Harness Both Yin and Yang of Freewriting

Most of the learning about freewriting expresses itself as different yang things — active things that you do or focus on or direct your intent towards.

Yet the heart of freewriting is really in the yin of it, the yin being the receptivity and flow of it.

  • Willing rather than willful
  • Allowing rather than directing
  • Receiving rather than closing off to
  • Expanding rather than limiting
  • Exploring rather than constraining

A freewriting exercise is a yang thing that you bring into your place of practice and you use it as a spark to get you going in a given direction.

Once you have the spark, you need something to light. The substance that gets lit is what your yin brings.

The Yin

  • water
  • shadow
  • hollow
  • reflective
  • inward

The Yang

  • fiery
  • sunny
  • exposed
  • shining
  • outward

That’s a bit about about the general feel behind these two halves of the totality: the yin and the yang. Now, I’ll give you an exercise to put this into practice.

Yin/Yang freewriting exercise

Choose something you want to write about. If you want to write a blog article, then come up with a topic that you’re interested in exploring. If you’re working on a novel, then maybe choose one of the characters in the story.

Spend a moment just sitting with that idea. No writing. No acting. Just sitting and ruminating. What might happen is that you get the sense for the idea as the trunk of a tree with many branches. The branches are the various aspects of that central idea. They all relate, and they all head in their own directions.

Sit down and write without stopping for at least ten minutes. Be completely unencumbered and yin with what you write.

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