Want to see a lousy freewrite?

As you know, I’ve been doing these daily writing prompts, and when they’ve gone well I’ve shared the results with you. I generally like freewrites, but over the weekend I did one that was so bad for me, I just wanted to stop as soon as I started. I thought, in the name of openness, I should share that one with you too.

Imagine long, frustrated, finger-tapping pauses between each segment.

The prompt was leaving.


“leaving on a jet plane…”
my leavings
I’m leaving you
leaving me behind
I guess that’s it.

On any given day, what am I leaving behind?
I’m leaving the past and my past selves, at least in theory, but often they follow me around even long after I think I’ve left them behind.
I’m leaving many things undone.

Leaving seems to be a hard prompt for me!



evil nag
anvil eg
glean vi
gin vale
angel iv
this is ridiculous.

Maybe there’s nothing that comes to mind because I’ve never been left.
Or have I?
There was my first love, freshman year of high school, and then there was the friend who proved to not be.
I hear it was very hard for me when my mother left me at preschool; I cried inconsolably all day.
For a long time I couldn’t even bear to be separated from Erik for longer than a few days.
And of course there’s death.
Leaving is often painful. So why do I have nothing to say about it?

I don’t like the word. It sounds ugly to me. Lee Ving. Who is, incidentally, the guy who played Mr Boddy (or did he?) in Clue. He wasn’t an ugly guy, and as a name it sounds fine. But I don’t like the word. The lea sounds like something hurled forth, puked out, when it’s placed before ving, and ving sounds like an afterthought. A hurked-out syllable followed by an afterthought. No wonder I don’t want to write about it.

It’s only been nine minutes.

Maybe I need to start doing morning pages before these freewrites. Sometimes there’s a lot on my mind and it should be all skimmed off the surface before I try to discover what else is under there. Or maybe this is just my excuse for writing such utter nonsense today.

I could stop here at ten minutes, but I’m going to keep going till fifteen. Might as well see what else there is to skim off.

these are pretty words.

“I’m leaving” can be such a world-shattering thing to hear, or it can be simple and mundane, as in “I’m leaving now to get the milk, I’ll be back in a bit.” Do we have other words like this? We must, because of that great joke in Arrested Development… every time an important character ends up at the hospital, the same doctor comes out to talk to the family, and he always says something that’s a euphemism for death, like “We lost him” or “It’s over.” The whole family reels back, gasps, or starts crying. The doctor then goes on to say something that proves he wasn’t talking about death: he’ll follow “we lost him” with “the nurses can’t find him anywhere!” or “it’s over” with “it was a long surgery, but he’ll make a full recovery.” Then the family goes right back to their normal cranky selves and yells at him. It’s hilarious every time.


Well, there you have it!


8 responses to “Want to see a lousy freewrite?

  1. Hey, this wasn’t lousy at all. I especially loved the line about not leaving because the things you’ve left follow you around. A lot of truth in that line. But following your thoughts (with the finger tapping image) was great. It brought back lots of memories of doing the exact same thing.

    • Thanks, Lisa! ๐Ÿ™‚ Yep, the finger-tapping… it feels so impotent!

      On a kind of related note to the not leaving, I read a great thought recently in a short story. A sleepless woman reaches out to the other side of the bed and is shocked again to find no one there, though it’s been a year. (No further explanation than this is ever given.) She thinks, nothing that’s important ever happens to you only once. It happens over and over again.

  2. I don’t think it’s lousy either, Lisa! I would think that the point of freewrites would be to keep letting the words out so you could come back and search for treasure later. I see many treasures in here, among the moments where you heard the crickets creeping in.

    It’s kind of funny that I hoped this week I could do something with “leaving” because it spoke to me. But I wanted to be in the right mood, since I’m not supposed to edit. I don’t know, I seem to be in the middle of a dense week of writing a new story that needs to be born. We’ll see.

    • Well, thank you, Rรฉ! Maybe it just goes to show that the uniqueness of our minds really is a strength. This freewrite is really just the way I think, so to me it seems lousy (I didn’t create anything!), but to you and Lisa there are interesting things in it. Cool. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Good luck getting that story born. ๐Ÿ™‚ Sounds like a positive, if strenuous, process.

  3. This is so true. I found myself in what you wrote. Thank you for sharing you thoughts. And thank you for commenting on my post today which made me come here in the first place!

  4. “Itโ€™s only been nine minutes.” Heehee I’ve certainly been there.

    And this wasn’t the least bit lousy! I love seeing your process–writing, drawing, and otherwise–so this was a fun peek into your brain. ๐Ÿ™‚

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