In response to Writing 101 Day 19 prompt Don’t Stop the Rocking.
Today is a free writing day. Write at least four-hundred words, and once you start typing, don’t stop. No self-editing, no trash-talking, and no second guessing: just go. Bonus points if you tackle an idea you’ve been playing with but think is too silly to post about.
I want you to let it all hang out. So does writer Anne Lamott. At the risk of turning The Daily Post into an Anne Lamott fangirl blog, no one motivates me the way she does. Every time you sit down to write and think your idea is too stupid, too uninteresting, too random, or too unoriginal to be committed to the page, let Anne give you a gentle but firm nudge:
The rational mind doesn’t nourish you. You assume that it gives you the truth, because the rational mind is the golden calf that this culture worships, but this is not true. Rationality squeezes out much that is rich and juicy and fascinating.
Don’t look at your feet to see if you are doing it right. Just dance.
Perfectionism is the voice of the oppressor, the enemy of the people.
I don’t think you have time to waste not writing because you are afraid you won’t be good at it.
You’ll never feel so good about writing down every half-baked non-sequitur that comes out of the recesses of your lizard brain. And if you’re tempted to reply, “That’s easy for her to say, she’s a famous writer!” I give you:
I know some very great writers, writers you love who write beautifully and have made a great deal of money, and not one of them sits down routinely feeling wildly enthusiastic and confident. Not one of them writes elegant first drafts. All right, one of them does, but we do not like her very much.
Four-hundred words. One at a time. Go.
From behind the glass the detective asked.
“She’s done it. Why can’t we arrest her?”
He shrugged; Mia was a riddle. In all the years he’d known her, he never knew she could be violent. She staid with the man her accomplice shot even though she knew she’d go to jail. She pleaded guilty to the charge of robbery but the victim spoke on her behalf saying she’d tried to stop the man with her, called 9-1-1 and staid with him. The judge considered she felt guilty and gave her one year plus mandatory rehab and psychological evaluation. She’d complied without so much as a complaint. He’d kept an eye on her.
But despite all his best efforts, Detective Winston could never find her parents, her family or who she truly was. He knew what that meant. The kid escaped her home before she came of age. And she was never in the system. Her parents must be looking for her. But where? He hadn’t seen an amber alert resembling the young woman in the 10 years he’d known her. She must have changed her appearance and drugs transformed people anyway.
What he didn’t understand was why she was high. She hadn’t touched drugs since that man almost died to feed her addiction. Why would she start again now? After 5 years. What was the trigger? He needed to know. He cared for that girl; he had seen her struggle through a lot of shit and he guessed that was only the tip of the iceberg but she was one of the few he was sure could get out of that cycle. She did. Why she fell back into it required a thorough investigation. And he was hoping his colleague from criminal would allow him to help. He was voce but he knew Mia like no one else.
“She’s got you wrapped around her little finger Winston,” his colleague said. “She’s a liar. And she’s killed these three people.”
“I’m not saying she’s not lying. But you don’t know her as I do. You haven’t seen her body. I did. I wish I hadn’t. Whoever did this to her destroyed who she was. That’s why she started drugs. But she’d been doing fine. I’ve been in touch with her boss since he hired her. Reliable. Loved by the patrons and colleagues. He can’t understand why she’d go back to that place.”
“She’s a junkie, nothing else to look at.”
“You’re wrong. I think there’s a lot more to look at. Besides, how would she know these people? She’s a waitress, former – or current – junkie. And they’re high rollers: they may not be as brilliant as their parents but we’ve got an accountant, an ADA and a jet setter. It’s not like she could have met them anywhere.”
“At the restaurant where she works. Patricia Reinhardt said they went to the place three weeks ago.”
“How did they know each other?”
“Went to high school together. That school for rich brats. Can’t remember the name.”
Detective Finch looked at him pointedly. Everyone knew he was one of the rich brats. He was at that school.
“Seems like you need me then. They’ll let me in more likely than anyone in uniform.”
“I’m fine with that, but any hint that you’re biased and trying to protect her I’m ensuring you lose your badge.”
“I do my job. I just happen to believe that she’s the victim there.”