If you’ve been following, you’ll know, but if not: Couch to 80k is an 8 week writers bootcamp, requiring about 20 minutes per day (10 minutes of writing) by Tim Clare. I decided to do it to build some writing muscle and I blog my experience of doing it here.
Ok, housekeeping done, let’s get on, shall we.
Start of the second week, and we move away from lists on to … different stuff. Today’s exercise was basically just freeform writing, with no expectation anyone will ever read it, just write whatever you like.
As ever, I hear the prompt and my mind starts racing for ideas to latch on to. I’m also a terrible student, I phase in and out of listening to Tim’s excellent intro pieces and end up not quite paying attention (this was my downfall in school too, albeit it that would have been several centuries ago). Now, he recommends you write without worrying about people ever seeing it, but I feel like I should include some snippets here. The writing I did can be divided into three little pieces, the first became a flashback to an experience I had as a kid (and then a melancholic “oh look, these things I did as a kid I still sort of do now”)
These sort of segued into something I’d been thinking about a little, about Hawking’s death, and then, finally a third thing. I’ll keep that one to myself though (as I should really do with all of them)
Anyway, as flavour: here’s the first line from each section (and remember, these aren’t even draft zero – they’re, like, draft -1, should not show to anyone…)
Tumbling down the hill, the boy was shot. 500 bullets from a single blast of an imaginary machine gun, his mate was firing at the bottom
PHSOOOM! A bomb. He imagined himself hurtling into the air, while actually doing a small tumble.
Then this (I’m sorry)
Hawking’s ghost hovered above the speak and spell.
If he inhabited it, he could tell people he was wrong – though not entirely. Yes, there is an after life. No there is no god. No devil. No heaven. No hell. Just a long continues outsideness that would – as far as he could tell – only end with the heat death of the universe.
And finally, which was cut off in its prime…
There was a slow pulse. Then a sudden quickening. His breath held. She moved slightly closer. Her lips such a short distance from his that he could feel them, sense them. This is the moment. Now is when you make your move. Closer, fractionally closer and you’d be kissing. But this moment, caught for a brief second // KLAXON! END!
There’s a full on page of this gibberish, I’m sparing you most of it. But that’s ok. I think this, today, was just about exploring and trying something and moving beyond what you’d naturally want to write about.
And that’s as good a thing to fail at as anything.