/What is free writing? 6 steps to unlock your creativity

What is free writing? 6 steps to unlock your creativity

If you have been lacking in creativity in your writing and work, freewriting can be a technique to help you get back on track.

You may have wondered what freewriting is, how it works, and how you can use it to unlock new levels of creativity in your brain.

The main idea behind freewriting is that you have all this creativity hidden behind your conscious brain. Our conscious brain can be a mental bully telling you that your ideas are silly or what you have to say isn’t interesting, so freewriting is a technique that gets your conscious brain out of the way so you can tap into your inner creativity and flow. .

Often we want the writing to be perfect, we never focus on getting started. If you relate to that, freewriting might be perfect for you.

We’ll go over all of the above so you can use this helpful practice to put a little creativity back into your writing.

What is free writing?

Free writing was popularized by Julia Cameron in her book the path of the artist. It’s also a great book for writers and creatives, so definitely add it to your reading list. However, many writers have mentioned the use of freewriting and it has been a popular practice for a long time.

The idea behind freewriting is that you have all these clever, brilliant ideas and creative thoughts behind your conscious mind that always get in the way.

Your mind can get in the way, stress you out, give you imposter syndrome, or think about other self-limiting beliefs.

When you write freely, you let your thoughts flow. Access your subconscious by letting the words flow from you as a stream of consciousness and let whatever comes your way out through your pen.

Why free writing helps creativity

Unlike mind mapping or brainstorming, where you try to format your thoughts into something usable, the goal of freewriting is not to focus on structure or form and just let it all flow out of your brain at the same time. time.

You sit down, set a timer, and keep writing no matter what, even if the words don’t make sense.

For most of us writers, when we expand our thoughts, we also think about sentence structure, grammar, punctuation, and more.

With freewriting, it may seem counterintuitive, but you want to forget all the writing rules you know and just let the ideas flow from you. It doesn’t matter if it’s just one word over and over again or whole brilliant thoughts.

You don’t need to stick to a fixed topic or cover a particular topic, just do it if it feels right.

Free writing also helps a lot to break writer’s block. Simply putting words on a page again can help you get through whatever you’re currently stuck with.

If you’re someone who struggles not only with writer’s block, but also with being overly self-deprecating or writing anxiety, freewriting can be a way to help you uncensor yourself and let your ideas flow.

How to write freely

The main way to practice freewriting is to start writing and keep writing, no matter what thoughts or ideas come to mind. Just let them flow out of your mind and through your writing tools.

Before you begin, you’ll want to set aside at least 30 minutes on your calendar. You’ll also want to choose the tools you prefer, whether on paper or on a computer.

How to practice free writing

Let’s go over how you can start writing freely and start using this amazing practice.

#1 – Choose your writing tools

It is up to you if you want to type for your free writing exercise or if you want to write by hand.

Handwriting may be the preferred method because you’re creating a kind of mind/body connection with the pen, but not everyone works like that.

You can try both methods to see which is better for achieving a flow state.

#2 – Start writing

More than anything, you don’t want to start overthinking your writing process. The goal of this is to start typing for a set amount of time and not stop.

You want to put pen to paper and start writing about whatever is on your mind. Even if it’s “I don’t know what to write,” keep writing that over and over again until some kind of different thought occurs to you.

You can even repeat the same word over and over again if you can’t think of something to write, but you shouldn’t stop. The goal is to keep letting the ideas flow and flow and flow for the allotted time.

#3 – Take a break

After typing for five straight minutes, you need to take a break. Read everything you’ve written and think about it a bit.

Then, repeat the writing cycle for five minutes and take a break two more times.

You may want to try a variety of times to see if some work better for you than others. For example, maybe you write for ten minutes straight instead of five.

#4 – Don’t be angry with what you write

Keep in mind that the first few freewrite sessions can be terrible. They can be frustrating, difficult, and you might hate everything you write.

It will take some time to get over that initial struggle and you can always waste your first few tries, but you need to keep going to see the benefit.

#5 – Stick with it

Much of what you write at first will be logical thinking and “regular” thoughts, such as things you have to do or the weather. The real magic comes when you keep going and start to get past those initial thoughts.

Many people say they can’t see results until they start doing it for a few days or after a few weeks. The most important part is that you go ahead and do the practice.

It can also help to keep your writing exercises loose because you can see similar themes and ideas when you look back on what you’ve written.

Please note that you can choose to burn or discard your freewriting exercises if you are concerned that someone will read them and you want the peace of mind that you have it all to yourself. There is usually no right or wrong way to do these things.

You’ll see the best results if you write freely every day, but every time you do it is better than not doing it at all.

#6 – Use free writing for certain topics

Once you get into the habit and general idea, you can use freewriting to focus on certain topics or explore things you feel stuck with.

If you are writing a bookthis might be the time for you to free write what might happen in the next chapter.

Having an idea can also get you started if you really get stuck with your freewriting, but do what works best for you.

Once you get better at freewriting, you’ll love the freedom that comes with letting your thoughts flow completely without judgment.

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