What is written runs the spectrum from trivial to insightful to paradigm-shifting. Sometimes phrases or paragraphs can become the seed from which really good writing grows. I like freewriting because the time is relatively short and I can keep my English-major pickiness tucked away.
Our last freewrite prompt in our last class was "Before I die..."
Here's what I wrote.
Before I die I hope to have been given humility, to know that all I have been and done and said, all the good things and the awful things, have been a gift.
Before I die I hope to be as thin as I think I should be. Or else to be completely content and satisfied with being round.
Before I die I want to take the Trans Siberian Railroad from Beijing to Moscow, stopping for a few days at the summer festival in Ulan Bator. Or else I want to be absolutely fine with not going.
Before I die I want to forgive my mother, who lives beyond the grave in the continuing silence of a difficult friend.
Before I die I want to walk in silence along the Camino de Santiago in Spain. That will be next year, I'm thinking.
Before I die I want to have my fear of falling from a height removed, so that I can walk the Airport Butte Trail in Sedona rather than freezing in fear at the trailhead.
I love what I learned from this freewrite:
- Something intangible and beyond my control is my first hope.
- I may well be content not to do some things; who's to say my goals are the most important things?
- Forgiving my mother for the past may result in an easier present and future.
- Silence is no longer to be avoided.
- Overcoming fear is not a matter of willpower, but of willingness.