Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Free Writing: A Tip

You've probably heard this term before, but if you haven't...

Free Writing (according to Sunny Smith): the act of writing without inhibitions and/or without a solid purpose in mind. Writing words as they come to mind.

There are two parts of free writing in my mind.
1. Writing without inhibitions. Turning off your inner editor
2. Writing without a plot, just whatever comes to mind.

Some people swear by the second part of free writing, and think it is the end all be all of writing. They believe their best work comes from free writing. Think the "pantser" method of writing a story. Do I think my best writing comes from writing a story with plot that's made up as I go, with no real direction? Probably not.
For me, I find that writing without a clear purpose in mind, just ends up being more work in the long run.

However, I can't deny the value in first definition of free writing -in the sense of writing without inhibitions- especially when it comes to breaking a writer's block. After all, you can't edit a blank page.

The tip that I wanted to mention today goes with that first definition of free writing: writing without inhibitions. I believe I read it in some writing magazine (probably Writer's Digest). The tip is this: if you are having trouble writing, cover your screen with a towel or book and start typing your story. Just write and allow yourself to be terrible without looking at the screen.

I gave this method a try before I wrote up this post and found it oddly freeing. There was spelling mistakes and words that ran together, but it didn't really matter. The content was there and ready to be edited when I got to that stage.

So if you're feeling "blocked", try out this method and see if it works for you. Even if you just do it for a few minutes, it will get you in the free writing mood that will ultimately get you further with your story then trying to perfect everything the first time around.
Have you got any free writing methods? Did you try out this one? Let me know in the comments.

What I'm Reading: Rebel Hearts by Moira Young
What I'm Listening to: Josh Garrels
What I'm Watching: Arrow


  1. Ooh, this is good. I might use this trick sometimes! For me, the hardest thing is just to write that first word and stop procrastinating.

    1. You're so right on the first word being the hardest. I am a total procrastinator as well. Glad that you found that tip as helpful as I did!

  2. Haha you do end up with lots of spelling errors :) for me writing without inhibitions is like brainstorming, and I am usually too caught up in staring at a picture or envisaging a scene in my head to look at a screen.

    1. Haha, that's a really neat way of writing-staring at a picture that is. It's always a good idea to visualize your scenes in your head.

  3. I've never heard of that idea, I like it. The next time I get bad writer's block I am going to try it

  4. I love typing without being able to see what I'm typing! I change my font to size 2 and then type. It's just so fascinating for me to see the little lines scramble along the page, usually followed by tons of green and red lines. Haha.

    1. Also, my "writer's block" is often cured by free writing. There tends to be some emotional block that I just need to write through.

    2. Ditto on writer's block! The size two trick is a good one! I might have to try that as well.


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