One of the biggest challenges on a blogging platform is to keep consistently writing quality posts. The good news is that it’s possible, especially if we take writing not as a shortcut to making money or getting famous but as a way to keep in touch with our loved lifetime partner — our own soul.
Freewriting practice is liberating: you can start anywhere and you are not bound by any rules, you are free from self-censoring or secretly seeking others’ approval. By using a few simple tricks, we block our conscious ego from making judgements for a while, giving space to free expression and opening the flow of treasures hidden in our inner world.
Critical thinking is a very useful and necessary aspect of writing, but not all the time, especially not in the beginning of writing an informal, engaging text like a blog post.
What we really need to create interesting texts is to be interesting persons in the first place. And being an interesting person requires one single thing: being authentic — not rich, not glorious, not fortunate but authentic. Paradoxically, we need to be ourselves to be interesting to the others around us. This is what is our fortune, glory and abundance. Then we are free to build value others are willing to pay for and respect.
What is freewriting?
Freewriting is a writing technique helping to enter creative flow and get access to ideas and knowledge which are otherwise hidden behind the walls of self criticism deep inside our souls. Indeed, freewriting is a first basic step to improve writing.
The essence of freewriting is a commitment to write without any stops for a defined period of time. The goal is to get rid of self censoring and release the natural flow of words revealing our inner reality. it’s especially useful to those who suffer from a habit of constant self evaluating (which is often a consequence of unconsciously seeking others’ approval).
Freewriting is for me much more that just a helpful writer’s tool. It helps me keeping in touch with my inner reality. When I don’t care about being correct or well-perceived, I sometimes get to a deep, hidden spring. My words are flowing freely, and while I am just looking at them without any judgment, small sparkles of golden sand start suddenly appearing.
The instruction, simple as 1-2-3
- Set alarm for a short period of time (5 minutes is fine to start with). You can choose a topic or do without one.
- Write anything that comes to mind without any breaks until the alarm rings.
- After a good break reread the text and mark interesting fragments.
- Write fast, without stopping, rereading or editing, for the time set.
- Don’t focus on possible typos, on grammar, logic, or style. Your main job is to continue writing.
- Use full sentences.
- Write in full detail — describe textures, sounds, smells, but if you’ll be choosing between speed and detail level, choose speed.
Tips and tricks
- Don’t try to make a practical use of resulting texts right in the beginning of the freewriting practice. At this point the most important skill is to get rid of self censoring.
- If you can’t find the right word, don’t stop for it — write a word that first comes to mind even if it isn’t exact — you could easily replace it with the correct one later if needed.
- If you can’t start writing, begin with describing any nearby object, for example your own hands.
- If you can’t think of anything to keep writing, write about it.
- If you are getting bored or feeling discomfort, ask yourself, what is the source of it and write about it.
- If your thoughts are getting wild, it;s a good sign. Don’t stop, just continue writing.
- When reviewing the resulting text, ask yourself how you could use some ideas from it to solve your current tasks.
Freewriting has been popularized by Peter Elbow through his bestsellers Writing Without Teachers and Writing With Power in 1970s and by Julia Cameron through her inspiring book The Artist’s Way in 1990s.
Interested to see how actual (well, slightly edited) freewriting looks? Here’s an example from my blog: Freewriting in a non-native language.