My new copy of GEIST arrived in the mail today, and I have had just a chance to skim through it. My favourite thing in it so far is a piece by the late Mary Meigs. She wrote a beautiful essay on being old, and in between the pages of that article are examples of her freewriting.

She and other writer friends would get together and choose a phrase or line from a poet they admired. Inspired by that, they would each write freely and continously for 10 minutes or so. I have tried the exercise today, and here is my attempt, inspired by one of my favourite sentences from The Great Gatsby:

Like rose petals blown by sad horns around the floor. we are so young still and yet each day there is a nudge to do something before its too late. the music of today we turn to yesterday, seeking out more familiar music on the radio. i want to be where the people dance, a beautiful life of imagination. friendly and sad. knowledge wihout unhappiness. the weather is turning colder outside, i seek comfort. i feel the snapping at as yet ungloved hands as i walk to another day, wishing i could set aside a whole day to stare at the trees before they drop all their leaves. Hitchcock would know how to photograph a tree at exactly the right time. i would like to create something that lasts too, to walk and think, yet not so heavily that i would forget the joy of dancing and a perfectly turned cliche. Every paragraph a smartypants yet not so true as i would like it to be. and i almost erased it and started again.

Lets enjoy freewriting! I want to read your attempts in the comment box! Note: I think its a good idea to choose something that you don’t know all the words to, so as not to let the original writers work impede your own.