Whenever I get stuck writing, whether it be in the pre writing stage or in the middle of a draft, my go-to tool for getting unstuck is the free write; or as most know it, automatic writing.A free write is what I’d write if I could get away with everything. Free writing is the instant tapping into my subconscious without that irritating self-editor around. A free write can unjam creative cells and help find that one gem of an idea needed to solve a problem in a story. A free write can touch deep emotions and help me sculpt the story in a deeper and more authentic way.
There is only one rule in the free write – automatic write – Do not ask, Am I doing this right? There is no right or wrong. Free writing is allowing your right brain to play freely with the words on the paper, while the left brain sits in the corner in a time out.
Like every other writing discipline, we have to practice it. Set a timer for ten minutes and have some planning pre done. Write and don’t stop. Write everything that comes into your head. Write as fast as you can, not stopping for spelling or grammar. When the timer rings, set your words aside and give them an hour or two to breathe. Then put on your revision hat and see what you can come up with.
It’s helpful to look at the revision of a free write as if you were a miner panning for gold. You have a bowlful of gunk, but you know if you swirl the water around, something shiny may appear. In your words of free writing, you may find gold: one good metaphor, a new insight, perhaps one great sentence. It may not seem like much, but you would have never found it without the free write.