Your mind is capable of creative thoughts and ideas if you can tap into it with the right tools and techniques. One of the simplest but effective tools available to anyone is freewriting.
Let’s dive into what freewriting is, how to do it, and how you can infuse creativity into your personal and professional life.
How to Freewrite
The name itself hints at how you can write to produce creative ideas. To freewrite, all you have to do is set a timer for a specific period of time. Then, the moment the timer starts you begin to write, stopping only when the timer goes off.
There are two key elements to freewriting that make it effective.
When you start freewriting, it’s important to never pause or edit your writing as you’re doing it.
If you’ve made a spelling mistake or used a wrong phrase, just let it go and keep moving. You can always edit your content later, but the important thing is to write continuously.
To make freewriting work, you have to write as quickly as you can. When you do so, you won’t impede your flow of thinking by finding problems and making changes. Writing fast creates an uninterrupted flow of thoughts that will bring out unique ideas.
What Freewriting Does
Freewriting works by getting all your critical and superfluous thoughts on paper on a word processor. Once you’ve expressed these thoughts, your mind is finally free to come up with original and meaningful ideas.
The act of freewriting helps unblock your mind by creating a flow state. In a flow state, you’re able to write well and become more productive.
It also works because it forces your mind to come up with ideas. When you write for a while and get all your conscious ideas down, your mind is then forced to come up with new things. It’s from a ‘blank slate’ frame of mind that you’ll get your best ideas.
Freewriting is also better than just thinking because it’s easy to get distracted. You can fall into a daydream that’s unconnected to your problems. Freewriting gives you a point of focus and a physical outlet that lets you concentrate on an important topic or issue.
The art of writing is completely different from structured writing which is more commonly used. The trouble with structured writing is that it cramps your thinking by forcing it to follow ‘rules’. Creativity, by definition, is about going beyond boundaries and restrictions. When you edit or structure your writing, you automatically stall creativity.
How to Apply Freewriting
To make the best use of freewriting, here are some helpful tips and applications.
Choose appropriate time-frames: You can choose to set your timer for anywhere between 5 to 30 minutes at a time. The Pomodoro technique is a productivity tool that recommends 25 minutes of work and 5 minutes of break. Use shorter or longer bursts of writing depending on your writing goals.
Be Fast: Freewriting works when you write quickly. It prevents you from thinking critically and lets your original thoughts arise unimpeded.
Use prompts: You can apply freewriting to any writing task, and to solve any personal or professional problem. Mark Levy, the author of Accidental Genius, notes that freewriting inadvertently helped him find solutions for business issues.
Here are some prompts that you can focus your freewriting on. These prompts can relate to a specific topic if you’re a writer or can be used by a businessperson looking for a way to grow their business.
- Business name ideas
- Finding a solution to a customer’s problem
- Ideas for a blog post or an article
- Plotlines and characters for a work of fiction
- Uncovering the root of a personal fear such as the fear of public speaking
- Coming up with a conclusion for a report
There is an unlimited number of prompts that you can use that reflect any important issue in your life. If writing is a part of your work, then setting prompts or topics and freewriting on it will develop your productivity.
Boost Productivity and Channel Creativity with Freewriting
If you often feel stressed or slow when you write in a structured way, then consider using freewriting to help.
It has practical applications in work where you need to write articles, reports, presentations, and more. If you run a business such as an online course, you’ll always have fresh ideas and a steady stream of content.
However, the most powerful benefit of using freewriting is that it can help you uncover solutions to issues that matter to you. Whether you’re struggling in a relationship, or want to make changes in society, freewriting will give you the key. Let your mind’s best thoughts appear as you write, and you’ll be able to boost your creativity and productivity.