300-second Freewrite

300-Second Freewrite
Kenneth Burchfiel

[A “freewrite” is a writing exercise in which the composer, without stopping for any reason (either to make edits or pause to think), must write for a given span of time. I took this idea to the limit by typing as fast as possible for five minutes, not even allowing myself to think about what to say in the next sentence. The results are here below.]

[10:34 p.m.]

Okayi, so here I go! I’m not even going to look back, I’m not going to press the backspace key. I just have to keep on writing and writing and writing until/– I think—five minutes are up. Ten thirty-four now and I have to write until eten thirty-nine, not allowed to stop, not really allowed to think, but perhaps our best thought lies when we don’t let ourselves go back and make corrections.

Already, this is pretty nice, as my perfectionist side is all blotted out. Who cares if I make speling misteakes? It doesn’t matter. What matter is that my thoughts flow faster and faster until something—I don’t even care what it is, nor how repetetitive my tone may get—happens on the page. That’s the thing about writing. Nothing comes to you before you write; it all gets to you as you write, building and building until you make the fanciful assertion that you’re not even writing about what you were writing about half a second ago. Am I writing about writing right now? A foolish topic. I neefd something new. I need a seed—something that will take me from the doldrums about writing about writing. For so many have touched on this topic and this topic alone.

Perhaps word count? Perhaps the stress of looking down a a page, seeing that one’s coutn isn’t even climbing half as fast as they watned? You’ll ghave these nights where you begin to write and every other socnd you have to stop, look down, whereupon you see that your story’s still at 450 words, perhaps not even that, and you want to get it to a good thousand. I’ve had nights where 180 minutes must pass before I reach the thousand mark; other nights, it can take even longer. Then again, there will be the great time where I blace through and get a story done much, much faster. Those days are becoming increasingly rarer; is it the perfectionism? Is it the sheer lack of anything to say? *(I would hope that it wouldn’t be the latter; I think it’s a great tragedy for any teenager living in such a place, with such potential as has been giving me to not have anything about which to write.0

Alas, five minutes isn’t quite enough. I’d love to take the scalper of freewriting and really plunge it into some topic—not in a sadistic way, mind you, but in a such of way that I think a thought that I have never touched on before. It seems as if that won’t happen tonigh; I’ve spent all this time revving up the car in neutral, with barely a catchy phrase or interesting point to show for it. I have fifty-one seconds left. Am I going to be able to redeem myself? Am I going tno be able to redeem myself? Surely, I am able to repeat myself.

There’s something to say about Japan. Her’s a civilization on the other side of the world, attached to our country only by the wispy lines of Northwest 747s, and yet—and yet,– the people are far more like us than we might ever actually know. Who’s to say? It’s a bit hard to get there. There esocnds, two… I’m done. Goodbye.

[10:39 p.m.]

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