SATURDAY 26th October – DAY 2
Freewriting is a way of getting your brain in gear. You usually start with a topic or key word, I started freewriting with ink on paper, but you may prefer to type. The rules remain the same;
DON’T JUDGE yourself
Keep the pen (or keys) moving – doodle if you get a block or just key the same button ,,,,,,,,,,,,,, until the thoughts flow again.
Let the words drift out of you. Don’t worry if they make sense, try to resist re-reading or editing or changing anything.
Freewrites tend to be timed and can be small (5 minutes) or long (15 minutes) – try to write as fast as you can (this will stop your brain getting involved and your inner critic won’t have time to strike up any doubt)!
YOU MUST NOT STOP WRITING!
Don’t worry about making sense or connecting your ideas.
Do not worry if you get completely off subject. Just keep writing. Don’t read, edit or think, allow your sub conscious to write for a while.
Get into the habit, keep doing it, this is one of the reasons we have encouraged you to do a daily morning freewrite to get you into the INKSPILL retreat.
Don’t give up on freewriting after one exercise. Freewriting is like any other kind of mental activity: you will get better at it. The first couple of times you try it, perhaps nothing will come of it. After a few efforts, though, the exercise will become liberating.
When I first came across freewriting (at college in the 90’s) Goldberg’s books were on our reading list. Great reads – thoroughly recommended.
Goldberg, N. (1986).
Goldberg, N. (1990). Wild Mind: Living the Writer’s Life. Bantam Dell Pub Group.
Free writing has these benefits:
- It makes you more comfortable with the act of writing.
- It helps you bypass the “inner critic” who tells you you can’t write.
- It can be a valve to release inner tensions.
- It can help you discover things to write about.
- It can indirectly improve your formal writing.
- It can be fun.
Some final suggestions for free writing:
- Use the writing tool that is most comfortable for you— pencil, computer, or whatever.
- Don’t cross anything out: Write the new idea down; leave the old one.
- Drop all punctuation. That can make your free writing faster and more fluent.
Completing freewriting in the morning has the benefits I have mentioned – your mind and inner critic are as yet, not fully awake. You are more likely to go with the flow and less likely to censor your ideas. Plus what comes out can really surprise and excite you!
Remember if you have any questions ASK them. We will do our best to make the events and ideas behind the techniques and advice as clear as we can.
This website includes further resources including a PDF
again – more links cited on this website
Dana mentions The Artists Way By Julia Cameron who can explain the benefits of morning free writing better than I could.
7 Reasons Morning Pages are nothing short of practical magic.
This website also offers some prompts if you wish to continue freewriting.