Sometimes it’s hard to turn off your mind and relax when you’re worried, excited or even just thinking about what needs to be done the next day. This can be a problem if it prevents you from sleeping or engaging completely in whatever you are doing.
One solution to removing your inner mind clutter is to free write.
Free writing is a prewriting technique in which a person writes continuously for a set period of time without regard to spelling, grammar, or topic. Source: Wikepedia.org
Why I Started to Free Write (It didn’t have to do with decluttering my mind)
I started to free write because I was getting frustrated with the fact that I wasn’t getting any blog posts written. I often have writers block and would avoid writing by busying myself with other tasks as an excuse to not write. Then, whenever I started writing, I felt very constricted and found it very difficult to get into the flow. That isn’t good when you are trying to create successful blogs and need new content.
Whenever I went a few days without writing, I would feel bad for not making any progress on any new posts. So, to remedy that, I decided to give free writing a try as a way to help overcome my fear of writing. Believe me, when I gave myself permission to write freely without any quality control measures, it removed a big “writer’s stress” off my shoulders. I committed myself to free write once a day for ten minutes and now I look forward to my free writing sessions.
How To Free Write
- Find a quiet time in the day when you know you will be free of interruptions – I either do it early morning or late evening while everyone else is asleep or watching tv.
- Decide where you are going to write and move any distracting elements out of the way. Since I use the computer for my free writing sessions, I clear away the clutter next to my computer monitor.
- Start a 10 minute timer. I use the timer on my iPhone.
- Start writing and keep on writing until the time is up. If you don’t have anything to write about, you can write, “I don’t have anything to write about”. Remember, the point is to write without worrying about your topic.
- Stop writing once the time is up or continue if you are in the flow.
- Read your writing and you may be surprised as to what comes out. Or delete it if its very private. It’s your writing, you choose what to do with it.
I know that with Free Writing that you aren’t supposed to correct spelling. However, I still do (for the most part) as it’s an automatic reflex. I am aware of it and am trying to break that habit. However, I’m not going to worry about it too much.
Benefits of Free Writing
As a writer: I now apply the Free Writing principal to my blog posts. Once I have a blog topic idea, I free write on that topic for ten minutes. This has helped me to start my blog posts and to make progress on them.
As a person with a cluttered mind: Decluttering my mind has been my biggest surprise. The first time I free wrote, my mind was jumbled with thoughts when I started. It was going in a million directions thinking about everything I did that day, what I needed to do, blog ideas, etc.
I noticed that my first few minutes of writing was spent letting every thought out and onto the computer screen. By the time that I was through with my 10 minutes, my mind felt empty. I didn’t have anymore thoughts, worries, indecisions flying through my mind at 90 miles per hour. My mind was relaxed and at peace. It felt great!
I recommend free writing not just for writers, but for anyone that has a little too much on their mind. It’s a great way to clear your mind so you can concentrate better (or sleep) afterwards.
p.s. For some examples of my Free Writing, please visit my site, Second Half Dreams.
Photo Credit: © isuaneye – Fotolia.com