Sunday, January 15, 2012

First Thought, Best Thought

As Jack Kerouac's #1 living fan, stream of consciousness writing - epitomized by Allen Ginsberg's maxim, "First thought, best thought" - appeals to me emotionally yet I have a difficult time creating in that style. Perhaps I need to get Allen's book, Spontaneous Mind: Selected Interviews, 1958-1996 (reviewed here).

Or, perhaps I simply need to . . . practice. The technique is also called "free writing," which you can read directions for here.

I am not trying to reduce the brilliance of Kerouac et al. to a formula, since that of course cannot be done. However, as in Buddhism, sometimes a "technique" acts as a finger pointing at the moon.

I've been feeling a bit of writer's block lately (which is just a label, I know, and can be a damaging excuse), so I think I'll try free writing for 10 minutes and see what happens.

Maybe I'll even post it (unless it's too X-rated or might trigger NDAA sanctions).