An old fashioned typewriter, sitting to the right of the frame, on a wood table
An old fashioned typewriter, sitting to the right of the frame, on a wood table

This Little Bloggy, A Story of Automatic Writing

Paul Kiernan

So, today, I thought I’d put my money where my mouth is. I am going to automatic write.

Hello, ThoughtLab fans. I like to pretend that people actually read my blogs and that they are fans and wait patiently for my next offering. Well, here it is. It is Friday, and I have been struggling with words of late, as some of you do from time to time. It’s a bummer when a block gets dropped on you and you have to produce, isn’t it?

So, today, I thought I’d put my money where my mouth is. I am going to automatic write. I am going to drop fingers on the keys and just let the words flow. I’ve talked about this technique on one of my creativity blogs, specifically about automatic writing. I believe I even started that piece with a sample of the technique. So there’s that.

Today, this Friday morning, I am going to lay myself bare, use the technique, and allow what spills forth to be today’s blog. I think it’s only fair that a person who talks about creativity and gives ideas and exercises to help with creativity and writer’s block should actually use those techniques. I have talked about risk and fearlessness. I have talked baiut not caring about what people say, and I have said just create. Well, physician, heal thyself, right? Right!

So, today, I am offering this, pure and simple, no editing, no worries. Well, I have a lot of worries, but I am attempting to overcome them and do what I say and say what I do. So, I am going to set the timer, the ol’ Pomodoro, and I am going to write freely and stop only when my ten-minute timer rings. This could be fun. Or it could be hell; who knows?

The silver tip of a fountain pen writing on a lined page

This is automatic writing:

There are moments. From sunlight across the wall that plays on the wood floor to

the huge wooden desk that is covered with dust and letters of goodbye and why

haven’t you and where should we and can we again and pictures of wonders of

flesh and sandwich and pen and hope.

There are feelings that spill like paper filled with promises of never again, and it means nothing, and you are the only, over the overstuffed chair that sits in the corner and waits for two bodies again. Waits for the weightless touch of love to once more fill the space between its


And piles of books that have piles of books that have piles of books. And

these are fighting for possession of all the dust and all the fallout of all the days

that would have been if only it didn’t, or they weren’t, or she wasn’t. And then

there is nothing.

Nothing fills the room anymore. Nothing rings on the phone.

Nothing echoes in the hall, and nothing sits on the table in the kitchen. Who

invited this nothing? Who called upon it and said, come and spend your days here.

Come and occupy this once-full space. Bring your dark face and your deep sullen

eyes and your moody walk. Come and push out the light and the laughter. Please.


Who asked for this? I remember moonlight in the room of possibilities. It

was cool and blue, and it lit your eyes and told me, soundlessly that I was loved

and I was special, and this moment could never be duplicated. I remember rain

storms outside the windows, and we were tucked in bed, holding on as if the rain

would crash through and take us away. If that were to happen, we would be taken

away together. There was no doubt that if nature came to claim one of us, she

would have to settle for both of us.

I remember the flowers in the field behind the

yellow house. The field was longer than the season itself and full of crayon

shaming bright. I remember the flowers being jealous because they could never

match the sweet smell of your breath. I remember them getting angry and

shaking their petals and sending them all flying away into the wind because you

were so easily born of pure light. And as the petals flew and summer changed to

in an instant of horticultural rage, you laughed, and your laughter called to the

sky and it brought down silent white soft snow.

We were caught in winter with

our hearts in summer, and yet, we were safe. I know of a time when you stood

behind the large wooden door with black iron knob and mouth filled with skeleton

key and wondered why, if I was just behind this door, I had gone so very far away.

I know this time well because I was on the other side of the door, wondering why I

was so far down this dark road without you, my light. And days passed. Weeks

passed. Years passed, and I couldn’t open the door. I heard you; everyday walk

softly to the door and tap and say to me, “Love, if you hear me, I am here. Love, if

you need me, I am here. Love, if you want me, I am here.” And I looked at the door, and I heard the voice, and I wondered who you were talking to.

And then, one day,

many years gone by, I didn’t hear the voice, and I knew you were talking to me.

You were calling to me, and I held the knob and turned with all my strength, and

threw open the door. I never saw a pocket so empty as the pocket in my heart

that held the image of you torn away from my life. I saw, on the floor, the imprints

of your feet, where you had walked, where you had stood. Time you spent in those

spots had dented the wood and grooved a path. And I realized that you had called

out for love so long and so hard that love finally answered. Love had come and

gathered you and left me alone.

I remember the day when I saw you in a new

world. Bright and happy. No doors closed to you. No, locks held you from your

love. I remember being on the street and watching you glide by on the wings of

your life. I was against a wall, a crack, a crevice in the wall. Pushing my way

through the brick, trying to avoid all that was around me. Trying to shun all that

was soft and warm and human, and then, you. I remember that as you passed,

flowers began to sprout from the path I had carved, but they were all behind me, and I could not turn to see them or touch them, or smell them.

I know about these

moments, and I know what they are worth. I have become the clock on the wall in

the room that fills with dust. I sit at the desk, and I read the letters and I listen for

the steps and I wait, and I wait, and I wait, and the waiting becomes the task and

the task becomes the need, and the need becomes the life and the life becomes no

one. And the life sustains nothing. And nothing becomes the norm. And the norm

becomes the way. And the way is all I have.

But, there are moments. Mental

vacations when I smell your hands on a page of a poem I penned before I was lost.

The smell brings me back to the room when it was filled with you. I wonder if I

have another chance at this life, will I learn? Will I hover by the door and wait for

it to open again and slip away? There are moments when I feel almost alive. There

are moments when I know I could gather up all the light in my arms and fill your

eyes again. There are moments when I believe, deep down in the bottom of my

heart, that I can love.

And then, those moments fly, and I am once again alone in

the room with my thoughts.


A Koala sleeping in a tree

There you go. I have been thinking about this subject for some time. I recently moved, and I was unpacking a few boxes when I came across a photo of a woman I was once involved with. In the photo, she is sitting at my desk, almost buried by all the paper that flies around me, like satellites. It filled my head and seemed to have stayed with me.

Anyway, it’s Friday and this is what I offer you, dear reader, and that’s probably singular. Try it. Shake off teh dust and try some automatic writing as you head into your weekend. Or, in the middle of the fun and festivities, look around, put pen to paper, and write see what happens.

Be courageous, be free, don't judge, don’t think, just write.