Writing on the Fly

I’m writing on the fly. Not on a fly, but on the fly. That would be a little hard to write on a fly, like those people that ink your name on a piece of rice that has to float in a capsule of water so you can even see it. I have my name on a piece of rice as a key chain. Received it from an uncle when we went to visit him or perhaps he was back in MN. I forget. Anyway, that’s writing on the fly, following where it leads, whatever direction the words take you.

You’d think writing on the fly would be easy, no planning required, no outline to follow, just one word and then the next. But actually, writing on the fly takes practice. A learning to remove or step quickly around all the roadblocks we throw in front of ourselves. Is that spelled right? Should it be you’re or your? Was that really how it happened? Maybe I opened the car door that day with my left hand instead of my right? Then you’re stopped. Done writing. At least that’s how it often worked for me. So then instead of writing about going to the zoo with my kids, I’m all obsessed about how I opened the car door. I’ll never get to the otters if I can’t even get myself in the car.

Back to writing on the fly. How does one practice this? Well, I took a class. It was called Intuitive Writing. How did Roxanne teach us to stop thinking so hard and get the words on the page? (I feel the need to add that, yes, clearly there are plenty of people who probably need to think harder most days, but starting to get the words on the page is not one of those days, at least for me.) By creating this nurturing, supportive environment and giving us lots and lots of practice.

We did prompt after prompt and shared and shared. And Roxanne allowed herself to be as vulnerable as the rest of us. One day we focused on sounds, nonsense words and phrases. Taking chandelier and saying, chande, chande, chande, lieeeer! and loving the rhythm and music of it. That’s how we let go of our censors, our monkey minds, all those voices that aren’t our voice of truth.

That’s what I do here. Write on the fly. On my other blog, I ponder a little more, add more structure, try to convey a certain event or story. There’s still writing on the fly there, but I usually reread the bugger a few times and revise and edit. On this blog, it just goes down, wherever I am led.

For instance, I initially titled this Mosaic because I was going to write about the dancing girl wearing a cup and saucer I have above my desk, but I got totally sidetracked by the writing on the fly.

With prompts and a wee bit of practice, anyone can write on the fly and be amazed at what bubbles up. That’s part of writing parties. The other part is sharing those gifts of words in a group. Being together and writing together. Powerful stuff. And buckets of fun.

One last thing: If I ever teach a writing class, I’m going to print off paper with a gigantic fly on it, so the writers can write on the fly.


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