Free writing can do a lot more than help you combat writer’s block, although that’s one of its major benefits.

What is Free Writing?

Free writing is a technique used to stimulate creativity and overcome writer’s block. It involves setting a timer for a predetermined amount of time, usually 10-15 minutes, and writing continuously without stopping or editing. The goal is to generate ideas and thoughts without worrying about grammar, punctuation, or coherence. The process is meant to be spontaneous, allowing the writer to explore their subconscious mind and unlock new ideas. Free writing can be used for a variety of purposes, including brainstorming, journaling, or simply practicing writing skills. The key is to let go of any inhibitions and let the words flow freely onto the page.

How Free Writing Combats Writer’s Block

Free writing helps combat writer’s block because it allows you to start writing without staying too attached to what you’re writing and whether it’s perfect, so the pressure is off when you begin writing. When you free write, you might even start writing assuming that most of what you write will be deleted or discarded later anyway, which doesn’t matter because the process of free writing itself is what will help you open your mind and allow you to uncover creative ideas that are just below the surface. You might scrap most of what you write when you free write. But so what? Free writing will get you writing uninhibited and will get you in a more creative mindset.

Use Free Writing as a Form of Therapy

While free writing can be used to generate creative ideas to write about, it can also be used to help you unpack how you feel about something or someone. It can be viewed as a form of therapy– as if you’re writing in a diary. You can free write about what you’re struggling with as you write, for instance, which might help you nail down what’s causing your writer’s block in the first place. Or you could free write about one of your fictional characters, further uncovering how you and the other characters in your work feel about them and what they do and represent. Overall, free writing will help you uncover the emotions, as well as the creative ideas, that are just underneath the surface of your writing.

Decide What to Write Next by Free Writing

If you don’t know what to write at all, start with a free writing exercise. Find a random topic to write about online. The topic doesn’t need to be anything major or profound either. Just look around the room you’re currently in and start free writing about an object you see–start writing about it for ten minutes without stopping and see where what you write leads. Free write about the last text someone sent you. Or the last article or meme you saw in your social media feed. Etc. You can free write about anything and see where it takes you.

Free Writing Leads to Falling in Love with the Process of Writing

The best benefit of completing free writing exercises on a regular basis is that doing so will remind you about the process of writing itself, and that most of what you write will be scrapped or edited, or rewritten eventually anyway. That’s the writing process: rewriting. You should never expect to write something perfectly the first time you try writing it, every single time you sit down to write anything, because that isn’t how the writing process works. You can’t get too attached to anything you write in a first draft because you’ll likely refine and change it in the long run anyway. And that’s the joy of the writing process: that you keep writing and rewriting until it all comes together in some way, shape, or form in the long run.

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