in media res
|Here is an exercise you can do to free yourself up or get unstuck.
It is from my favorite writing teacher. She was like a demanding but loving Drill Sergeant! This was one of her many drills.
Set a timer. 10-15 minutes to start. (Later you can build up on length of time.)
Write down every idea that comes to you, no matter if it makes sense or not. But be specific as much as you can in a short time. Doesn't have to be full sentences.
Once you get the hang of it, you can write longer. But put a timer on it so you know you are racing against the clock.
Do not edit. Do not think. But only give it a couple or a few lines. Then move on. Does not even have to be complete sentences.
Examples from me: Our dog used to always bark at only one neighbor. Was it his after shave? Had he scared the dog onetime? No one ever knew. He was always courteous about it.
Running in the snow and slipping and breaking a wrist.
Very early morning...dark out...kitchen light on. 6 years old, hearing my parents whispering about how worried they were about my older sister in the Hospital. First time I ever heard "Diabetes." Mom crying. Dad head down at the table.
My giving my sister insulin shots. We tried to make it fun. (Just got a tear in my eye.) She died too young.
Neighbors Dog, Sparky, always greeting me mornings through their living room window with a joyful bark when I went outside. Great dog. Later on, I saw him run over by a car. City Street crew came by and shoveled his body into a dump truck.
Eating sausage pizza on the swings in the dark shcoolyard with some buddies on Friday nights in summer. 7th and 8th grade. Tall Elm trees overhead. Moon blinking through branches. One buddy died in war.
Again, this is about getting unstuck...not bogged down...
AGAIN...EVERY IDEA. FAST. Sort of like Speedway Writing. With no Rest Stops!
Save everything in a file for future usage. Most of it you will never need use!!! But it will be there for you. But, you'll have fun going back years later and seeing what you wrote on a certain date. And past writing can lead to fresh inspiration. Sort of becomes a scattershot journal of your ideas.
Kind of "Drunks in a Bar" kind of talk. But, you have now a transcript of it!
And you can put it to use, if you so see fit.