The Advantages of Free Writing
A Foolproof Technique
What is Free Writing?
Free writing is a technique in which you write almost without thinking. You take all of the ideas in your head, no matter how crazy, silly, or weird they are, and you continue writing, without stopping. Sometimes this technique is used as a way to brainstorm or to get rid of writers block, and it has been known to be very effective for these purposes.
Advantages of Free Writing
Imagine your mind is like an internet browser with a million tabs open. You don't even know where to start or how to form your ideas. Free writing is a way for you to write the first things that come to mind without having to even worry about the order, context, or purpose of what you are writing. Simply put, free writing is writing for the sake of writing.
If you have ever experienced writers block, you know the challenges that many writers face on a daily basis. Sometimes you have an idea, or a thought, but you just can't manage to get it out on paper and form it into a sequence that anyone would understand. The main thing to know is that it is absolutely okay to struggle. Most writers struggle with this many times in their careers, and there is absolutely no shame in it.
The reason that free writing is called free writing is because of the fact that you have total and absolute freedom to write what you want to write, and to think what you want to think. Your brain is this giant information highway and your only objective is to turn those thoughts into words on the page. You have the advantage of being as creative as you want to be with this. There are virtually no rules when it comes to free writing, except that you must not stop writing.
If you are looking to practice free writing for yourself, the best way to get started is to find a comfortable space for you to write in. This might be a quiet environment, or you might work best sitting in front of the T.V. This all depends on what makes you the most comfortable. Once you are comfortable in your environment, set a timer. Try starting at just five minutes and start writing. See how many pages you can fill with thoughts and information in those five minutes. Again, remember, there is no wrong way to do this, and distracted thoughts are actually encouraged. If you start writing about what you did this morning and then all of a sudden a thought pops into your head like "did I remember to turn the burner off on the stove?", write that in! What you should have at the end of those five minutes is a collection of thoughts.
Why Is This Helpful?
When you go back to look at everything you wrote during your free writing session, you might notice that your thoughts seemed to be scattered all over the place. Free writing is almost like a warm-up for your brain. It gives you the time to get all of your scattered thoughts out on the page before focusing in on your writing project or objective for the day. If you are working on a manuscript or some other type of writing project, a few minutes of free writing beforehand can help you clear your mind. This physical act of dumping out your thoughts will help you to refocus your time and energy to the task at hand.
Sometimes in the process of free writing, you might find that you come up with some new and innovative ideas to put towards a project. Use these ideas to your advantage and see what you can come up with as you continue to practice. The more practice and time that you put into free writing, the better you will get. Free writing can also help you strengthen your own organizational skills as a writer. Consider comparing your own free writing notes from when you started to a later date. Think about how your notes may have changes or improved. Do you notice any differences or similarities in your thought patterns? What new ideas does this comparison evoke? Take your time and really think about how this can benefit you as a writer in the long run.
This Is Your Journey
The most important thing for you to remember when free writing is that this is your journey; you are the writer, and you are the captain of your own ship. You get to decide where this will take you, how it will help you, and how you can use this to help you become a stronger writer. Think about all of the ways that you can use free writing in your daily life to help you. Maybe it's just something you are doing to help relieve stress, or maybe you have a big project in mind. Whatever the case, know that your journey as a writer is not the same as someone else's; you get to decide how and when to use your free writing to help you understand important ideas and concepts in your mind. Be creative, be bold, be brave, and most importantly, be you! So, get writing!