I’ve got another Micro Post for you! (What’s a Micro Post? Find out here!) Next up:
How Free Writing Can Solve Almost Any Writing Problem
I say “almost” any writing problem because nothing in writing is one hundred percent, but for me, this is pretty close.
Freewriting is an essential part of my brainstorming, but it’s also become my fall back anytime my story isn’t working. I type my drafts and freewriting on paper. I think there’s something organic about this. It takes the screen away and puts me just a little closer to my work. Typically, I’ve found approaching my work differently can make me think about it differently, which can help stimulate creativity.
Beyond that, freewriting has become a good way to keep moving forward when I’m struggling. It lets me work on my story, without the expectations or challenge of making everything “fit.”
Here are some ways I use freewriting:
- I take a time out from drafting if my book feels like it’s headed in the wrong direction. Then, I mentally back up to where the book last made sense and freewrite 5-10 different directions the story could go in–including the direction I was headed. This helps me explore all of my options without committing to it in the draft.
- I freewrite with a focus. Anytime a storyline, character, setting, or any aspect of my story is giving me a hard time or just seems to be lacking, I freewrite with a focus on that area. I make sure these are unstructured and stream-of-conscience. These types of freewrites help me to explore details and corners of an idea that hadn’t occurred to me before. There’s something about writing these thoughts down that forces solutions to the surface in a way that “just thinking about them” doesn’t.
- I write something totally unrelated. Changing gears often gives me a mental break and sticking with freewriting keeps the new idea from feeling too serious.
As always, I hope this helps!
Don’t forget to sign up for my newsletter. You’ll get a bi-weekly email with posts like this one (plus a handful of email exclusives) delivered directly to your inbox!
Now it’s your turn: Have you found freewriting to be helpful? Do you have your own fallback when you’re struggling? Tell me about it in the comments. If you have any tips to share, you can leave them there as well!