As a freelance writer or blogger there are times we experience moments when we don’t have the inspiration to write. We experience writer’s block or are simply not motivated to put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard).
Although such moments come and go, it’s not something that should be encouraged. In fact cultivating the habit and discipline to write everyday can completely change your life and improve your writing.
Free writing is an incredible practice that unleashes the creative ideas lodged within you as well as gets you in the mood of writing.
What is free writing?
Free writing is basically a writing activity where you allow yourself to write out whatever comes to your mind without stopping, editing or rationalizing what flows from your mind. The aim behind free writing is to uncover those thoughts or ideas that you hide within you, far away from your conscious mind.
Free writing doesn’t care about structure, efficiency or accuracy in grammar, or the right choice of words. It focuses more on the process of unleashing your creativity or unearthing those thoughts or perspectives you don’t voice out. Most times you bury your creative side by over thinking about what you write. Free writing liberates you from anything that would hold you back from freely expressing what you have in your mind. Free writing gives you a unique voice.
How free writing works
What makes free writing so effective with unleashing your creativity is that it completely prevents you from over thinking what you write. Most writers will edit as they write or pause for a long time trying to come up with the right word, phrase or sentence structure. This usually slows you down or discourages you from going any further. Since you’re not allowed to rationalize what you write, the results of your free writing exercise don’t reveal what you expect. In essence it allows your creativity to roam freely, which is what we need to shine like a diamond that we are.
Free writing helps reveal your writing voice and inspires you with ideas and raw materials you can use for your writing projects. Free writing pushes your unconscious side to reveal new thoughts, ideas or perspectives that you never realized you kept within you.
How to free write
Free writing has only one rule: write fast without thinking. This will give you the freedom to allow yourself to flow with the stream of creativity. This is because writing fast will ensure that your hand writes (or types) faster than your brain can think. This takes your writing out of the zone of your consciousness and permits whatever you had within you to take the lead.
To get started, you need to follow these steps:
- Time yourself so that you stay focused on writing. 10 minutes is enough time to free write.
- Write quickly without stopping until your time is up.
- Let the first word that comes to your mind prompt you to start writing. Don’t think about the right opening sentence. Just work with what comes to your mind and write about it. Even if you have no idea what to write about, write about not having an idea to write about.
- Don’t worry yourself about grammar or spelling mistakes. Messy is allowed. What’s important is the process of writing, not how or what you write.
- Don’t judge, critique or edit your writing. Don’t allow anything to interrupt your flow. All the editing and fine-tuning can be done later.
At the end of the free writing exercise, you’ll be surprised about the deep insights you’ll find in your writing. You’ll be inspired with new ideas on what to write. And most of all, you’ll unleash your creativity.
Do you free write?