Hello. How are you today? Hope you’re well. I read a blurb about “intuitive writing” a while ago. (I tried to find the article/post/whatever I read, so I could link back to it, but I can’t seem to find it again.) Intuitive writing is also called stream of consciousness, but stream of consciousness can also apply to talking as well as writing. So what I read about intuitive writing said that you should spend the first 30 minutes of your day writing anything that comes to mind. Whatever it is. It doesn’t matter if it makes sense or not. It’s not about writing a story or a narrative.
Well, I’m not able to dedicate 30 minutes right after waking up to writing whatever bizarre, half awake thoughts that are slowly coalescing in my sluggish brain cells. But I do think the idea is pretty interesting, and wanted to try it out.
Then I realized that is almost how I write normally. I write what I think, often as I am thinking it. But then again, I usually do have an idea or a subject I am trying to write about, and often go back and correct errors, rewrite a few things, sometimes rewriting everything.
So, let me try this intuitive writing thing, right here and right now. I’m going to start out small, test the waters so to speak. Let’s say about 10 minutes. Alright. It’s 3:20 pm, I’ll start at 3:21 pm, and write what ever comes to mind until 3:31 pm.
Alright, it’s time, lets get going. umm, sure, let’s get going. look at me go. typing whatever comes to mind. stream of consciousness. you know, I have a freind that drew a comic strip about stream of cosciousness. His name is Steve emond, he’s drawn comic strips, comic books, novels, and worked on video games. I’ll link to his website once I’m done with my own experience with stream of consiousness. ok. what’s next? I think this would be difficult trying to do this right after getting up out of bed in the morning. I wonder what it would look like. most likely a bunch of unrecognizable gibberish. I wonder if this acivity will help my writing the way the article i read aout it in said it would. who knows. I think i don’t know what I think. what am i doing? this is kinda ridiculous. I feel really weird, I and I doubt anyone will actually read this. so why am I doing it? an experiment I guess. I like to experiment. I experiment when I write poetry and when I doodle. I make up rules for myself and see what interesting stuff can be created with in those rules. It’s a littel strange, a lot of people don’t understand what I mean by rules, or why I do it. Freeform writing and doodling can be fun, but a lot of times having some sort of rules can make you think more creatively, trying to figure out what you can do while restriciting what you can do. THe best thing about creating rules for yourself is that you can change the rules at any time. If you try something an don’t like it, just change what you are doing, or how you are doing it. ok. two more minutes. well, this has ben fun, in a wierd sortof way. I’m kinda surprised at what I’m writing, but not that I;m writing about writing, or about intuitive writing. What else would you think about than doing what you’re doing. I almost messed up and stopped this stream of consiousness a minute early. I think I’m going to ….
Times up. For real this time. It’s 3:31 pm. In case you’re wondering, my last thought that I didn’t finish was: I think I’m going to have a hard time not going back and correcting spelling and grammatical errors. But, I’ll leave it alone. Let’s just say it’s another experiment. Yep.
358 words in 10 minutes. That’s 35.8 words per minute. With a lot of horrible, almost painful, errors. Needless to say, I’m not the fastest or most accurate typist in the world.
But, since I mentioned him, I do want to let you know more about Steve Emond. He did draw a comic about a guy in high school that felt that grammar, punctuation, sentence structure, etc, did not allow him to effectively express his creativity. I wonder if I can find it?
He drew a comic called Steverino for several years, and tried to get syndicated several times. He then wrote and drew a comic book series called Emo Boy. Then he wrote and published two novels, Happyface and Winter Town, (I bought and read both of them, they are very good. Classified as young adult, but worth reading even if you don’t consider yourself young.) and he’s working on a 3rd. And he helped start a video game company called Taco Graveyard, he did/does a lot of the stories and game design/art.
Here are a couple of links if you want to find out more:
Wow, this post is starting to look like a commercial for my friend Steve, and all his projects. It’s not really. It’s just that if people know I’m friends with people as cool as Steve, then I become cooler by association. Steve, I think, would agree.
Anyway, it was kind of interesting trying to just write down everything that came to mind. It’s a little weird to read what I wrote and see that one sentence I was talking about how silly I felt, and the next about how I set up rules for myself when writing or doodling.
How can doodling have rules? Doesn’t that defeat the purpose of doodling? Well, as a I told a co-worker of mine the other day, I take my doodling seriously.
In high school, I started doodling on graph paper, and I set up rules that I would start from a central point, draw black and white sections, the same color sections couldn’t overlap, and the entire thing had to be symmetrical. I still have several of them. Here’s a couple so you can see what I’m talking about:
As you can see, the complexity of my doodles changed dramatically.
But they both follow the same rules.
Just posting these makes me want to break out the graph paper and doodle some more.
I experimented with different ways of drawing like this, and altered the rules some in to see what would happen. And I had other sets of rules for different doodles, such as:
Looks like a mess, doesn’t it? There are actually a lot of rules that went into this one, and a lot of experimentation. I did a ton of doodles like this, and experimented with a lot of different variations, and the doodles morphed and evolved over time.
I took a Human Behaviors class in high school, and the teacher said that if she caught anyone doodling or writing notes to friends instead of paying attention, she would analyze the drawing or note in front of the entire class.
The class was interesting enough to me that I didn’t actually doodle in that class (though I did doodle a lot in math), but after class one day I showed her a doodle similar to this one to see what she would say about it.
One of the things she said was that anytime someone draws a sharp point in a doodle, it means they have a point to make. That there is something they want to tell or show or teach the world or possibly to a specific person or group of persons.
Well then. I have a lot to say I guess. Most of my doodles have lots of sharp points. Many have points within points within points (just see above). I don’t actually say a whole lot, but I do think a lot (see the first picture). Writing is my voice. I was encouraged recently to keep blogging (Thanks Flies Over Nebraska!). If I have as much to tell the world as my high school Human Behaviors teacher thought I did, I probably will keep blogging.
What’s interesting about having rules is that if someone likes what you are doing, you can teach them your rules so they can do similar doodles of their own if they want. Of course, they’ll end up experimenting and adjusting the rules to make it their own, and that’s the way it should be. For an example, see this post on my wife’s blog. Her header image is part of a drawing she did using her version of one set of my doodle rules, and she talks about it a little bit in that post.
Oh, by the way, I found Steve’s comic about stream of consciousness:
And, on a completely unrelated note, my favorite comic that Steve drew:
Well, this post certainly goes all over the place and back again, doesn’t it? Over all, I found this intuitive writing/stream of consciousness experiment an interesting experience. I might have to do it again sometime. Consider yourself warned.