I’m convinced that any writer who claims they never have writer’s block is probably either a liar or not a very good writer. Those of us who admit to having writer’s block like to share our methods for overcoming it. Because my writer’s block is often brought on by my anxiety, which causes an inability to concentrate, one of my favorite methods to beat the block is a freewriting session.
For those who don’t know what freewriting is, it’s when you write with no regard to grammar, punctuation, or spelling. You just write. You can use a writing prompt, or not. You can time your session, or not. The only real rule is to just keep writing. Many moons ago, a creative writing teacher put on music in the classroom and told us to write whatever the music evoked and to keep our pens moving until she turned the music off. What was so amazing about that day and that exercise is that, for the whole time, the anxiety and the thoughts I’d been fixated on went quiet. My brain focused on nothing but the music and what I was putting on the page.
Well friends, my anxiety has been bad and, as a result, my productivity low. A good friend introduced me to some new (to me) music. You see where this is going…
The music my friend introduced me to was Hypogeum by The Oracle. I chose track II: The Face in the Shroud because it’s the longest on the album.
So, without any further ado, I present the results of my first freewriting session of the year. (Note: I typed this freewriting session, so spell check kind of automatically did its thing):
Each step fell heavier than the last. What if this didn’t work? What if all the effort, and pain, and cleansing, and preparation amounted to…nothing? Would she be permitted to stay? What would a life in the cold, unforgiving wilderness look like if exiled?
All she knew was this life inside these walls with the strict rules meant to prepare her for an ascension. And what was the ascension, really? All of those around her had apparently ascended but were still here. They did walk about with a strange glow in their eyes that indicated a certain knowing of all things. But then, why didn’t they tell her anything?
Another footstep. Another turn through a twisted labyrinth both metaphorical and perfectly real and tangible.
Another footstep. Stomach drops at the glow ahead. This was not the natural glow of a fire, but a pulsing green which quickened to match pace with her heart. She fought to breathe.
Another step; another turn.
The light pulsing in front of her now. Figures she could barely make out. So familiar yesterday, and so strange today.