Free Write – Learning To Get My Muse On


I joined a writing group a couple of weeks ago which is a huge thing for me because it requires me to come out of my writing cave and interact with folks I don’t know.

And share my work on the spur of a moment

without edits

without a safety net.

Holy. Fucking. Shit.

But it’s a great space led by the gentle soul that is Jena Schwartz and filled with a ridiculous number of wise, talented, quirky, badass writers.

It’s called Get Your Muse On

how could I not love that?

On Wednesdays, Jena sends around a topic and we are encouraged to participate in a ten-minute free write. It’s exactly what it sounds like: set your timer for ten minutes and write anything you want on that topic, no editing, no fussing, then post it for the group to read. Just so you know, I blatantly ignored the first free-write, claiming my day was too busy.

Jena is one smart bitch – last week, along with the free write topic was a little speech about how we all have ten minutes in our busy day, even the busiest of us, and this is a great way to carve out some me-time – it was like homegirl was speaking directly AT me.

So I did it.

I did today’s as well.

And both times I felt horribly sick to my stomach as I hit the “post” button, but I also felt really, really good. Not about what I wrote – I’m not that big a dick – but about the fact that I actually did it. I took the ten minutes and focused wholly on something I love. I cleared my head of the clutter and just created. I burned. I wrote. And it was the best fucking ten minutes of my day.

Wanna see the results?

If you don’t, now would be a good time to stop reading this post. Just saying.


Free Write #1 – Where My Father Was A Child

The grass was high and it waved in the wind
The roads were dirt
and trodden
The rice paddies loomed green and inviting
to cows

Cricket was king
Football too

His father
reigned supreme
above all
and was to be listened to
lest he wanted the switch to the legs
which he received quite often
Despite never wanting it

The family compound was lively
and jovial
and close-knit
with kids and uncles and aunts and dogs and warthogs
until it wasn’t
And his parents took off
for greener pastures
Leaving behind two young boys
in the care of others
Because they lived and breathed the credo
it takes a village
a bit too literally

And studying
always studying
And med school
without question
The seat was already prepped and waiting
His name was already on it

And behind all this living and life and loss and chaos
within and without
was the soothing sound
of the waters

The backwaters.


Free Write #2 – Trespass

I wear a pretty big sign
Across my chest
On my forehead
In my eyeballs

Do not trespass
Do not touch

And I don’t think she gives a fuck

I told her she was ugly
And she laughed
I told her she was stupid
And she quoted some random poetry
That left my head spinning

I told her I was made of thorns and nettles
And she put on some gloves
I pushed her
And she pushed me back

I disappeared and found countless others
To sink myself into
All the while
Thinking of her

She is loads of fuckery and trouble
She is too much too fast

She is heat and touch and gentleness
All things I cannot afford
She is light and laughter
And I am a black pit of poison

I told her this
In an effort to save her
And she laughed
And said she was here to save me so bring it

I wear a pretty big sign
Across my chest
On my forehead
In my eyeballs

Do not trespass
Do not touch

And I don’t think she gives a fuck


Jena gets ALL the credit for making me do these ten minute exercises, but I would be remiss if I did not also thank poet and writer Jason Reynolds for his inspirational 30 Days of Poetry. His work has been my muse these past two Wednesdays. And not that I would EVER consider myself a poet of his or Jena’s caliber – I’m not a poet at all! – but surrounding myself in 30 days of his writing definitely shook my soul. I’ve always been a very rhythmic writer, but because of him, I’ve taken it to a whole other level and somewhere along the way, I’ve learned not to fear that dreaded word: POEM. So thank you, Jason. You rock.


3 thoughts on “Free Write – Learning To Get My Muse On

  1. This is a great exercise, I might try it. The stuff that comes out when you’re not thinking about it too much can be the most interesting.

    And I like these pieces, especially the second one.

    • This exercise is actually my favorite part of being in the group. I tend to tune out on most of the other stuff, but this Wednesday free write is amazing. I would highly recommend it because it’s just like you said, the spontaneity of it opens you to limitless possibilities. And thanks, the second piece really resonates with me as well. It’s my characters from my current urban fantasy, their voices are in my head all the time, so of course they would find their way onto my paper during the free write. thanks for stopping by…cheers.

  2. Pingback: #WednesdayPrompt – CONVENIENCE | Madhuri Blaylock Writes

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