Whenever I heard the word "freewriting", I would think of something akin to journal writing: scribbling down your innermost thoughts as soon as they pop into your head.
But I didn't get it. Not until a few days ago, when I learned how to do it properly.
After spotting this excersize, I realised freewriting is not about coherent thought. I'm going to go all "hippy" on you for a minute and entertain the idea that freewriting is all about unclogging your subconscious, in order to make way for wondrous creation (say it with a grand, old man voice).
What I'm about to say next will probably go against the point of being a writer, but the thought of writing with such... lack of inhibition... it scared me. What if I just spouted out a load of crap? I'm a control freak; I like structure; I like order. This goes against my usual way of doing stuff.
But it works. Sweet Mother of Lucifer, it works!
I set my timer for five minutes, then started freewriting, using the word "hands" as a prompt. Next followed an accumulation of words that were in no way related to the word "hands". I just wrote without regard to comprehension, punctuation, spelling and, lastly (as you can see from the state of my writing), a complete disregard for neatness.
After what only seemed like a minute or two, my alarm was going off. Reading it back immediately, it was pretty surreal; as though someone else had written it. A lot of it made me think "where the hell did that come from?" but there were a couple of words or phrases that ignited my curiosity and made me want to explore further.
This is a perfect excersize for writing short stories. Or even getting into that writing zone I spoke about a couple of posts ago.
A lot of people choose to freewrite first thing in the morning. I certainly couldn't do that during the working week. I just want to write for hours after doing this excersize, not travel into work and spend the day reading committee papers and drawing on maps.
Do you already freewrite? Am I the last to learn of this phenomenon? If not, why don't you set the timer, give it a bash and let me know how you got on?
I've been doing it every day since, and I'm happy to report my first draft is now FINISHED! As Jay Z would say... on to the next one (draft, that is)...