I have been free writing for over a year — usually 750 word limit, which amounts to 3 pages of writing.
When I first started free writing, I had no idea what to write or how to write. I strongly believed I should only write if I had very good article in my mind. But I was wrong.
Here are the tips I piled up over time to start free writing:
1. Mind Dump: Write whatever you want. It can be about anything and everything that comes into your mind. Just let your creativity flow. Maybe you have bagels in your mind, maybe Football, maybe some weird feelings.
2. Uncensored: Free writing is about getting all your thoughts out of your head. So it is not supposed to be edited or censored in any way.
3. Clear Your Mind: Don’t leave any thoughts behind. When you write for a long time, you tend to get lots of ideas. Most of us usually leave them out. Don’t do that. Write even if it takes a little longer than your usual time.
4. Don’t stop: Don’t stop until you reach your time limit or certain word count. You set that up before you start writing.
5. Going Out of Things to Write Syndrome: If you don’t have anything in your mind or go out of things to write, write that you don’t have anything in your mind. Write that you’re trying to think what to write. If you still go out of things to write, explain the environment. Explain the day. Whatever.
Here’s my example of going out of things to write syndrome, and how I deal with it: “It’s Thursday morning, and the sun is shining. The weather is good. Yes, the weather is good…. I have been writing the same thing for a long time, now I think I don’t know what to write. Quick brain! Help me! Give me some ideas. Ideas are still not coming. Oh no! But whatever, I’m not slowing down. I’ll keep writing. Even if it means writing just the dots ………. Just write. Don’t stop.”
6. Don’t Decrease Your Pace: Your pace will be like 80 WPM and then 60 WPM and then 20 WPM and then you finally start to stop. But don’t stop! Our main goal is not to write a good article. Our goal is to free write. Don’t think or do anything until you hit your word count or time limit.
Over time, you’ll find that it’s very helpful exercise to get your thoughts going that have become stuck, or to help you express your feelings into words.
At first, you’ll find it very difficult to sync your fingers with brain. With practice, you’ll start to master it and be able to write whatever you have in your brain.
1. Increased Typing Speed: I have increased my typing speed drastically through free writing. It’s like a typing practice as well.
2. Clear Mind: I usually think a lot. And every thought is cluttered in my brain. So, writing has helped me remove them and bring it into words.
3. Express Feelings Clearly: I can now explain my feelings semi-clearly. Semi-clearly because I still feel like I can’t explain my feelings into words properly. Being able to semi-clearly express my feelings is a huge milestone for me. Some years ago, I couldn’t even get the gist of my feelings in writing. I hope to improve this through free writing with time.
4. Lots of Ideas: I have been unconsciously exercising my brain to bring out ideas. If I go out of ideas, then I won’t be able to write. As soon as I get stuck, the ideas flow out of my head.
Free writing is merely a mind dump. Write whatever you want, however you want. Don’t censor your thoughts. The upside is huge compared to the time you spend doing it.
There’s no reason to not start free writing today!