I’ve been attending a writing group, and today we did a ten-minute writing exercise. After a bit of discussion we chose to write about the word “path”. Here is my little essay:
“Yes, I’m on a spiritual path! Perhaps it is a bit of a strange one because it is the one recommended by Jesus and Mohammed. It is strange to me because I have been a Unitarian all my adult life, and almost an atheist, sooo choosing to follow those two fellows is getting off of my usual journey through this life. What intrigues me about both of their well-known prayers is that they mention asking to be kept on the proper path. Mohammed asks that the path be one that doesn’t anger God, and Jesus asks that the path doesn’t lead us into temptation but delivers us from evil. Perhaps it is the same thing – I’m mostly trying to be kind to people, and other living things, and I hope that is the path those guys approve of. At least so far they haven’t smacked me too hard.”
That was hand written, 149 words in ten minutes, which is about fifteen words per minute. I can copy text accurately by typing at sixty words per minute, and probably create the kind of text written in this exercise at thirty words per minute. Thus if I were to do this exercise again on a computer I could get more ideas out in ten minutes, and clean the copy a bit too.
It was a pleasure hearing what the others had written. This style of conversation is different from the round robin meeting of last week, where we too had a topic, but we spoke our ideas out instead of writing them and then reading them aloud. The advantage of writing is that the quiet members get a better chance to express their ideas. It would be interesting for a group of about six people to do a written essay on a subject, then to read them with very little comment from the others, and then to write a second essay as response to the comments, and then have further comments. If there was time, to do a concluding ten-minute essay, and then to print up all of our essays for a more memorable evening’s gathering.
This sounds like hard work, but what we did this morning was fun, so doing this multiple response to our mutual work might get something beautiful completed at the end of two hours.