Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Wednesday Writing: Free Writing

You may be catching on to my new trend: a schedule!  There will be recurring theme days each week, so you're guaranteed at least three posts a week (for now, anyway).  This isn't to say that unthemed posts will stop, but it does mean that at least three times a week I'll be giving you new work/ideas/etc.  Hooray for structure!

Wednesdays will be all about writing itself.  I don't want to just throw my writing at you, I'd like to be helpful too!  I'll explain my methods, my advice to other writers, and focus on the art of writing on Wednesdays.  I'd love to take requests, too: If you have a specific problem, leave a comment or email me at and I'll do my best to help you out!  I'm not an all knowing writing goddess (maybe demigoddess though), so if I can't answer you on my own, I'll take the time to confer with others who possess greater wisdom than mine to help solve your problem.  'Cause we're tight like that.

Starting Out....

Sometimes the hardest part about writing is getting those creative juices flowing in the first place.  I don't know about you, but once I get started it's almost impossible to stop.  Once I get started being the key phrase.  I have a few favorite ways to jump start things when I feel the urge to write but can't put anything on the page or the screen.  Today I'll cover one of my favorites:

Free Writing: Just. Write.  It really is that simple.  Set a timer, sit down, start writing, and don't let your hand stop moving until the timer goes off.  Don't worry too much about what you're writing.  Don't worry at all if it's grammatically correct--breathe, deep breaths, and keep writing.  I like to start out with some kind of writing prompt, but you can go with whatever is in your head.

If you run out of ideas, just write, "I don't know what to write I don't know what to write what the heck am i doing i really don't know what to write right now geez when is this timer going to go off seriously it's been forever didn't i only set that thing for five minutes..." Or something like that.  Just keep going until your brain wanders into something else.

Okay, so your timer finally went off and you've got five minutes worth of absolute gibberish written down, right?  Maybe.  Read through it.  You may have absolute gold in there, you just need to pull it out and refine it.  Maybe a little, maybe a lot.

Or it might be complete crap.  That's okay!  Now you've written a bunch of crap, gotten the bad writing out of the way, cleared the pipes (so to speak), and you can get down to writing the good stuff!  It took me a long time to realize that it's okay to write crappy stuff sometimes.  We've all got it in us, we just have to get rid of it in the right place.  Like in a free write.

Now, I personally prefer to do my free writes by hand, writing on actual paper.  Maybe in a notebook, three ring binder, whatever.  I like to use a pen, too.  Pencil is too tempting to go back and erase, and so is typing.  It's too easy that way.  Writing it out by hand in pen helps me feel the flow of the words.

One final piece of advice on free writes: keep them.  Sometimes it takes a while to realize the value of what you wrote.  Keep your writing together somewhere, and look over it occasionally.  Today you may think everything on the page is junk, but after some time you just might discover an amazing diamond in the rough.

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