Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Immerse Yourself In Freewriting

Are you feeling blocked? Don't have the time or the energy or the inspiration to work on your novel right now? Do you feel guilty because you know you should be writing, but you just can't seem to commit to a large body of work?

Why not give Freewriting a go?

Freewriting is a contemporary and popular way of playing with words. You can use it to prepare for writing, to develop ideas, to build characters or setting, to work through blockages, to keep your mind engaged and your thoughts fluid, or simply to catch ideas when they're coming too fast to be taken down in a more structured form.

There are no rules for Freewriting. Freewriting, by nature, defies all rules and restrictions, allowing you to open up and let go onto the page. But there are a few guidelines to help push you in the right direction, should you choose to employ them.

1. Find a quiet place where you won't be interrupted for several minutes.

2. Clear your mind completely, and then write whatever comes into it. Try to write for a solid time period or page length. Say, 5 straight minutes or one whole page, for example.

3. Forget spelling, grammar, punctuation and logical development for now.

4. Don't organize your thoughts into sentences or paragraphs, just let the words run out onto the page.

5. Don't stop until you've reached your goal.

I'm going to go ahead and give this a go right here, right now as an example. The word that came into my head was yesterday's spark word: MURKY. Let's see where it takes me from there.

murky perky beef jerky rough and tumble mumble stumble trip and fall stall wall bricks and mortar she was shorter childhood friend with raven hair flew away came back again grin sin dark and twisted how i missed it glory days gone by i stop and sigh why i longed to feel the sun again summer days sunkissed hair shorts and tshirts barely there beaches full with passersby sunglint waters squinted eye burning sand beneath my feet friends that came and friends to meet soon i'm walking down the street rainy days and gathered clouds shrouds i lift my hands toward the skies rainsoaked happy wild and wise rise lies i realize keep them to yourself i don't want any otherwise butterflies dipping soaring feather wings songs to sing that carry them by bells that ring coins that jingle in my pocket oh happy day all my sins were washed away oh love devine give me a sign that I shall see you again someday another day when this whole world has passed away and I shall fly up to your side on feather wings my very own

Hey, that was really fun! :o)


Nedra Smith said...

Hi, Christiana. I'd forgotten about freewriting and all the goodness that can come from it.

From "murky" you got quite a few that got my attention: "she was shorter" and the fact that "grin" and "sin" flowed next to each other. I also love that snippet of lyrics from "Oh Happy Day." Cool.

I'm loving your prompts, and I love the new blog look. Thanks for teaching and sharing.

Arianna said...

I haven't done much freewriting, but here's what I came up with yesterday, starting out with one of your spark words, 'rush' (I separated it into sentences and paragraphs after I was done, so it wouldn't be so confusing to read)

Rushing, falling; the water gushed over the smoothed rocks and splattered the atmosphere with it's icy fingers, dampening the once-hard ground. The water slipped off the ragged cliff like freshly spread butter on a just-from-the-oven yeast roll, and plopped with a loud, deafening roar into the pool of chilled water below, and then happily gurgled into a stream that zig-zagged through the woods like a cocky teenager learning how to drive.

All around nature stood silenced and gaping by the waterfall, not a flower or bird daring to dance in the wind or chirp a sweet song. The mesmerizing power of the iridescent water held everything that breathed, everything that moved, in raptured awe, captured by the sheer force of the water pounding into the stream below.

LOL, I have no idea where all of that came from. It's amazing what comes out on the paper or screen when you start with one prompt and then just write whatever comes into your head ;) I don't really write poetry, so I think when I do freewriting, the words usually come out as more of a description than anything. Hmmmm...

Christiana said...

That was wonderful, Arianna! You've got a lot of really beautiful imagry encapsulated there. Nice job!