Writing Challenge, Day 27: Panning for Gold

30 Day Know Thyself Writing Challenge

Day 27: When was the last time you wrote something you didn’t expect to write?

Wouldn’t you know it, the last time I sat down with a clear direction and went on an absolute tangent was only five days ago in answering the prompt for Day 22: “Why should someone read your work?” What resulted was a creative ridicu-list of a dozen fictional reasons to read Julie Israel. They may or may not have included healing all the world’s ills and evolving superpowers… 🙂

But one thing I am learning in my journey to overcome write-as-I-go perfectionism is that, when you sit down and just keep your pen to paper (or fingers to the keys), some of the drivel that comes out will actually be halfway decent. Incredibly, sometimes in that bumbling hodgepodge of thoughts and obscurity there’s an idea or detail that dazzles like a rare coin or gem. You can pan for gold in a freewrite!

Point is, writers are always writing something they didn’t expect to. But it is only when we let go of the need to express ourselves in one fell and flawless swoop—when we aren’t overthinking things—that our writing can surprise us. So the next time you’re stuck, try the classic freewrite bit: trust the reigns to your hands instead of your head. Forge on for ten, even five minutes without stopping to think or lift your tool from the paper; when it’s over, stand back and prepare to be amazed.


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