Is writing hard for you? Do you avoid it for any reason that comes to mind? If this is you, then your day of freedom has come. Free writing is the answer!
It is a truth that writers write, but it is also a truth that writers avoid writing at times. The reasons are as common as they are far-ranging. Except in the rarest of occasions, the reasons actually turn out to be plain old excuses scantily clad in sheep’s clothing.
Writing tips abound, and rightly so. The methods and practices used to improve writing skills are limited only by imagination and dedication. However, free writing is very nearly a perfect tool for advancing and mastering your writing challenges.
Free Writing: What Is It?
In its simplest form, free writing is simply writing freely.
• Thoughts free from judgment
• Words free from the grammar police
• Ideas free from self-censorship
• Writing free from the internal editor’s stern rebuke
• Free expression of innermost thoughts and feelings
• Flow of thoughts free from any specific purpose or direction
• Free expansion of ideas into larger proportions of possibility
The descriptive list goes on forever, but are you beginning to see the gist of what free writing is?
Free Writing: How To Do It?
One nice thing about free writing is that it is not a horrific over-taker of your time. While some writing practices require a bit of thought and structure, this one…not so much. All you really need to practice free writing are your favorite paper and writing instrument and about 15 minutes of your day.
Yes, paper and the writing instrument of your choice. It doesn’t matter what kind on either count. What is important is that you are not using an electronic device such as a tablet or computer or phone. There is a connection that happens between your heart and your hand when you write that is absent when typing on a device. That connection is your goal.
You are free writing in order to elude the surface chaos and absurdity that tries to filter you away from your authentic voice. That connection is the way to cut through the junk and hit the pay dirt of your real thoughts.
Yes, you’re looking at 15 minutes a day. That’s not much time, but, boy, it sure is valuable! You can always give more time to your free writing, say 30 minutes a day. But 15 minutes is the minimum to spend there.
Notice the words a day. For free writing to be most effective, you have to spend time doing it every day. That’s a very important part of the writing exercise. By making that self-connection every day, you are opening pathways to writing freedom that you will not find on a random schedule.
When I get up in the mornings, my day starts out with pretty much the same routine. After I finally can declare myself officially awake and conscious from sleep, this is where I go.
What my free writing looks like.
1. Open the blinds in the living room and kitchen area
2. Make a cup of delicious coffee or hot tea, depending on my mood
3. Get comfy in my favorite chair (usually with the cat on my lap for the first few minutes)
4. Have a short conversation with the cat and affectionately move her into a non-annoying place or position
5. Grab my yellow legal pad (I prefer college-ruled ones, but…whatever)
6. Pick up my all-time favorite pen
7. Set the timer on my phone for 30 minutes (nope, 15 is not long enough for me!)
8. Put pen to paper and write whatever random thoughts are in my mind as quickly as possible with no thought at all other than getting as much out of me onto the paper as possible before the timer goes off
9. I may never go back and look at it again. Sometimes I will. It’s smart to hang on to these writings because they may hold tidbits or big segments to use in other, more important writings. ( I just keep mine for that reason.)
That is what free writing looks like to me every day.
This writing practice has been part of my daily schedule for twenty years or longer. It is a very useful and enjoyable part of my day.
When I first started doing this, I didn’t even have a name for it. I did it because I wanted to clear my head of distracting thoughts. What was down inside my mind and heart that seemed so difficult to access, let alone express?
Free writing works for me. It will work for you, too. It is easy, inexpensive, and not a time-stealer. I am so bold as to say that anyone—even you—has 15 minutes to commit to this worthwhile writing practice!
Free Writing: Why You Need To Do It
The benefits of this daily writing practice are many. The list is probably endless, but there are 5 specific rewards that I am focusing on here.
#1—Create an ongoing and consistent writing practice.
This routine is invaluable in helping you become a serious writer. Like I said before, writers write! Developing the habit of writing something every day is like flexing a muscle. Over time it becomes strong enough to function even in less than ideal conditions.
#2—Increase your authenticity awareness.
Free writing brings you back in touch with the real you. It’s easy to take on influences from the outside that bury who you truly are. Writing with all the rules and limitations off brings you face-to-face with yourself, with who you are, how and what you think and believe. This practice gives you permission to write from your authentic self.
#3—Develop boldness to express your truth.
The more closely you experience your authentic self through free writing, the bolder you get in expressing your authentic truth in other writings. This is invaluable as you work toward sharing what is truly important to you.
#4—Toss your internal trash.
There is lurking within you a plethora of thought trash—junk thoughts that don’t serve you at all. They play over and over in your mind every time you sit down to write or even think. They’re like a bad song stuck in your head that you can’t seem to remove, so you sing it all day. Free writing diminishes this trash to nothing; it clears your head!
#5—Get past your past.
In the same way that trash thoughts hang out in your mind, your past haunts you like an ugly ghost (not that there are pretty spooks). Painful, demeaning memories wrap themselves around your “now”, trying to keep you in the fog of past defeats and sorrows. Free writing is an excellent ghost-buster that puts your past behind you where it belongs. It’s over. It’s okay to move on.
Free Writing: What’s The Conclusion?
Of all the writing practices available today, free writing has the greatest potential to impact your life and improve your writing skills. It holds the key to reconnecting and keeping you connected to the authentic person you are. What is written in these “no-rules” exercises pours forth in the freedom to express your true thoughts and purposes with greater clarity and boldness.
In the familiar words that we all know…just do it!
Contact me for help writing your blog content or book. Your writing project is important and worth doing well!
Thank you & God bless!