asked me how work was… and I replied positively. Then I asked you how you were and you said that ‘we need to talk.’

    You pulled over near a park. The sun lit up your gorgeous face, the one I was smitten with when I first met you. I braced myself when you told me the news, the news of your decision, your grand idea, your plan. My heart ached, my mind raced … I was half expecting this. I knew this was going to happen.

    I asked you if you wanted it a week ago.

    You said no, you wanted to work on things, that relationships are hard, that difficulty is part of the deal. I questioned whether you made the right choice, whether such a change was possible. You swallowed my bitter words, you took it in, and then you decided.

    I didn’t want things to end this way. I wanted to give it a proper try – one where we stopped blaming each other, one where you would have been honest with me, one where you would have stopped lying to me, in order to appease me and make me happy.

    I know that your intentions were good, I know that you loved me … and sometimes I wish that you were a jerk, to make this whole thing easier.

    I went home, and I miss being wrapped in your warmth, I miss being cocooned in your arms. I miss you. I miss us.

    The first few days were hell, they felt like an eternity…

    And now, I realise that you were dishonest with me, and that things wouldn’t have worked. If we worked on it, then it would have been unrequited love on my end … and it was like that in the last month, and it sucked. It’s nice to be free again, to not have to think about a mortgage, marriage and children. It’s nice to be able to go to grad school without feeling pressured by you. It’s nice to wear clothing that you considered to be unflattering – harem pants, onesies and the like.

    It’s nice to be single again…

    I wonder how you are sometimes. I stopped talking to you for my sanity. I know the possibility of a friendship was something that you wanted… but things can never be platonic between us. I know this because you were my first, you were the first guy that I ever made out with, I made love with you first the first time, you were the one who held me through the night when times were tough … I loved you. Anything outside of this experience wont work.

    And now that you are gone, things are starting to look better, to look okay. I know how to look after myself. I’m fine, but I wont ask how you are, because frankly, that’s none of my business.

    • I’m not usually a fan of second person, but it worked with this piece. I really felt like I was in your character’s head. Great job! 🙂

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  • seahorse123

    Currently I am in my living room. Through the window all I
    can see is the thick blackness outside. The only source of light is my computer
    screen and the light that is on behind me.
    The shadows that are cast by the light are long and at the very corners
    of the room are the darkest spots.

    Little trinkets
    from different Indy Car races are placed around the room. Picture frames, fake
    tires, and model race cars fill the room creating a race track theme. Behind
    the decorations is a wall cover with dark colored paneling and pictures are
    strewn about the room of family, friends, pets, and other things.

    A Steinway
    piano sits in the back of the room covered in dust. It is still as beautiful as
    the day we brought it home. In front of it sits an antique chair that is
    yellowed with age. The dark grain of the wood that holds the chair up perfectly
    matches that of the piano.

    The entire room smells of cigarette smoke and
    with the window open it smells of the crisp night air. Up the staircase I can
    hear music playing and the T.V. going. The stairs are covered in carpeting that
    is an off-white color. The space is truly an amazing place for relaxing and
    writing to my hearts content.

    • I loved your descriptions of the room. 🙂 I can see it all so clearly.

      • seahorse123

        Thank you so much! 🙂

  • Miriam N

    OK so I’m late posting but I felt that I needed to write. These are how my feelings have been within the past few days, (me just posting my first ever blog post on the write practice called. “How One Writer Destroyed Self-Doubt,”) I hope you like it. (Please excuse me if I repeat myself a lot)

    I am a writer. The asuring thought comes. How can I not be? When you get this feeling of accomplishment and warmness after getting published the first time, how can you deny it? I can’t and I won’t.

    I want to write a book, I want to touch people, I want to know that I made a difference in someones life because I took the risk to write. This is what I want in life. My purpose was to write, to motivate, to truly live with my words.

    I’m a hero. I make the story that my characters cannot do for themselves. I give them the life that they couldn’t possibly have without me. The fire of my passion for it ignites every time I think on writing.

    I will be a writer, some unknown force tells me so. With every breath I take, every word I write I am filled with this assurance.

    We are all writers because every day is a story. Every time you’ve scraped your knee, told your parents you’ve love them, passed that test, you have been writing a story. No one can avoid it for we are all living destinies. Some of us never find who we are or what we were meant to do in the world. I’m lucky enough to be one of the select few who have found my true passion.

    Story encompases our very being. It is in us, of us and about us. Even me writing this simple free write in encompassing my story. I am the hero of my own story. You are the heros of your stories.

    The trials of our life then become the antagonists, telling us that we aren’t good enough that we can’t do it. They want us to fail, they want to push us down and make us weak. I will not give in and hope you won’t either. There is too much to lose by quiting. Sure your story may not be original but if you don’t write it then who will? Who will give the voice to your characters that you deserve? Who will listen to them like you do? No one but you was ment to write what ever story is swirling in your head. You may not be the New Yorks best selling author. You may be pushed down till you feel you cannot rise again. Everyone may call you failure, but until you give up on yourself they can’t win.

    Nobody can tell you who you are unless you let them. No one can make you feel inferior without you letting them. No one can take away your confidence unless you give in.

    I hope that you never give up on what you love. I hope that if you’ve given up that you will stand up again and continue the work you set aside. Write for no one can tell your story the way you can. Find your dreams, find your passion and chase after it, for there true happiness lies.

    • This was brilliant. 🙂 There’s nothing like that sense of triumph when you look back on something you’ve written and think that yes, this could really be something. Thanks for sharing!

      • Miriam N

        anytime MagicVionlisist. Thanks for commenting 🙂

  • Stomach hurts. Why?
    Who the hell knows. Doctors don’t. They do know how to empty my
    wallet though, yeah, real pros at that. Coffee is the worst. Feels
    like I drank battery acid after I consume a cup of the dark black
    drink from the gods. No, pizza, no tacos, no tomato sauce, my
    restricted diet is prison. I drool every time a smell spaghetti. Just
    one more bite of tangy meat sauce, that’s all I ask.

    But, alas, it’s
    not worth the pain. Irritable bowels, torture, the older I get the
    more health problems appear. Maybe it’s time to get in shape, nah.
    Too much work, and I’m just not motivated enough to get on an
    exercise machine.

    No way I’m going
    to a gym. Why? So fit people can watch the fat guy sweat to death on
    the treadmill, or so an old guy can stick his pee pee in my face in
    the locker room. No, I think I’ll just keep killing myself slowly
    with steak sandwiches and french fries. Yeah, that sounds good.

  • McClain

    I absolutely LOVE the advice you give. You always make sure to include everyone’s way of learning the best ways to write and I appreciate the time you seem to put into your posts. Writing is different for everyone, and every post I read about it helps me appreciate it even more.