The writing class I took last year didn’t include writing exercises, which was fine with me. The writing class I’m taking this year, however, includes a few minutes of free writing every class, with three objects as our prompts. We sometimes read the results aloud, sometimes not, but it’s a nice way to keep our creative juices flowing, as they say. This is the paragraph that resulted from the seven-minute exercise on September 12:
“I need another coffee mug,” she said as she looked out the window, clutching the single one she already had. It was full of tea, not coffee, but she still called it a coffee mug. It had a corny photograph of NYC plastered over it and there was a chipped edge which she was always careful to hold on the other side, away from, ever since that time when she scratched her lip.
It had bled then, and she remembered the coppery taste of her own blood. “How weird, she said, “to remember blood while I’m drinking tea in my kitchen.”
There was no one there to hear her. She did this often – speaking to herself, that is – and she liked it. She’d been living alone for seven years (and wondered if that meant that good luck was coming her way) and she liked the way her voice reverberated in the empty apartment.
The wind blew outside and the tree that had its leaves mashed against the kitchen window swayed and creaked. It was a lonely tree, a tree that made moaning noises on cold nights.
The kitchen was her favorite room in the small apartment. It was the best place to congregate with friends (there were chairs for everyone there, good and drink as well) as well as a cozy place to sit with a coffee mug full of tea and think.
She wondered if it was time to get a cat. After all, living alone for seven years, the apartment still hadn’t seen the footprint of a man who was a lover. When she did have sex, it was always at their places. Would it be okay to leave a cat alone in the apartment overnight? Yes, of course, cats were independent, their own people with needs and wants.
“But am I read to be a crazy cat lady yet?” she thought aloud again. The words crazy and cat sounded nice together and she said them a few more times, walking in a circle around the table over and over again.
This is not my finest piece of writing, but I’m sharing it anyway, because I don’t usually post things that I haven’t read over and edited a couple times in the course of one sitting. This was entirely free-written, that is without taking the pen away from the page, without pausing to fix grammar or make things clear. It’s a good exercise that forces you not to over-think what you’re writing, which is something many of us tend to do.