The Asemic Writers Club warmup
by Jess Henderson
The following things are required for this warmup.
- Blank paper (A4 or A3) – you might want to have multiple pieces of paper handy
- A range of black marker pens – different weights, thicknesses, nib-types, etc.
For this warmup we will be practicing asemic writing, in the form of some kind of notice from the Asemic Writers Club – a fictional group of which anyone and everyone is a member, including you.
- Writing that is asemic has no specific semantic content. It can be used to build fictional worlds, express experiences, and transcribe emotion or nothing much at all.
- Due to this absence of sematic content, asemic writing offers a vacuum of meaning to be filled by both the writer and reader as they feel, decide, and desire.
- By reflecting writing, but not completely existing as a traditional writing system, asemic writing seeks to make the reader hover in a state between reading and looking.
- Asemic writing has no verbal sense, though it may have clear textual sense.
- The form of art is still writing and either depends on a reader’s sense and knowledge of writing systems for it to make sense, or can be understood through aesthetic intuition.
- True asemic writing occurs when the creator of the asemic piece cannot read their own asemic writing.
- Asemic writing seems to be a gigantic, unexplored territory. Most people make asemic writing at some time, possibly when testing a new pen.
- With its meaning open, every viewer can arrive at a personal, absolutely correct interpretation.
- Away from a computer screen, perhaps laying on the floor, prepare your blank paper and pens before you. Check out the examples of asemic writing on this page before you settle away from the screen, if you like.
- Make a decision on what format you notice from the Asemic Writers Club will take. Some ideas include: a letter from the editor, a newspaper front page, a newsletter, a printed email, a poster, an essay, an interview (the options are endless, it’s up to you!).
- With the enjoyment of freehand writing, feeling a channelling as you sweep your pen across the page, begin ‘writing’ asemically your notice in the format chosen.*
- Leave behind any feelings of pressure to make something beautiful or meaningful. There are no right or wrongs, asemic writing is just freedom of expression of the hand.
- Once your piece is finished, leave it on the floor for the day or consider putting it in an envelope and posting it mysteriously to a friend who is on your mind.
*Optional: Set a timer for 5-10 minutes to work on your asemic notice if you like. Or, simply create your notice until you feel it is done.