I hope you’re well. I did one of your Gunnas classes in Melbourne in December, and just thought I’d give you an update on how things are going.
That five minute non-stop writing exercise has transformed the way I write – it’s made it possible for me to make use of all sorts of gaps in my schedule. For so long, I thought that there was no point in trying to use a two-hour window (or whatever) for writing, because I’d need at least a day to produce anything worthwhile. Well, that counter-productive attitude has now gone, and I’m really pleased with some of the material I’ve produced in those gaps.
Another thing. I’ve really kept in mind the mantra about making this a summer of writing, rather than a summer of reading. I love reading, but whenever I’ve thought about grabbing a book, I’ve reminded myself that this is my time. My time to tell my stories.
Last week I had a free afternoon. I was going to go to the pub with a book, and lose myself in someone else’s story. But I decided to take my laptop instead, and do some editing on one of my projects. On the tram ride to the pub, the idea for another piece sparked in my mind, and when I got there I just sat down and got on with it. No nonsense, no “let’s workshop this idea” procrastination. Just a couple of beers, my laptop, and the resolve to just type and type like my life depended on it.
Within a couple of hours I had a down-draft done. Later that evening I returned to it and edited it a bit. The next day, I gave it a sober look over, edited it some more, and decided to send it to a website that had previously published some of my work. They ran it.
It is far from a perfect piece (it could be briefer, it could be neater), but I’m pleased with it. It means something to me, and (I’ve been told) it has meant something to some of the people who have read it. If I’d still been hung up on the idea of ensuring everything was perfect before I shared it, or on the idea that a few spare hours could not be put to meaningful use, then the piece would not have seen the light of day.
So thank you, for helping me de-clog some of the attitudes and misconceptions that have been holding back my writing. I hope your Gunnas students this year have a similar experience, and I look forward to reading whatever stories they have to share.