Thursday, April 14, 2011

Free Write #1

How do you do something when there aren't any rules? How do you write when there aren't any rules? You make rules. Or you take the rules that you're used to working with and write in them. I mean, if ee cummings hadn't just dropped the punctuation, then a whole new view of poetry would never have been born, yet here I am free writing of all things and I know that I'm applying rules to myself. Why can't I break the rules? Why can't I let the rules go? I think this is the same thing that happens to me when I start thinking about "the way I am". I already have an opinion of "the way I am" in my head and every time I start thinking about who I am and what I'm doing with my life I start in on how I am and how I ought to change, and it seems to me that I hold myself to to these rules, these ridiculous standards that I could never possibly live up to or even if I could I would be ridiculously unhappy. Anyway, back to the writing bit, I don't know why I have this image in my head that writing is supposed to be a certain way. Don't the greats, the masters of language know the rules so well that they break them all? I think that we (more lowly writing folk) tend to try to replicate that style - whichever style appeals to us most - that break some rule or a set of rules that we so frequently feel we are under. But I'd also like to posit that we probably pick the styles that break rules we don't labor under constantly. That would be interesting - if we could all just reflect and become aware of the rules that we impose on ourselves - the ones that we never think about imposing on ourselves - and then choose to break those rules. That would create some amazing new writers out there. There are already some great writers out there. They blog everyday. They're not writing best sellers or anything, but they do have relatable experiences and feelings and trials. The thing about it all is, that this snarky, bitchy thing that people frame their lives in - it's so tired already. I know that everyone wants to be that woman from Sex in the City, or just some strange version of that in their suburban household, but it's just getting a little boring. If I lived my life in that snarky attitude all the time, I think I'd be really unhappy and probably wouldn't have the greatest set of friends in the world. I'm not trying to judge here, some of that stuff can be really funny, but let's take life with a grain of salt, kids - we can't all be pessimists or "realists" if that's what you want to call it, because otherwise nothing would ever get done, no one would rely upon one another and our entire community would just start breaking apart.

Time: 8 minutes
Initial thought: Rules