words! mere words!

Freewriting

You’ve probably heard of “freewriting." Here’s what you do:

You sit down, you get comfortable, and you start writing. Some people set a timer for 10, 15 or 20 minutes before they start. Because the game is, you don’t stop writing during those 10, 15, 20 minutes, even if—especially if—you don’t know what to write. If that happens, you write, "I can’t think of something to write,” or whatever. You also don’t go back to correct anything, even typos. In freewriting, there is no concept of a “mistake,” because once you’re done, you just throw it away. You don’t even read it yourself, unless you feel like it.

The point of the exercise is to expend no effort except for the physical effort of writing or typing. Your goal is not to choose words so much as spew words out. Think of it as the writing equivalent of finger-painting. It’s an exercise in not giving a shit.

This is the best way I know for reducing anxiety around writing. Peter Elbow suggests scheduling it at least three times a week. Personally, I don’t schedule it; I do it at random moments during the day when it occurs to me. This addresses my sense that writing is very difficult to start. If you get into the habit of just dropping what you’re doing and spontaneously writing something, writing starts to seem like less of a big deal. 

If you want, you can relax the rule about not stopping. I found that if I told myself “I can’t stop!” I made myself anxious—“oh my god, I’ll be trapped doing this thing for ten minutes!”—which impeded my willingness to do it at all. So allow yourself to stop if you need to—but just to rest, not to think.

Freewriting can be practiced for as short a time as you have—five minutes, thirty seconds, however long you can tolerate it or spare. You can do it while you’re on hold or waiting for a file to download. Or you can put a reminder on your phone. Every day, every other day, every other other day, whatever. If you ultimately want to “make writing a habit,” you could pick a time slot and just fill that slot with freewriting for now. That will certainly build a habit, and it asks almost nothing of you except to sit in a chair and move your fingers until your timer goes off.

Well, okay: it asks slightly more of you than that. Freewriting is similar to meditation or mindfulness practice: you do have to focus, and mainly you focus on what’s in your head. For some folks, that can be uncomfortable. If it is, try to focus on the words and not on you. If you can’t stand your own thoughts, describe what you see around you instead. Or think of the words as grit that has collected inside you that you’re flushing out—like turning on a faucet to clear rust out of the pipes. The words are already there, so when you freewrite, you’re just discharging them. Those words aren’t you, they’re just words.

I offer you this rusty pipe metaphor because it has helped me a lot. Writing, for me, has always meant feeling my lack of worth in its fullest intensity—as if every word I write were declaring my mediocrity. So of course I avoided it. But if I think of the words as grit in a pipe, my self—my own abilities and my own psyche—are not at issue. Just caked, rotten, crusty words that need to be dissolved, loosened and washed out.

Freewriting has a few purposes, according to Elbow. As I said, it trains you to decouple your words from you, to write with less fear that what you write reflects on you. It accustoms you to producing “bad” writing and seeing that the world doesn’t end. It teaches you to make mistakes without fear—or rather, to write without “mistake” vs. “correct” even entering the picture. 

The real point of freewriting is just to practice spontaneously generating words. Merely generating words, it turns out, is difficult and demanding before you even ask whether they’re the right words. Many of us (though not all) can generate words with relative ease when we talk. But for reasons that are mysterious to me, writing doesn’t work like speaking. Maybe it’s because you have more time to choose your words when you’re writing—and there’s nobody sitting there, responding to what you say. The point is, the channel between your brain and your typing/writing hands can get stiff and clogged. So the first step toward writing without pain and anxiety is simply to loosen and unclog that channel. You’re not even building a skill, you’re just stretching a muscle.

I find when I freewrite that after a few minutes, my mental state shifts. I go into a sort of trance in which things are happening in my mind and I’m observing them but I don’t feel like I’m controlling them. Which, for someone who lives her life with an iron grip on her every thought and deed, is an enormous relief. Once I stop freewriting and start writing normally, some of that lightness lingers. My mind and body remember the sensation and can return to it even when I write more slowly and deliberately.

If writing is extremely difficult for you, you might need to do nothing but freewrite for a while. You might need the sustained experience of producing words that won’t be evaluated, that can’t be evaluated. Even once you start writing normally again, you could still spend the first few minutes of your writing time freewriting, just to clear the pipes.

Try it. Try freewriting for thirty seconds. Right now. Just open up a new document or grab an empty junk mail envelope and see what it’s like.


Next post: how not to do too much at once

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Words! Mere words! How terrible they are! How  clear, and vivid, and cruel! One could not escape from them. and yet what a subtle magic there was in them! They seemed to be able to give a plastic form to formless things, and to have a music of their own as sweet at that of viol or lute. Mere words! Was there anything so real as words?
—  Oscar Wilde, The Picture Of Dorian Gray
Every inch of you (F)

Park Jimin x reader 

“I could have every single inch of your body pressed right against mine, and I’d still say pull me closer” 

K.F.

Originally posted by if-imthedevil

  The mornings were always tough, waking up at a decided time is never easy, no matter how much you try to convince yourself. By today was different. Today the woman who hated mornings so desperately begged for the time to stay instead of pass.

Keep reading

Has anyone been mean to you because you choose to practice your deen?

Are you suffering from the mockery of people within your community or even in your family?

Has anyone made rumors about your piety or your dignity?

Have they become more severe as days and months pass by?

May Allah make things easy for you, let me share a story that would inspire you to bear more patience and tolerate such false accusations of people about you.
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Have you heard that story between Abu Jahl and the Prophet ? Do you not remember how cruel were the Quraish to the Prophet ?

Let me remind you of such cruelty in this one incident.

The narration talks more about Hamzah Ibn Abdul Muttalib Radiyallahu Anhu, the uncle of the Prophet ﷺ,  on how he came to embrace Islam but I will highlight only the incident between Abu Jahl and the Prophet ﷺ. 

This took place when Hamzah RA went on hunting and Abu Jahl took advantage of the absence of Hamza. He went to the Prophet ﷺ while he was sitting by the Mount As Safa and there spoke to him offensively denouncing his work and tried to humiliate him. 

With the beautiful character of the Prophet ﷺ, he did not say anything. He just said nothing to Abu Jahl but Abu Jahl continued to abuse him until he cast a stone on the Prophet’s ﷺ head.

Indeed, the Prophet ﷺ became wounded and he began to bleed. At this sight, Abu Jahl left him and went to the assembly of the Quraish and sat down with them.
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Have a moment to yourself, pause a little and reflect on what you have just read

Our beloved Prophet , who is bleeding out of the hatred of Abu Jahl, bore everything patiently. Every ill manner word thrown to him, every humiliation given to him by the Quraish, he bore it patiently.

Then, look at your own self, with a little word of mouth going around accusing you of something you never did or some rumors denouncing you, you become outraged that you want to hurt somebody. Don’t you think you are being [emulating] more of Abu Jahl than being [emulating] the Prophet ﷺ?

Come to think of it, how did the Prophet  bear all of those? Of course he is blessed because he is our beloved Prophet  but more than that his Lord is Allah!

He bore all of it patiently because he knows his Lord is Allah, the Almighty, the one with beautiful names and attributes, the one who responds to those who call upon Him! 

So, next time people talk ill about you rejoice for your bad deeds are being taken from you. The Prophet  bled out of a stone thrown at him but not a word came from his mouth while you are being thrown at words and just mere words that bear false and untrue stories and you react in a manner just like everyone else. 

O Slave of Ar Rahman, know that you are not like everyone else, you are a Muslim, a chosen one amongst billion of people in this world. Allah chose you to bear the shahada and worship Him. So react the way one Muslim should react and handle such situation.

Bear patiently for your Lord is Allah. 
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And we pray that Allah gives justice to all those who are persecuted for practising their deen and reveal the truth out of the false accusations they are being shaded with. 

Amin.

Zohayma

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For those who want to read the full narration as to how Hamzah RA embraced Islam, check As Sirah An Nabawiyaah of Ibn Hashim: 1/291-92 and At Taqabat Al Kubra of Ibn Sa’d 3/9

A separate article would be posted in regards to the story of Hamza RA embracing Islam in the coming days. in sha Allah.

4

Speaking of translation issues, everyone keeps telling me how great the Colored Adventure version is, even though it’s riddled with typos and contains plenty of confused dialogue.  

At this point in the story, it’s plausible that Jolyne hasn’t seen her father since she was a small child, so she might not recognize him after all these years.  So when she thinks “This… this guy… Who is he!?”, it makes sense.

But then a few panels later she becomes upset and attacks the guard for putting her in this situation.  “If I had known it was you, I wouldn’t have shown!!” she says bitterly.  So now she knows exactly who this is, even though she didn’t two pages ago.  Maybe she had to hear him talk first?

Then she says “I don’t have a father like you–!!”  What does that even mean?   I could see her saying “I have no father!”  or “I want nothing to do with a father like you!”  But it’s like they split the difference and invented a nonsense expression that conveys absolutely nothing.

It can’t be helped, of course.   Even the best fan translations are going to have errors, but this is why you have to read them with an open mind.  It’s also why I’m willing and able to trudge through lower-quality translations when necessary.

it is a CRIME that these two have barely interacted