By: Aryanne Ferguson
Does anyone else free write? If you’ve never heard the term, free writing is writing down your thoughts as they happen with no narrative while ignoring pesky things like sentence structure. Since most people’s thoughts constantly jump from topic to topic it can get pretty interesting. Most of what winds up on the page isn’t usable without some editing, but I think that free writing is worthwhile. It’s like mental yoga for me – it empties out my brain, especially when I’ve been dwelling on whatever issues have worried me throughout the day. You know when you get a song stuck in your head, but you only know 2 lines of lyrics, so you keep singing the same lines? It helps if I just write them down over and over, like I’m banishing them from my brain and onto the page.
If you’re like me, you type a whole lot faster than you can write with pen and paper. You might find a difference between what comes out on screen and what comes out on the page. On the computer, it takes me an extra moment to truly let go and free write because I watch the screen as I type, so I have a tendency to go back and correct typos. (Should I try typing with my eyes closed?) On the page, there’s an extra beat – a disconnect between my thoughts and my hand – that forces me to almost pre-proofread, so I get few spelling errors. With a pen and paper though, there’s also less tendency to read over the word I’ve just written, I simply go on to the next word – no looking back.
Do you think that free writing is useful? I find it easy and relaxing. For me, it helps me feel joy at the act of writing. And if you go back and read one of your free writes, you’ll realize that you are hilarious.