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Thursday, August 11, 2022

I propose to go for a walk

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Eugenia Gallardo
Eugenia Gallardo
Literariamente Eugenia se define como hija de Asturias y Cervantes; prima de Monterroso y Batres Montúfar; amiga de Yourcenar y Christie. Su obra ha sido traducida al italiano y francés, e incluida en antologías. Publica poco y escribe mucho; la crítica ha sido generosa con los frutos de su inventiva. En 2020 y 2021 fue nominada al Premio Nacional de Literatura. Floreció en dos hijas y dos nietas. Casada de dos hervores, hoy es soltera empedernida. Creció en Cobán, Huehuetenango y la Ciudad de Guatemala. Entre aventuras y exilios ha vivido en Nueva Orleans, Sao Paulo, Atlanta, Carolina del Norte, Londres, Madrid y Costa Rica. Es Máster en Ciencias en Economía de América Latina (Universidad de Londres). Como economista política se ha dedicado principalmente a la investigación social. Escritora, dramaturga, actriz y artista plástica, su principal motivación es la creatividad y la experimentación.

Go for a walk. Without direction. With no other purpose than to activate the energies with which we converse with ourselves: prelude to the act of writing. Make the effort not to think? Not precisely. It is about allowing thoughts to flow in their own way, which is generally chaotic or at least interrupted by the environment where we are walking and curiously looking at artists. I use the word artists because whoever reads this has the concern to tell their story and it is precisely this concern that is the seed of art. After walking at the relaxed pace of someone who is not looking for anything because they already have an illusion in their hearts: to sit down and write! Writing by hand for reasons that I will explain another time. In this first automatic writing exercise, it is advisable to set a time limit. In five minutes, without stopping to think, drop a list of words that come to mind. Some words will elicit joy, others resistance, others astonishment or surprise or laughter. That’s part of the process, but none of those reactions have the right to stop the automatic writer. Some will feel those five minutes as an exhausting eternity, others will feel that they were not enough, but that is the agreed limit and it will not be shortened or lengthened. Let’s take those limits as part of a game. It is advisable to repeat this exercise for about five or ten days. Save the word lists without reading them: they will be useful when the writing method becomes more complex. The importance of repeating the exercise for several days lies in perceiving how the state of mind or the weather or the daily circumstances influence the way in which the exercise is experienced. There will be changes in the fluidity, in the resistances, in the final sensation when the alarm clock screams: now! This is how one gets to know oneself as a writer, as an artist of the word who wants to see his life story in writing.

Eugenia Gallardo
May 26, 2022
Raleigh NC

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