I absolutely love free writing. I honestly could not rave about it anymore than I do already, it is so useful for so many things. You can use it to help you break free from a writers block, or calm you down when you’re feeling stressed or anxious or if you just have some time to kill. I mentioned free writing briefly in my How to get out of a creative rut post and I thought I would elaborate on it slightly.
I really wanted to share this with you all just in case you’ve never come across it before because it is just so amazing, and so easy to do! All you need is your laptop or phone or if you’re a bit of a technophobe like me then a pen and paper, and a little (but not very much) imagination. If you are using a pen and paper, you can make it bit more fun and use different colour pens and pretty paper – this will definitely help with the relaxation part of it.
This can work anywhere, whether you’re at home or on the train to work, it’s super versatile.
Now all you have to do is write. What do you write about? Well, anything and everything. You put to paper whatever pops into your head, and if you really can’t think of anything then write about your surroundings. Write down what you hear, what you can see and smell. Use all of your senses, and write about it. If you are using this technique as a way of getting out of a writing block then you can artistic, throw some riveting descriptive words in there or if you are using this to work through a panic attack or de-stress then it’s a fab way to bring yourself back to the here and now, a way of grounding yourself. I suppose this could be seen a method of mindfulness which is fab because I love mindfulness. This is super super simple but if you’re still a little unsure then I’ve written an example of free writing below…
“I’m sat in bed, and I’m sitting on toast crumbs from this mornings breakfast. I can hear the cars on the road and the sound of my fingers hitting the keyboard. I’m eating little chunks of apple, but they hurt my mouth because I had a wisdom tooth removed the other day. My mouth is throbbing, it’s only half an hour until I can take some more painkillers. It’s 7pm. The apple doesn’t actually taste very nice so I’m going through the pain of eating it for not much pleasure. I can see the new books I bought today sat on my bed, I went to Wells and Glastonbury with Jamie today and it’s was really hot. I had a Gin and Elderflower cocktail and it went straight to my head because I hadn’t eaten. I just heard someone shouting in the garage across the road from my flat, and I can hear my laptop whirring. I’m quite thirsty, I might go and make myself a coffee but I’m really cozy in bed so maybe not.”
It’s that easy. The whole point of free writing is that you don’t think about what you are writing, you just write. The sentences don’t need to make sense, you don’t need to proof read it and check your spelling. You don’t have to use commas in the right place or make sure your sentences are the appropriate length. First it will feel weird and and unnatural to not sit and construct your sentences correctly and analyze every word choice, but after a few minutes you lose yourself in it and get carried away.
I use this technique so much for so many different reasons, and it’s so fun. So often I find myself having written 10 or so pages without even realizing.
Why don’t you give it a go and see how you find it?