This week has been busy! But in the best way possible.
For the first time in months I’m thrilled to wake up and get to work and it’s all because I have a plan! Because of my plan I know exactly what needs to be done and by when. My freelance gigs are carefully recorded in my planner and on my computer, my blog posts are thought out and scheduled, my creative projects are broken down into manageable tasks that feel doable and I finally feel focused. I’m friggin’ organized and I really hope I can keep up with it!
However, no matter how organized someone has their desk, or their files or even their planner, your brain can still feel overwhelmed with thoughts, ideas and emotions. We’re juggling a lot up there in our heads, aren’t we? From work to school, kids to pets, running a home to maintaining relationships, yadda, yadda – life is busy!
So even though I’m feeling friggin’ awesome about work and motivated to get started each day, sometimes my head isn’t quite in the right mindset when I sit down to begin my day.
Which brings me to the number one thing that helps me clear my head, focus and get my work done:
What is free writing?
Free writing is the practice of writing whatever you want with no regards to spelling, grammar or structure, before buckling down into your actual work.
Why free write?
Free writing is a technique that a lot of people use because it helps you get all of your thoughts, ideas and emotions out of your head so you can focus on your work. A lot of writers do this, but I suggest everyone do it. It doesn’t matter if you’re a painter or an accountant, free writing is so helpful in clearing your head and allowing you to focus on your work.
How do you free write?
Free writing is so easy to do!
The firs thing you need to decide is how much time you will free write for. Will it be for 5 minutes? 10 minutes? Or will you write until you feel satisfied? Most people prefer to have a timer set so they don’t have to think about it. I prefer just writing until I feel good to start work, but it’s usually somewhere between 5-10 minutes anyway.
Once you’ve decided how long you want to set your timer for, if at all, you get to start writing. To free write properly, you just write whatever comes to mind. So really, there is no proper way!
Where do you free write?
I free write in my journal, where I actually keep everything written down. It’s kind of like my go-to place to jot down notes, brainstorm, write journal entries and, of course, free write. You can select a journal specifically for free writing, or you, too, can free write in your regular journal.
Some people write on separate piece of paper and then throw it in the recycle after. Others open a Word document and type out their thoughts, either saving it or not.
I like saving it because sometimes I come up with really great ideas during my free writing sessions that I can go back to. But, I suppose, you could always just take those ideas and write them down somewhere else if you’re scared of people finding your free writing.
Where you free write is up to you and completely depends on what you’re most comfortable with.
What do you write about?
Again, free writing is kind of like, “write down whatever you want and don’t really think about it,” but some people have an easier time when there is a topic or a theme to write about. If you find yourself in the latter, I suggest thinking of whatever it is that’s most on your mind and to write about that. Maybe it’s an upcoming deadline, a huge project or an event you’re stressed out about.
If that’s the case, what you need to do is take whatever it is that’s holding your mind hostage and free write it out of there!
For example, yesterday I had to write four articles that were due today. Although I had most of the interviews and research done already, I kept wondering if I would have enough time to finish. Thinking about it was stressing me out, so I decided to use my free writing time to write about it. In the end, I knew there was no point in worrying because one day to write four articles is plenty of time. Just by taking the time to acknowledge this fear and write about it, I was able to stop thinking about it once my free writing session was over and focus on actually getting the work done.
Do you ever free write? Do you think you will?