I walked into the office at 5am…a little early for most people, but I liked the peace and quiet. Sitting down in front of my old Corona, I began to type out my editorial. 1500 words of ideas, which some would agree with while others would find something to complain about.
O course, I wrote to pull out the complainers. You might think that an opinion editorialist is writing to form opinions…and you’d be right. However, what’s the good of reinforcing someone who already agrees with you? I wrote about politics, social mores and whatever else came to mind, and I’d been doing it for nigh onto 25 years.
I decided to write something a little different that morning. I sat back and listened to the quiet. And let the words come out as they wished to come out. Nothing fancy, no thinking no pondering, just writing.
That morning, at 9:00, my boss came over to my desk. He looked down at me and asked me when I was going to replace my Corona with a word processor. Then he began to read me the riot act.
“What the hell got into you this morning? You, writing about dawn and birds! For Crissakes Matt you’re a opinionist not a ruddy poet!”
I did feel a little out of my box, as they say now days, but I just said: “Thought it’d be an interesting change … we’ll see what the public says, ok?”
The replies started coming in and instead of the 25 or so e-mails from irate readers, I received about a 1000 e-mails each a little different from the other, some happy, some sad, but no polemics… some even were by wannabe poets and writers. Lots of good stuff too!
“My boss came over at the end of the day. Hey Matt, about your column today … uhm … why don’t you do something similar tomorrow.”
Now I have a new column, I call it “Free Write” sometimes its even about poetry and writing but often it’s about a walk along the river or about things I see going on around me. I even publish some of the work my readers send it. I sign my column: The Free Write Bandit.
FWF – Just Write Special Edition
In this edition of Kellie Elmore’s Free Write Friday…we’re asked to make up our own prompt and basically just to write, without any special direction, towards creating a ‘real book’. I’m probably short of the prompt this week…but who knows, my editorialist Matt seems very much alive to me…I’ll have to see if I can give him more space.