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The Weekly Blague

Stream of Consciousness #1

The cover of Volume 21, from 1982, when I conducted a stream of consciousness experiment.


When I was on her payroll there was lots of free time between encounters, and I wanted to make the most of it. So I tried an experiment. Every morning, as soon as I got up, I sat down in front of the typewriter, rolled in a blank sheet of paper, and filled it with words. I just banged away on the keys and whatever came out came out. No editing. Pure stream of consciousness, and I did it for 100 consecutive days, pasting each sheet of paper into the diary I was keeping. Now, all these years later, I'm trying it again on my blog. I don't know what I'm going to say, but I'm going to say something. And no, I'm not going to keep it up for 100 days. But I'm going to do it today, until I don't feel like doing it anymore. And for you aspiring writers who might be reading this, if you're blocked, do what I'm doing now: Sit down in front of your computer and write anything, throw words on the screen until the right words begin to flow. And yes, I might go back and edit this a little—for clarity. The difference between this and what I did 40 years ago with a typewriter is that I'm posting this here and probably on FB, too, and people will be reading it. I don't want to waste their time (or your time). I want them (or you) to get something out of this. Don't ask me what. So let's call this an experiment in blogging. Do people blog anymore? Or is everything that matters on TikTok and Instagram? What can I say? The past few weeks I've been into diaries, not the famous ones you may have read about in one of my books, but my own diaries, which I wrote about last week and here I go again. What is it that keeps me writing in those notebooks? Well there's fear—fear that if I stop, the writing gears will rust as they did back in the 70s before I began keeping diaries. And there's compulsion, the compulsion to write everything down in notebooks just... because. Though I'm not as compulsive as I was when I started doing this in 1977. In those days, when I carried a pocket-size memo book, if somebody said something interesting, I'd take it out and write down what they said. "What are you doing?" they'd ask. "Writing down what you just said." Drove people nuts. It was like if you were with me, everything was on the record. I don't do that anymore. If you say something interesting I'll write it down when I get home, though my memory isn't what it used to be.


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