If you write often, you’ll know that there’s times when you won’t feel inspired by the muses to put words down onto the page. You might try writing a few sentences but find you’re still stuck on the same scene as yesterday.
Many writers ask themselves how they can consistently generate ideas without burning out of creativity. You also might be wondering how to keep up with the momentum of working on your writing day after day. After all, it’s challenging to write something new every time you sit down.
Luckily, there’s a writing method that can help you boost creativity and productivity: freewriting. Here’s how freewriting can expand your imagination and encourage your inner creativity.
What is Freewriting?
Freewriting is when you sit down to write without stopping. Someone who freewrites doesn’t use an outline or thinks about what they’re going to write beforehand.
Some writers freewrite by using prompts, writing challenges, or topics. Others freewrite by sitting down with a single idea and writing whatever comes to mind. Know that there isn’t one correct way to freewrite, and your goal with freewriting should always be to generate new ideas by practicing your writing craft.
Freewriting is a great way to get creative because you aren’t attaching any constraints to your writing. All you need to freewrite is a pencil, paper, and a first sentence. When you freewrite, you aren’t worried about what happens next because you’re simply writing whatever your brain conjures in the moment.
The Benefits of Freewriting
The main benefit of freewriting is it takes away the planning process. When you freewrite, you can forget about outlines, character sheets, editing, and focusing on perfect sentence structure. All you’ll need is a paper and a will to work on some writing.
Freewriting can help writers who get stuck in the preliminary writing phases. Some writers will plan for hours but don’t actually work on their writing. This causes them to never explore the next step of their story, since perfectionism stops them from taking a chance in the next part. This is most commonly seen in the writer who keeps rewriting their first chapter.
However, freewriting tells the writer that they should continue without editing or worrying about finite details. Freewriting helps the writer generate something rather than placing them behind outlines or planning phases.
Freewriting should be used as a tool whenever you’re stuck in your story or want to try something new. You can freewrite between writing the chapters of your story to see if you want to try new scenarios or put your characters in a different setting. You can also use freewriting as a way to take a break from your story and make something new. After all, you can always edit later, so why not have fun writing now?
What if you can’t use your freewrites?
When you freewrite, it’s likely you won’t use all your ideas from the writing. However, freewriting helps exercise your brain. You might be able to use some of the writing you’ve made in a piece further down the line.
You can also think about freewriting as practice. Artists will practice their drawing skills by doodling from time to time, so freewriting can be seen as the equivalent for writers. Everything you freewrite doesn’t have to be something you intend on publishing. You should use freewriting as an exercise to find ideas, characters, and plot lines for your writing.
Helpful Tips for Freewriting
Now that you know what freewriting is, you can try out the method yourself. Here’s a few tips to help you get started:
- Set a timer. Make sure that you don’t simply write for five minutes and move on. Try to freewrite for at least a half hour to see where your writing takes you. The longer you freewrite, the more material you’ll have to turn into a possible short story or scene.
- Keep your hands moving. Don’t stop to think about the exact way to phrase something. Freewriting is all about experimenting without perfection. You can always edit your work once you’re done.
- Don’t worry about spelling and grammar. It might be tempting to go back and correct a sentence, but you shouldn’t stop your flow of ideas. The point of freewriting is to continuously write for a set period of time. You can fix the little things later.
- Don’t fear going off topic. Your mind might start to wander and your story could take a different direction. Don’t worry about this since the goal of freewriting is to generate new ideas.
- Use a prompt. If you don’t want to start with an idea from your head, consider using a writing prompt. This can help you have a general topic and overcome the fear of having to immediately master the craft of writing.
You can choose to freewrite as an exercise before you sit down to work on your project or use it when you can’t think of what to do next. After all, freewriting is a tool you should utilize when you need an extra creative boost!
Are you ready to begin freewriting?
If you’re an individual who gets stuck in the planning process, consider freewriting to help build your writing skills. After all, they say it takes 10,000 hours to master a skill, and this can be a step towards producing great written content. Consider adding freewriting sessions before you sit down to write to see if it helps you generate new ideas or scenarios.
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