Freewriting not something that people do because they haven’t learned how to write “properly.” Big kids can freewrite too.
Truly, I would argue that freewriting is a technique that deepens and reveals more of its benefits the more experience you have. That is how it has been for me.
The more a person knows about something, the greater the potential for old clutter getting in the way of new, living ideas.
Picture an old dude sitting on a park bench staring out at the world judging everything that passes. Not all old dudes do that, but you get what I mean. With excessive familiarity, we can easily become stiff and grumpy, closed to new ideas.
When an experienced writer freewrites, they still have all their knowledge and know-how. Everything they’ve ever read or learned or experienced is available to them. They also have a vibrant sense of play and enthusiasm that can spark bonafide new ideas and wham-bam discoveries.
We unlock the awesome by doing something along these lines:
Write without stopping for a specified time or until your project feels complete.
If you freewrite to generate a rough draft, you commit to writing without stopping until you are confident you have enough material to work with. Then, go back through what you have and revise, reorder things.
There will be stuff to add and plenty to remove. It’s the most direct way to write something.
No need to edit as you write. The more experience you gain with freewriting, the more you see how that impetus leaves an imprint on your writing. Stop-and-go writing feels stilted or stopped.
Here, I’m not talking about the way you phrase things, but with regard to how your ideas flow.
Maybe you can get great things done that way. But when I write that way, I feel drained.
I feel energized when I freewrite. It is wild and free and I can really spread my imaginative feelers.
I get to bring all of myself to the table and be spontaneous.
I know of no other more surefire way to build discipline as a writer than to freewrite regularly.
You can freewrite with no theme, using a timer. This is especially great for dumping the half-formed emotions and thoughts we tend to carry around. It’s also fantastic for generating ideas and engaging a powerful inner momentum that can help you feel lighter and freer throughout the day.
You can freewrite with a topic in mind and write until it feels like you have enough.
Do this, then invite your inner critic to the show. The critic’s job is to honor the vitality and mystery of the creative word.
[The creative power] is life itself. It is the Spirit. In fact it is the only important thing about us. The rest of us is legs and stomach, materialistic cravings and fears.Brenda Ueland
How could we keep it alive? By using it, by letting it out, by giving some time to it.
Freewriting is a way of getting to know yourself that can happen even when you aren’t driving at it. You can be freewriting to finish a report for work and the process can give you a magical few minutes of emotional catharsis along the way. As you freewrite to develop material for that report, you also have the opportunity to dump whatever you happen to be feeling and thinking. Stuff that is unrelated to that is neverthless present to you.
It happens all the time that the ideas and feelings we carry around are actually covering up something really interesting. All we need to do is let them go, let things move. Get it onto the page and see what else can come.
Freewriting gives everyone a much-needed opportunity to be more real with themselves and by extension to engage with others from a more grounded place. To approach their work with less resentment or unresolved personal issues.
To be a truly vital writer, we must be in harmony with what we produce. It simply doesn’t suffice to psych ourselves up for what feels like obligation and drudgery. When we let our real feelings be there, we can learn form them and move through them.
Blocks can resolve in layers. We peel it back then coming to a creative solution. Maybe it surfaces again, and we trust the process.
The more we can find openings, the more we experience freedom. Our preconceived notions keep us closed. Things do not need to be so locked down in advance.
If you have a project that you need to finish, you may start freewriting on it and discover that things can actually go much better a different way.
These lessons can only come when you are open to the flow of things, when you are in touch with a part of you that is big enough to trust, to embrace change and let things grow or evolve as needed.
What we are after is the bigger picture, the long term. The deeper truth.