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I recently did a lot of research on writing because I wanted to make sure I am writing clearly and effectively, since I started this blog. I rediscovered free-writing as a technique, and have found it useful in many different ways. It is a great way to get feelings, emotions, thoughts and ideas out of your head. For me it is a good technique for journaling, or writing about recently recovered memories.
Here is a quick rundown of the technique I use:
- Write the topic at the top of the page -OR- keep an open mind and have no specific topic
- Time your writing for 5 to 20 minutes and do not stop writing!
- Form no opinions about what you write, and remember it is alright to get off subject
- Do not criticize, cut, scratch out, or revise your work in any way…just keep writing
- Write without worrying about:
- Proper structure or incomplete sentences
- Punctuation, grammar or typos
Tips on describing from memory:
Take the topic you are going to write about and picture it in your mind. Imagine that you are close enough to touch the topic. What do you feel as you are imagining the object/person/topic you are going to describe? Use these thoughts to generate a free-writing. Write every detail about the topic that you can remember.
When your time is up, read what you have written out loud, deleting anything obsolete as you go along, such as “I can’t think of what to write.” Note any patterns that emerge. Circle any surprises, draw arrows connecting ideas or themes: identify those passages, ideas, or phrases that you like.
Tips & Tricks:
- A good way to avoid wanting to edit free-writing is to turn off your computer screen so that you cannot see the words that are being typed
- Use a timer with an alarm and turn it so you cannot see it
- Create a relaxing environment, such as listening to music to help your mind relax
- If you are having trouble starting, write what you are feeling directly through your senses. Hot or cold? Hungry or tired? etc.
- Try to write something – anything – every day
- Remember, thinking is not required!