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Freewriting Your Way Out of Writer’s Block

Momentum is the impetus of a body resulting from its motion. It is a case of motion fostering motion. The worst case of a virtuous cycle. When the object collides with an obstacle, this momentum is lost. Most of us are juggling parallel roles and ambitions. Collision is bound to happen and when it does, the current project loses steam. Getting it up to speed again is such an uphill struggle.

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With writing, the situation gets stickier. It is all in the mind, you see. There are times when thoughts flow beautifully and you feel like the most intelligent person. At others, you have to shove the thoughts forward. We call this the writer’s block. Some scorn this term, saying it is plain laziness. Well, I agree that the only way to get past it is to keep working. But you cannot simply wish it away.

Freewriting is a simple technique to unclog the mind and allow thoughts to flow more freely. It is like a warm up exercise for the mind. Once you force it all out, you may even find precious gems in all the gloop.

I have categorized freewriting in the following ways:

Timed Writing

Using My Favourite Productivity Tool, set aside ten minutes and don’t stop writing till the timer goes off. If you are procrastinating on freewriting itself, this is the perfect way to force yourself to focus. After all, it is just ten minutes.

Themed writing

Choose any theme and freewrite around it. It could be the very theme that is stumping you or something altogether different. The point is to get the brain into gear for writing. It is okay if most of what you have written cannot be used at all.

Mind Dump Writing

If thoughts are whirring around in the head with no coherence, it helps to just get all of them written down. There are no rules. The easiest way to clear a cluttered head is to write everything down.

Self Talk Writing

Self talk writing is like talking to yourself about all that is stumping you right now with the writing project at hand. Maybe the plot of the story is stuck somewhere and you don’t know how to go ahead. There are possibilities, each leading the story on very different paths. You don’t know which one to choose. Pretend you are talking to yourself and discuss all the options. Why something will work. Why it will not. How to make it all come together in the end. A blunt pencil is better than a sharp mind. Better solutions come when the chaos is funneled into words written down.

The key to a good session of freewriting is to not go over what you have written. Turn off the editor in your head. This is for no one else’s eyes. Once thoughts and words have had a good churn, what remains is thoughts that are nicely lined up for you to pick and choose from to create your written piece.

Have you ever felt blocked? What is your prescription for writer’s block?

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10 thoughts on “Freewriting Your Way Out of Writer’s Block

  1. Rambles and Prose on said:

    I like your idea of themed writing – sometimes I’ll just pick a word from the dictionary and write a paragraph on the thoughts it evokes – it can be fun to see what tangents these exercises lead to. Thanks for the ideas!

    • Picking a word out of the dictionary is a great idea too! It is more random and will probably work quicker since we don’t need to spend any time picking a theme.

  2. I am glad that you shared all these tips. I often lose momentum and I am sure these tips will come handy.

  3. Jaishvats on said:

    Hi

    There are times when words simply refuse to come out . Like a scooter that stops after a whirring noise despite repetitive attempts to kick start :)

  4. To me, time rather than writing poses a problem. I am always hard-pressed for time. Next important ingredient is Silence. Thank you for sharing your cogent post.

  5. Pingback: The Initial Spark « Oh, I Juggle!

  6. I face an inexplicably high internal friction whenever I try to begin a new piece of writing for my blog. Need to whip myself to follow through my plan for the first few hours/days until spontaneity returns. And sometimes, as some of my friends complain, the end result bears the traces of this dry hardship I go through. Got to try out these Free-writing exercises. Thanks for the post :).

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