Free writing is an essential tool to any writer. It is an important practice that helps to improve your ability to write, encourages you to listen to your thoughts and to write with more confidence. It is also a fantastic way to warm up before knuckling down to tackle your current project!
Joel Friedlander explains the concept of free writing in his article “Unleash Your Creativity Now: How to Freewrite” quite well. Free writing is a simple and effective tool to help warm up and stretch your creative muscle! It releases all those pent up ideas and stray thoughts in your head so you can approach your writing project with a clear mind and an easy flow of words.
How to “free-write”:
Like any pre-writing warm up it is important to set a time limit. 10 minutes is a good length of time; however if that seems too daunting to begin with then try 5 minutes.
Set your timer and start writing. Write non-stop until you run out of time. Do not stop to edit, plan or correct. Just keep your hand moving the whole time. Write whatever thoughts pass through your head. If you cannot think of anything to write, then just write that over and over again until something else pops into your head. Write poorly, it doesn’t matter. You don’t need to worry about punctuation, spelling, grammar, margins, paragraphs, word choice or messiness. Just keep your hand moving. There is no right or wrong, no good or bad. It is just a way to get the words flowing, to help you move pass any barriers in your mind and get your thoughts out.
Another way of free writing is a more directed approach of picking a topic. You can utilize a word or topic from your word jar, or pick a topic such as a recent trip, a pet, a holiday, work, a photograph etc. Once you have picked your topic, set your timer and off you go! Once again, don’t let your hand stop; keep the words and thoughts flowing and let your inhibitions go.