Freewriters enjoy their writing time more than writers who stop and think. Writing without stopping brings the flow state. Their writing time is dramatically more productive than writers who insist on stopping and waiting until they have their next good idea.
This increased effectiveness has another benefit: Because freewriters know how to write without stopping, they have more spare time than writers who stick to the old write-and-stop style. It becomes a virtuous circle: because they know their writing will not intrude on their personal time, they trust themselves to dive fully into the depths of the creative process whenever they feel like it.
The bottom line: Freewriting is more enjoyable than the write-and-stop method.
When you enjoy what you’re doing, it flows better. Better ideas come.
You are more fueled, motivated, juiced for the dirty work.
If a particular writing project requires a kind of hard work, the freewriter is game. Heavy lifting feels good. The more, the merrier. Bring it on.
Freewriters know how to churn it out because they know how to get over themselves.
Not everything you write will be good. THIS IS TRUE WHETHER YOU WRITE SLOWLY OR WHETHER YOU WRITE FAST.
In my life, there were months when I did not write very much because I was very critical about only writing good stuff when I felt inspired.
Was that slow stuff better?
Definitely not. Not consistently.
Any writing, whether written fast or slow, is sometimes good, sometimes bad.
People have this scarcity mentality around creativity that when you produce more, it will automatically water things down. They believe that if you write a lot, you will lower the bar on how good that writing can be.
That is just not true. It’s not purely about quantity. Actually, quantity helps.
It’s about grabbing the flow state by the horns and riding the waves.
I don’t know about you, but I wan to be big enough that I can roll with whatever happens during the process and come out the other end shining.
Sometimes banged up and messy, sometimes really confused. But always shining.
In my experience, writing without stopping gets me into a more nourishing and vital creative place than any other kind of writing.
No need to hope for the happenstance, to sit idly and wait for the muse, or to struggle and strain at the desk.
When you become a freewriter, that stuff is all gone.
Waiting for the right idea just doesn’t help. Straining doesn’t need to be a part of your process.
So why do we struggle? Admittedly, it’s not always easy. It can be excruciating. Writing — especially writing nonstop — can really put your own personal problems right there into the arena.
But it’s also a great way to deal with them as well as learn to be OK with not being perfect.
The thing is this — the fact that we struggle doesn’t mean we need to identify with the struggle. It’s not a problem to struggle.
It’s totally natural.
So let’s take a step back here. We’re trying to do something really strange and magical. We are using linear shapes formed into letters, combining those into sequences of words that more or less automatically we know how to read and interpret and spontaneously use as bridges to experience.
With words, we learn things, distill ancient wisdom, create amazing fantastical journeys. All with symbols and spaces.
It’s understanding that it feels a bit contrived sometimes.
We have access to a full realm of experience — all the senses are available. Anything we can imagine we can give shape to and share it with someone else — maybe millions of people — maybe it will endure for years or even centuries.
The most direct way to bridge this is to engage the flow state.
Not by passively hoping that it will happen by some benevolent wishes of a fickle muse, but because we lean into the experience of writing without stopping, actively presencing ourselves as we do so. Being present, feeling what we feel, and listening for what wants to come our way.
Engage freewriting with a goal or an intention in mind
Writing without stopping sounds hard, but it can be done simply and effortlessly.
Effortlessness comes from the absence of judgment. Withhold the critical impulse until the later phase.
Criticism is not bad. The critical drive is awesome when it comes time to organize, rearrange, clarify, revise and polish.
If freewriting is totally free, how can you be sure you will achieve your intent?
Whether we achieve our intent depends partly on a few factors.
Not all goals are achievable in a single go. Maybe yours is a big goal and so really what you need to do is engage the process repeatedly.
Whether we achieve our goals depends on how fully we commit to the process.
If you space out or fight battles with yourself, maybe something great will come from that … or maybe not. Hard to write something intended for someone else when you’re working out your personal problems.
So how do we know what flow to follow when freewriting?
Give space to where the most life is. If you’re struggling with a personal problem but you really feel the spark of an idea forming about your romance novel, then follow the spark, letting go of your personal question until later.
Nothing says you have to address everything. The stream of consciousness in writing is such that only one thing can really be done at a time.
Also, be mindful of your baseline of energy. It’s possible to write well when you feel lousy, but we would do well for our own physical longevity and the well-being of a regular writing practice if we responsibly steward our own energy, doing things that are supportive and life-giving and abstaining from things that are draining.
Freewriting can be a one-off activity, but it is also a process. The more you do it, the more it can work for you.
If you freewrite continually and regularly, you are more likely to see positive results based on your efforts.
Practice makes perfect, and freewriting is a practice that reaps rewards the more you do it. The more you bring who you really are to the page, the more you are able to write clearly, in your own voice, naturally, as you are.
It becomes a natural extension of who you are. Part of you identifies as a writer, or at least someone who wants to write something. Rather than see your goal as something that may or may not be able to happen, you can engage the practice of freewriting to form a reliable connection with the flow state. Words and meaning can flow more naturally whenever you want simply by engaging the process.