Set the timer for 10 minutes. Put your pen on the paper and write whatever pops into your head. No erasing, no editing. You are tapping into your inner dialogue. You are free-writing.
No stopping to think- just let it flow. If you get stuck you can always write the same word over and over. Try not to judge anything that is being put on the paper. Like brainstorming, there is no critiquing. Visualize opening a channel from your mind and heart to your paper, with your hand and the pen being the ‘printer’.
When your time is up, lift up your pen and stop. Once you’ve let it all out, take a moment to honor what you’ve just done, no matter what emerged onto the paper.
I like to leave it for a day or two and let my ink soak into the paper. In other words, I try not to look at it again for awhile so that I don’t re-live what I just blurped up on my paper. You may like to take a peek at what you’ve written for entertainment after some time has passed, but don’t forget about the ‘no judging’ rule.
The point is not to make anything coherent or accurate- it is to give your inner blab a voice and access the deep parts of yourself that you may be inadvertently ignoring by working at other tasks. For instance, one of my sessions may go a little something like this:
‘So spontaneous, where is that? And when? The tickle marches on and I keep it here. And kick to the drum, got what we wanted and now its time for adding the space back in. I haven’t even scared anyone in a long time. What time is my dentist appointment today? Gotta get that figured out…’
And so on.
It is important to get it all out there. In The Artist’s Way, Julia Cameron makes writing like this a daily ritual each morning. For 12 weeks, or even longer.
If you are still apprehensive about or challenged by free writing, another approach it is to write about a certain topic. It is much easier to tap into your own inner dialogue when you don’t pick a topic, but sometimes a topic helps you get started. Here are a list of topics to choose from:
- Your Grandpa
- The Twin Towers
- Your first date
- Your favorite food
- Donald Trump
Noticed these topics are fairly emotionally-charged. We want that!