Writing Hint #28: Try Free Writing

Writer’s Block

Dealing with writer’s block can be a real hassle for some writers. You know you should be writing (or blogging) but the ideas just will not come. The words seem to be stuck somewhere and just can’t get out.

Egg Bound

I guess it’s a bit like a hen who is egg bound. The egg is there – but it just cannot get out, no matter what the hen tries to do. This serious condition can result in death, and I’d imagine it would be a rather painful way to go. What we do not want is the death of our writing.

Try Free Writing:

How about trying free writing.

  • Bring up a blank screen on your monitor or take a blank piece of paper.
  • Set a timer for five or ten minutes – you choose.
  • Now write.
  • Anything.
  • Everything.
  • Just random words.
  • Meaningless drivel.
  • Make it a list.
  • List the things you can see.
  • Write down what you can hear, smell, feel.
  • Make a list of your favourite foods, songs, movies, books or whatever.
  • Forget about grammar, punctuation and spelling: just write.
  • Cover the page.
  • Fill the monitor screen.

This activity tricks the brain into thinking that you are actually writing, and before long the ideas will start flowing, the words will come and you will be off and writing again.

Warm up the brain

Some writers use this technique as a warm up exercise for the day. They do this like an athlete warms up for the main event. When their brains are ready, they then launch into the real writing they have in front of them for the day.

Stretch your writing muscles

I sometimes use this technique in a modified way; I write in my journal. My journal has an audience of one: me. It is not perfect – far from it. It records my thoughts, my feelings, the recent events in my life and my reactions to them. When I have written for ten or fifteen minutes I am often ready and warmed up to get on with other writing tasks. My writing muscles have been stretched and are ready for action.

Good writing.

Further reading:


2 Responses to “Writing Hint #28: Try Free Writing”

  1. Blog Bloke says:

    Hi Trevor.

    What usually works best for me is I just start reading when I wake up in the morning. Whether it be the morning newspaper or my RSS newsfeeds, it gets my brains working and sooner or later something will click.

    Thanks for dropping by the other day and cheers!


  2. Trevor says:

    I sometimes use the newspaper too. Trouble is, when I reach the crosswords about two thirds of the way through I start solving them (I especially love the cryptic crossword) and before I know it, half an hour or more has gone.

    Still, the time is not entirely wasted. I believe crosswords and other word puzzles are very good as “brain-sharpening” activities for writers (and others too).

    Thanks for visiting.