Go With the Flow

Today’s Writing 101 Challenge – to write in free-flow, like a stream of consciousness without censor or revision, aiming for 400 words or more…

It is difficult to approach this in a pure, unhindered, just out of the packet kind of way because i have known the nature of the challenge for the past few hours. I have been busy in that time, but experienced cheeky little intrusive thoughts about what I could write this evening. Actually, these introductory comments were not part of my initial thinking, which is sort of interesting in a reflective and introspective way – meaning, it is probably of no interest to anyone else. My original idea was to comment on how difficult it is to work towards a word count target when confronted with a blank screen. A blank screen and a blank mind are not a good combination. Then I thought about some of the more challenging writing tasks I’ve faced in the past. Top of the pile was when I was completing my undergraduate studies. I was up all night typing my dissertation – a  wonderful set of experiments I undertook to explore if drinking strong coffee really helped with combating the effects of alcohol on a range of mental and psychomotor tasks – oh, the answer was “no”. I have a vivid image of me in a little bedroom in my student house typing furiously on my portable typewriter – I want to say it was an Olympus, or Olympic, I can’t remember exactly. No word processor, no automatic word counter. I think I spent as much time counting the words as i did typing them. I remember the typewriter ribbon – half red and half black. We knew how to make things interesting in those days. My combined radio and cassette player was on the floor next to me, probably some strange rock music urging me on, interspersed with the “ding” of the carriage when it got to the end of the line – which i was rapidly approaching as well.

I grabbed about an hour of sleep around 6.00 a.m., then it was back to put the finishing touches to my masterpiece. This was not the end of the story. As well as having to submit my dissertation that day, i also had to submit a 2,500 word essay on neuropsychology, and I hadn’t even started to put any ideas together. As you can imagine, the rest of the day was a bit of a blur, but I did manage to get everything in on time. Never again! Except of course, there is never a never again – the same scenario was repeated when I did my Master’s dissertation – on memory, if i remember correctly. And look – my automatic little word counter gizmo tells me I’ve exceeded the target. Will I get my Blogging Degree though?

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