I often sit down to write but quickly find my thoughts wandering. I need to do that before...I need to get...I need to... I can't focus. Can't get any more words on paper. But I love to write! I want to write! So why can't I seem to settle down long enough? Why am I so easily distracted? That's when I usually do more research. Research on writing. Research on writer's block. Sometimes research is my distraction. But there is something that helps. It's called freewriting.
Freewriting is writing randomly, whatever pops into your mind. Or it can be simply working on a project without stopping to think about it. There are no rules. You simply write. You don't worry about spelling, grammar, form or put any other constraints on your writing. With freewriting you get your thoughts on paper (or computer) before you have a chance to forget. Before you feel stuck. Blocked. When you have an idea, or know what you want to say, you don't stop to correct grammar or spelling, and you don't loose your words. You don't tend to become so distracted because you don't allow gaps for other thoughts to creep in.
This exercise in free thoughts can sometimes create writing that is un-useable. But you may find that more creative thoughts come your way. You may get a flash of creativity that helps combat writer's block. Use it like you use brainstorming.
Edit later. If you can't think of a word you want to use, substitute with another word or put an XXX in it's place. I like to use the XXX, so I can do a find and replace when I go back through and edit. Don't get bogged down trying to come up with the ideal word, phrase or metaphor. Save it for when you edit.
Freewriting works best if you set a goal. It can be an amount of time, like 10 or 20 minutes, or a set amount of words or pages. Then just start writing. You can use this technique with your novel or just as a warm up exercise. Do it for fun. It can help drive out the distractions. Give it a try, let your free spirit guide you and see what happens!
Welcome to The Muse Crew Blog. We're happy to have you. Sit back and scroll through our thoughts and ideas. If you like the post, please consider sharing it. Comments are always welcome!