Recently I did a poll on Twitter to find out how many writers use the freewriting technique (I know, scientific research at its finest).
The results came back as expected with most people saying “sometimes” (52 per cent).
But what really interested me were the “never” and “I don’t know what it is” responses.
In my humble opinion every writer should practice freewriting – even if only sometimes.
So here’s a quick guide to what freewriting is, why you should use it and how to do it.
What is freewriting?
Freewriting is a technique where you write whatever comes into your mind without stopping.
No thinking about form or structure.
You can do it for a page, two pages or more.
You can set a timer and commit yourself to continuously writing for five minutes, or however long you want. Even if it means you end up writing “I don’t know what else to say”.
The point of the exercise is simply to keep going.
Why you should embrace freewriting
Freewriting can be used as a creative exercise, like a warm up for the brain. Or as a form of mind clearing.
The former is great for establishing a regular writing practice. And for getting into the flow before starting a big project.
Whereas using freewriting for mind clearing is good for identifying any issues or recurring patterns in your thoughts.
By consciously acknowledging what is rumbling around in your mind and writing it down, you can start the process of dealing with it.
Either way, freewriting is like clearing the clutter so you can sit down to write in a tidy (mind) space.
Freewriting in three easy steps
Freewriting is liberating, especially for people that write professionally.
Give it a try with this three-step guide:
- Decide how long you will write for (two pages, five minutes etc.).
- Start writing whatever comes into your mind.
- Keep going – even if you make loads of spelling and grammar mistakes.
Remember, no one will read your freewriting. This writing practice is for you, so release the inner critic and just go for it.
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