Saturday, January 16, 2016

Free Writing

Free writing experiment
I've been free writing. Mostly at night when I'm too wound up to sleep. It's preferable to late-night rant sessions, my sober (albeit not intirely sane) version of drunk dialing.

It's not something you can really practice. In fact, practice is anathema to the process. Basically, what you're supposed to do is write for a predetermined amount of time (five or ten minutes usually, though I've gone as high as half an hour) on a topic of your choice: no stopping, absolutely no editing.

Here is a basic guide to getting started. I prefer to start with a topic, or at the very least, branch off from whatever scene I'm stuck writing. Not editing as I write is an obstacle, because I've always written that way. It's the reason why my rough drafts aren't so rough, but it takes longer to write when you're constantly going back and erasing. I cheat and use sticky notes if I want to add something later. As you can see, I like to use all available space, even the margins.

I'm an archivist, not a hoarder.I haven't gotten much from my efforts yet except the pleasure of getting out of my own head. Most of what I've written is drivel -- just keeping my hand moving. And that's okay. But I see kernals of inspiration, and if you can pull one or two ideas from your freewriting sessions, you've won half the battle.