What is Freewriting?
It’s not, really. But through this process, people often end up writing things that give them, and others, goosebumps. In a good way.
How Do You Freewrite?
I find it best to start with a timer. Generally, I choose a writing time between 5 and 20 minutes. Shorter than five minutes won’t get you far, even five minutes is a bit short, but I find that more than 20 minutes can be too much. With the longer time, it’s easy to forget what you’re doing and go get a cookie instead of writing.
- Set your timer.
- Start writing. Don’t let your pen stop moving.
- Write about anything that pops into your head. If you think you don’t have anything to write, write “I don’t know what to write” over and over again until different words start coming out of your pen.
- Keep writing. Ignore spelling errors and grammar, just shovel words onto the page. They don’t have to make sense. Just keep writing more words, without stopping.
- When you hit another wall where you think you can’t come up with any more words, keep writing anyway. Write the words that sound wrong. Write the words that make you want to hesitate. Just get the words out of your head and onto the paper.
- Keep writing till the timer stops.
That’s it. It’s that simple, and it’s that challenging.
What are the Benefits of Freewriting?
1. A freewriting practice allows you to separate the editing process from the creating process.
2. Freewriting is a practice that helps you overcome the need for perfection in your earliest drafts.
3. Freewriting can reveal thoughts and ideas that you didn’t realize were percolating under the surface, and get you more in touch with your own thoughts
4. The process of freewriting is often a catalyst for inspiration and increased creativity, especially when done as a regular practice.
5. It is often possible to gain some clarity and perspective on a troubling issue while freewriting.
6. Freewriting can be a form of release, of letting go of bottled-up thoughts and emotions.
This whole process is meaningful and useful for creatives, but also valuable for dealing with everyday life.
If you have a freewriting practice, I’d love to hear how it’s working for you. Share your tips and triumps, and any frustrations you have with the practice as well.
If you’ve never tried it – I dare you. Tell me how it goes.