My own method of free flow writing #5for5BrainDump was born from three distinctive related places.
First, My writing workshops of almost two decades: we use free flow writing as a warm up and then as a main part of the writing process.
Second, 5 Minute Stream of Consciousness Exercises across a number of online circles, one of which was called 5 Minute Friday. I don’t know if it still exists, but five years ago on Thursday nights it used to be the thing for a group of Mom Bloggers I knew. The writing you see below is an example of what I wrote back when I was creating in those circles.
Third, The PeriGirls: a group of women live streamers who helped me discover the power of live streaming. One day in a workshop BrainDumping and 5 minutes and free flow writing and the power of doing something for 5 consecutive days collided in a lovely spree which then give birth to #5for5BrainDump.
I didn’t expect #5for5BrainDump to become a major part of my life (and it has). Life writing in many forms including as a component of business writing is my sweet spot.
Life Writing + Free Flow writing: When these two are added together I fall into another version of paradise. Add poetry and…. I could be infinitely happy for a long, long time.
I want to share a couple quick, five minute writings I did in the past that still sing with transparency today. Later this evening I will share with you about my brand new offering. And now, drum roll please…
“Or How I Wore the Wrong Outfit but Decided to Bust a Move, Anyway”
I decided I wanted to try something new this week, so when I saw this last Friday I knew this Friday would be magical: On Fridays a group of folk meet for a free writing exercise. Just 5 minutes. On the prompt that’s posted here just after midnight early Friday morning. Want to join our favorite free writing exercise of the week? It’s easy peasy:
- Write for 5 minutes flat on the prompt: “Dance” with no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking.
2. Link back here and invite others to join in.
3. And then absolutely, no ifs, ands or buts about it, you need to visit the person who linked up before you & encourage them in their comments. Seriously. That is, like, the rule. And the fun. And the heart of this community..
OK, are you ready? Please give me your best five minutes on: (added by me — and here is where I got confused)
What? Is this real? I read somewhere the prompt was DANCE so I wrote five minutes on DANCE and now, after being confused, I see that I am wearing exactly the wrong word outfit.
I am not going back. I am simply adding.
The prompt this week, my first week at this Five Minute Friday is… STORY.
Story. I’ve wasted a minute writing about not getting things right and feeling embarrassed about dressing totally wrong for this party.
I could write about my championships at two Story Slam events here in Bakersfield but still harboring fear about going to “The Show” – the major leagues of Story Slamming in a big city where exceptional story tellers live.
I could write about sitting around the campfire with my Dad telling stories. He was such a word weaver. He even had me convinced (and proudly telling people) I was an ancestor of the great mystical poet and artist, William Blake.
That filled in the missing pieces of my story “Where in my bloodstream-ancestry was Writing Bug flowing?”
Until about five years ago, I would’ve sworn it was from my fabulous ancestor, William Blake. Apparently my grandmother thought this was a funny joke to tell because according to actual historical records we are related to a farmer from Iowa also named William Blake.
Here’s another real story.
I get angry when “story” gets a bad name. Some people use “story” like an epithet. That gets me fired up. Like poet Muriel Rukeyser (who I am pretty sure I am not related to at all) said, “The universe is made up of stories, not atoms.”
Today’s story: So I wrote on the wrong topic today. Big deal. The world will not spontaneously combust and these writers seem as if they will enjoy hearing my voice, anyway.
With that said, here are my first five minutes:
I am an actor who loves doing Musical Theater and I rarely get the chance. There just aren’t many roles out there for overweight, middle aged, decent but not Disney-esque singers who don’t dance very well. Well, the dancing chapter of the story is more like: who works really hard and when she gets it she gets it but until she gets it, she is the saddest dancing story you have ever seen.”
Yes, it is something like that.
The last time I appeared in a musical, I had a fantastic time working on a show most of the rest of the cast abhorred. I was so thrilled I practically levitated after each rehearsal.
I worried about dance rehearsals but I have adored our choreographer for years. He is the one person on the planet who believes in my dancing enough to smile patiently at me and simply ask me to try again, which I do. I videotaped the dances so I could rehearse at home. I was serious about this task at hand.
Like in all performance, I wanted to do well.
I didn’t want to be just passable or, without enough rehearsal, an embarrassment.
I wanted to dance along with my three other stage sisters who were at least twenty five or more years younger than me, did I mention that?
I took a Zumba class a while back and had so much fun I cried. I didn’t realize it, though, until the ending when we did cool down. Zumba itself exhausted me. I somehow kept up, sort of, but at the end when we did stretching and soft, gentle movements, a message came from somewhere deep in my heart, “I want to dance, oh, how I want to dance.”
True tears popped out from my eyes, unexpectedly. Now I was covered in salt water: ridiculous volumes of sweat and tears, involuntarily flowing from my face.
I even have the joy right now of being the Emcee for a local burlesque troupe. I tell silly jokes and stories when they get changed or prepare for their next number. I didn’t realize how much fun it could be. It also made me want to be out there, dancing.
Maybe next year.
Maybe if I do more zumba classes – which, by the way, use actual dance moves.
Maybe if I can gather confidence from the soles of my feet to the top of my head and then back to the depths of my heart where courage to do crazy things like this lives – in fact rules – choice making.
I think I’ll do it. I’ll put it on my “to do before August 2013” and I will start aiming toward it.
Me, dancing. Again. With Confidence.
What a phenomenal thought!
5 Minutes UP!
PS – As I prepared to post this blog entry, I saw LAST week’s topic was Dance. Ah, well.
Julie Jordan Scott is a writer, creative life coach, speaker, performance poet, Mommy-extraordinaire and mixed-media artist whose Writing Camps and Writing Playgrounds permanently transform people’s creative lives. Watch for the announcement of new programs coming in Spring, 2015 and beyond.
Check out the links below to follow her on a bunch of different social media channels, especially if you find the idea of a Word-Love Party bus particularly enticing.
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