Free writing is probably my favorite part of my whole writing process.
If you’re not familiar with free writing, it’s defined as a simple process that is the basis for other discovery techniques. Basic free writing follows these guidelines:
-write nonstop for a set period of time
-do not make corrections as you write.
-keep writing, even if you have to write something like, “I don’t know what to write.”
-write whatever comes into your mind.
-do not judge or censor what you are writing.
When I was a teenager, I journaled heavily. It was, and still is, my favorite way to “work” through things and clarify what I’m feeling. I was of course dealing with all the typical, heavy, teenage angst-y stuff that most teens dealt with (“finding myself” and things like that) and writing out my feelings really helped. My journal was an indispensable tool for healing.
In my late 20’s I discovered the Artist’s Way and like many, many other writers, I instantly connected with Julia Cameron’s concept of ‘Morning Pages’. Morning pages are exactly what they sound like. You write three pages of longhand, stream of consciousness stuff every day, first thing in the morning. Now I wish I could say I was perfect and did them every day without fail, but I don’t. I do tend to get them consistently done at a rate of about three times per week. But when I do go awhile without doing them, I can feel the difference in my brain and general thought process. I’m definitely clearer when I’m doing my morning pages.
So over my lifetime thus far, I’ve experienced over and over again the power of brainstorming in the form of writing. No matter what, as writers, we need to get our ideas on paper. No matter how crazy or stupid they may sound to your rational side, write them down. Every dream, every scheme, every goal, every story idea, every character. Write. It. Down. You may never use it, but write it down anyway and decided that later. Don’t try to control the thoughts or the narrative.
I can honestly say that I start every project like this. Even a blog post. Including this one.
Here’s a sneak peek into what I wrote during one of my sessions when I was brainstorming opening an online bakeshop (I know, don’t laugh)
You get the picture.
Just get the ideas on paper.
Or on the screen.
Whatever floats your boat.