Writing Blindly

Something seriously freaky has just happened to this blog. I started to type this post and all that showed up on screen was gibberish. Now hang on, you may think, ‘what’s new there? All she ever writes is gibberish’ but I’m not talking about a critique of the writing or thoughts, I’m talking about the text itself. Each letter I typed was being replaced by symbols, symbols that I don’t understand or recognise. I switched tabs to my email but that’s working ok, so it’s not a keyboard issue. Then I pressed preview and the words showed up as I had typed them, in plain old English. Phew. But still, how strange?

Luckily, I can touch type so despite the lack of onscreen clarity I can continue to type my thoughts out. Blindly. I’m having to trust that ultimately, when I reach the end and click publish, the gibberish will be transformed into a coherent text. So really, maybe there is no change there then. For me the process of writing is akin to this anyway. It’s about allowing my fingers to transcribe my thoughts as they come, get them out of my head and into the world where they can take on an independent life, where I can examine them more objectively, turn them over and shape them into something solid and useful. Something complete in themselves. At least that’s the plan.

In all writing there has to be trust of yourself, the writer. Every writer exposes themselves in their writing. Or at least they do in their best writing. Learning to allow that exposure and accept it is perhaps the first step to writing well. Step out of your own way. Stop the judgement and let the flow happen.

You may not see where the story is taking you at first. Trust. Go with it. Analysis and shaping come later. First let the words tumble out in whatever form they choose. As long as they are coming you have movement, you have energy, you have creation.

*Now I’m off to click preview and check whether any of this makes any sense on the page. It’s been strangely fun, this writing blindly.

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One thought on “Writing Blindly

  1. Dan Armishaw

    Writing blindly does indeed take you places you didn’t expect. My keyboarding isn’t quite at the level that lets me input blindly, but I do have and use voice recognition software. On a number of occasions I have just closed my eyes and recorded a file, sometimes 30 minutes or longer. When the file is transcribed it can be startling how far your mind took you from the place you started. The only downside is that the work to cull a few gems from an excessively large chunk of unstructured text can be a little intimidating.

    On the other hand, it can be a great way to get something going on that novel you want to get moving on. I find it especially helpful with dialogue. Just imagine two characters in the room and start the conversation and let it evolve in your mind. I find it flows very naturally when I turn off the editor, who demands that I stop and fix that typo RIGHT NOW, with unhelpful results.

    Thanks for the post!

    Reply

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