And get your story written!
I wanted to share these tips on free writing as a tried and tested way to enhance your creativity, with added visual prompts for you to put to practice today. This blog is a short one, so you can get back to your writing after a quick, motivational boost.
If you’re new to the term, free writing is when we write without stopping for a set time and on a topic of choice. It’s when we write without stopping to edit or adjust the ideas on the page, even if we make a mistake. We don’t worry about typos, and we don’t worry about grammar – we just write.
Freewriting can be liberating for writers because it removes our mental inhibitions. -it’s our way of unravelling the jigsaw puzzle in our heads and getting clarity on our narrative idea; the tips below will support your spontaneous writing habit.
Tip #1 – Don’t wait for the ‘right’ time to write
Now, you still should set aside time to develop a consistent writing habit – the rules still apply! Life is busy, and you need to treat writing your novel, anthology of poetry or script like it’s your job to make sure you meet your goal and surpass your expectations.
Now, in the context of free writing or a stream of consciousness, when a spark forms an idea, you should embrace this moment outside your existing habit. So, when your idea hits, voice it out loud or repeat what it is a few times – this is part of the transformation from mind to paper.
Then, find your closest writing tool and go!
Tip #2 – Don’t worry about having the ‘right’ notebook
All the tools you need to free write are within your grasp – be it your phone, computer, or whatever can serve as a piece of paper. Don’t procrastinate – write!
To give you an example, I worked in a supermarket as a customer service manager while studying so I couldn’t take my notebook onto the shop floor. But, ever the resourceful writer, I would use the cashier receipt paper for my notes instead! I would transcribe the notes once I got home.
“I kept always two books in my pocket: one to read, one to write in.” — Robert Louis Stevenson
Tip #3 – Practise, Practise, Practise
Now, it’s time to practise.
I like to give students a text or written prompt to focus and collect their thoughts and release a stream of consciousness onto the page in a timed sprint.
Outside of the prompts in this post (see below), you can use a visual image to stir your creativity. You could also harness a memory or place a physical item next to you, or you can start writing the story inside your heart.
Use whatever sets off a spark in your mind and your timer to 20 minutes. Then, just let the words flow.
We practise free writing in my group writing workshops online to catalyse creative flow and in my paid writing programme.
You can also sign up for my newsletter here to find out when the latest workshops, blog posts, and courses are released!
Bonus Tip: Engage with a community of other writers
Community is important when you’re working on a writing project. While you might not share every detail of your project, knowing you are not alone on your journey can help to keep you accountable for your goals. Brainstorming with others can also stimulate a new batch of ideas for you to think about. Join The Reading Room Community page on Facebook here to connect with other writers in progress and be supported on your writing goals.
Need more help?
Sometimes we all need help to get there, and that’s ok. I’ve listed links below directing you to some of my writer support channels, should you want to talk about your story in a safe, trusted space without judgement:
– We can work on specific areas you need to get your story moving with 1:1 support. Have a look at the options in Calendly here.
– Listen to the episodes dedicated to Character Development in The Reading Room Podcast here. You can also take part in the writing exercise at the end to enhance your writing skills.
– Join a Virtual Writing Workshop with me and other writers-in-progress here.
– Be part of our Online Community over at Ko-Fi for upcoming, behind the scenes content, and exclusive access to writing retreat schedules, new courses, and more!
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