Five Benefits of Using Free Writing

by Grace Dickins

In short, free writing is the process of writing without any particular objective. Many creative writing instructors use this technique to get students into the habit of writing regularly and to overcome writer's block. Unlike journaling, which is usually the linear progression of a person's experiences and feelings, free writing is simply meant to be a stream of consciousness.

Writers who use this exercise often speak highly of its benefits, which include the following:

1. New Ideas for Books, Poems, and Other Projects

Free writing can serve as a well that one can continually draw from when starting new writing projects. Since you're simply writing down the first things that come into your head, many thoughts and ideas may pop up that you didn't even know you had. Whether free writing yields just one or many useful ideas, it can be a helpful creative outlet.

2. Released Tensions

Through free writing, pent-up stress can find its way out of your subconscious and onto a blank page. Having this type of emotional release can be very cathartic. It paves the way to a more relaxed and focused approach when you're ready to sit down for a more formal writing session.

3. Improved Writing Skills

The old adage "practice makes perfect" undoubtedly applies here. As your comfort level with free writing grows with regular practice, you are bound to show improvement in your craft. After you've been free writing for a while, try comparing your latest pieces to your earlier ones. This is a great way to gauge your growth as a writer.

4. Increased Creativity

Free writing gives the writer freedom from his/her inner critic and allows new ideas to flow in an unfiltered way. As your left brain receives a new steady stream of ideas, your right brain goes to work finding new ways to articulate them.

5. "Outside the Box" Thinking

As you spend more time free writing, you will likely start to come across thoughts and ideas that you've never considered before. Instead of wracking your brain to come up with new ideas on the spot, you'll be able to pick from a host of innovate thoughts that occurred to you during free writing sessions.

Whether you free write by hand or using a computer, this exercise can help to inspire your writing like never before. It can also take your writing to a much more satisfying and prolific level.

Tags: writing free writing
Categories: writing