Writer’s block is often frustrating when a writer succumbs to it, especially since it can strike at any moment and last for any length of time. Ideas become scarce, and those that do surface are difficult to flesh out and expand upon. Thankfully, there is a simple trick to get the ball rolling in the right direction: free writing. Free writing is a way to beat writer’s block. Also, it can help you focus your ideas, sort out rambling thoughts, and improve writing.
Free writing is a writing exercise in which you sit down and write. It is that simple. Here are a few tips for starting a ridiculously easy, yet incredibly effective, free write:
- Sit at your computer with a blank writing document open on the screen or grab a pen and pad with fresh paper. Choose the method most comfortable for you, not what is most convenient. For me, using pen and paper is preferred; it is more personal.
- Set a timer for a specific amount of time. Anytime between 5 to 10 minutes is decent while 15 to 20 is better. Interruptions need to be minimal, so pick a time frame that works best.
- Choose a topic to write about. This is a great way to channel your thoughts and narrow your focus. However, to open yourself to broader ideas, refrain from choosing a specific topic. Allow any and all ideas to flow no matter how insignificant they may seem at first.
- Start writing. Write about any and everything that comes to mind, the faster the better. Whatever you do, do not stop writing. And, yes, you should continue even if you have nothing to say. If that happens, write about not having anything to write about. It may seem silly to do so, but the idea is not to overanalyze your words. Just write them.
- Do not fret over punctuation and grammar. By getting caught up on writing grammatically correct sentences, you are not really free writing. This goes back to overanalyzing , which you do not want to do. The purpose is to let your mind roam free, even in the confines of a specific subject.
- When the time ends, stop, read, and glean the gems you may find within. Whether a word, phrase, idea, or a sentence, something may stand out.
Free writing is a truly liberating exercise. You never know what may be lurking in the dark recesses of the Imagination. By exploring and writing without restrictions and the confines of proper grammatical structure, you open yourself up with ideas you may not have considered otherwise.