In case it hasn’t been obvious, I love writing.
Whether it’s writing about my angst-filled days as an early teen or this one scene I came up where a twelve-year-old girl and an ancient dragon bickered if that huge grey thing is a boulder or Big Bird, writing was, and still is, a great way for me to channel my creativity into something.
But free writing.
Oh boy. That is a deeper and more intimate way in which writing has changed my life.
Good ol’ Wikipedia calls it a prewriting technique in which you disregard spelling, grammar, or topic.
I’ve always thought of it as like freestyle rap, except you’re just writing. (Freakin-genius in English, aren’t I?)
I have relied on it a lot in different aspects of my life this year. Which is why I’ve set myself up into convincing anyone who doesn’t free write to do it. Because I think it might just change yours too 😉
6 REASONS WHY FREE WRITING IS GOOD FOR YOU AND YOUR LIFE
1. You Get to Organize Your Thoughts
I’m the kind of person who has 1,498,257 thoughts running on my mind every second. It can be pretty overwhelming. Like I just can NOT concentrate on doing anything else.
Does that sound like you too?
Does it feel like your mind is this browser with dozens of tabs opened simultaneously and it’s like you, the entire computer, is lagging constantly because how the heck are you going to process all of these???
Is that you?
Alright. Try free writing.
Free writing might just help you organize, even just a little bit, all those thoughts you are on the verge of drowning into. It totally helped me.
When I free write, I have this feeling of gradually letting thought after thought out of my brain. Putting one word after another is like closing those tabs one by one until you have just enough that you can focus on at the moment.
It is incredibly freeing and isn’t that nice? Because it’s called free writing! See what I did there? 😀 (I am so not funny)
2. It Makes You a Better Writer
Free writing helps you put thoughts into words well, right? So it also helps you become a better writer.
I mean, for one thing, it is not called a prewriting technique for show. But like any skill, writing something engaging and compelling takes lots of practice and actually doing some writing. Kristina wrote that it helped her write as many as 1,000 words in 15 minutes.
Let that sink in for a sec. 1,000 words in fifteen. freaking. minutes.
Totally amazing, right??
But free writing doesn’t just help you in the practice aspect of becoming a better writer. Free writing also helps you get into The Flow™. Or The Zone™. Or The Groove™. Whatever floats your boat.
This is when you feel fully immersed and focused on whatever activity you’re doing.
And yes, free writing can help you go to that state of mind while writing. Simply because practicing it helps you to take away compulsive self-analyzing. You might or might not get anything substantial from what you’ve free written. But you cannot forego the fact that it is a great way to flex your writing muscles and, you know, do writing warm-ups.
3. It is Actually Fun!
Sure, maybe that compulsive editor inside of you doesn’t like being in the process of free writing. BUT! Finishing that first draft of a blog post and reading through all of the grammatical errors and typos afterwards?
Which, in my compulsive editor’s view, equals F-U-N.
How else is free writing fun? I’m so glad you asked.
<3 Reading old stuff you free wrote. Do you laugh at how awkward and overdramatic you are in your old diary entries or is that just me?
<3 Knowing you can write better now compared to X years ago. Boost your self-confidence yo!
<3 You don’t have to restrain yourself and overthink every-freakin-thing (which, let’s all agree, dampens the fun out of writing)
4. It is Good for Your Sanity
There has been plenty of research in the fields of psychology and neuroscience on the importance of free writing. And it is also used in counseling and therapy.
I mean. Hello, journalling?
If you’ve read plenty of self-care posts like I have, you’d know journalling is in there at the top of the how to self-care lists. And that is basically one of the best ways to incorporate free writing into your life.
Here are some other ways free writing can be good for your sanity:
+ It’s kind of an art therapy (which we’ll discuss further later)
+ It helps you put jumbled thoughts and emotions into words (as mentioned above) which is great for self-reflection and your mental health.
+ It tires you and that’s kinda like exercise for your arm (and I dunno, for some reason I like good exhaustions. Don’t you?)
+ It’s better than breaking plates and punching a hole on your wall. I mean, you could always write about punching a hole or maybe even turning into a dragon and burning down the next village over and look! No one in real life got physically hurt! Win-win. (Except for those poor villagers. May they rest in peace.)
5. You Become More Productive (writing-wise)
One thing I’ve heard and read a lot on conquering that Horrible First Draft™ is to write now, edit later. Which, I just learned, is an excellent advice for any type of writing; from novels to poetry to technical…and even blog writing.
Practicing free writing can help you from experiencing what Ignited Moth’s post inspired me to call, The Backspace Syndrome. You know, like that backspace key is so tempting to use and you edit and delete as you go? You ever had that?
Hey me too!
So when I feel like the backspace urge is too strong as I’m writing a blog post, I either resort to writing by hand or typing it on my tablet where the urge is usually not that strong and free writing comes more naturally.
End result? I have a finished first draft of blog post! Needs a lot of editing. For sure. But it’s more than a rough outline and I’ve got thoughts and ideas down that only need a bit of refining.
6. Free Writing is Therapeutic
Free writing helps me sort out things that have been on my mind. It’s rather comforting, you know.
Gosh, there were times when free writing became incredibly emotional for me. But, in a way, it was also (well here it is again) freeing. It was just me introspecting and untangling some of my thoughts. Even for just a bit. Like I don’t have to untangle everything, and I usually don’t. But what relatively little that I get untangled and sorted out, is big enough so as to make my life just a bit more bearable.
And that’s honestly what I love the most about free writing.
Do you free write? If so, how has it helped you? Do you have the Backspace Syndrome too? Do you binge-watch TED talk videos like yours truly? Tell me all!!!
PS: If you enjoyed this post, you might like to learn 13 ways to be inspired and pump up your creativity. Just putting it out there 😉