When I first started working with a writing intern I realized very quickly that the pressure of writing for me was going to seriously compromise my intern’s work. I told her that all she had to do was listen to me for 10 minutes and then barf out what she kinda thought she heard onto the page. It didn’t have to be good or right. It just had to get onto paper.

In 30 minutes she listened, Googled a tiny bit and drafted the Market Agreement that we still use today over at Tierra Soul.

I had used prompts in creative writing groups in the past and knew that free-writing could be magical, so I put the two together with the Permaculture Principle of valuing the marginal. and voila, a system for overcoming writer’s block. In dominant western culture the marginal is avoided at all costs whether it’s marginal people, places or things. What we have forgotten is that all things have value when give space and place… even shitty writing.

Pen-Barfing Rules:

  1. Start writing and don’t stop until you have written for a predetermined amount of time or number of pages or you get to the end of the topic.
  2. Do it wrong. You heard me. Make it a disaster.
  3. Keep it real. Don’t lie, but feel free to tell stories.

Just finish. No edits. No second guessing.

The only thing to keep in check is your intention to make it as shitty as possible.

This is a brain dump. Sometimes it will turn out to be brilliant because you got out of your own way, and sometimes it will really be shitty, cuz we all need to get the shitty out of the way before we can be brilliant. Its just a fact.

The best time to assess a piece of writing is at least 2 weeks after it has been barfed.

Try it now.

Then come back and let me know how it went, what you discovered, liked, hated, your suggestions etc.

 Make it a disaster.