• rhianprime

Finding freedom

Have you ever tried freewriting? I wasn't sure about this, but recognise it as a hugely important tool in our lives, especially in our writings. I thought following on from media etc scrapbooking it could be helpful.

Freewriting is a writing technique pioneered by Peter Elbow, a Professor of English and a writer himself. The method of freewriting is used frequently by writers, but also by anyone looking to generate fresh ideas for projects, clear things from their subconscious (or conscious!), or even as a way to relax and refresh from things you might feel are bogging you down. It can be useful for helping you identify topics that are bothering you, but most frequently as a writing technique, it helps increase the flow of ideas and reduces the chance of overthinking and censoring out helpful or meaningful sentiments.

The general idea of freewriting is to take an uninterrupted period of time, commonly in exercises 5 or 10 minutes, and to continuously write. The idea is not to try and write a piece of prose, but to get down on paper a stream of words, images, ideas without overthinking. Commonly these exercises simply require you put pen to paper and write non-stop until you have completed the exercise. Forget about sentence structure, grammar and spelling. If you can't think of anything to write, don't panic! Keep your hand moving and even if you repeat the same word for a few lines, keep it up until something else comes to you that you can jot down to get the flow going again. This method calls for you simply to put down thoughts as they arise, without evaluating them. Once you've completed the exercise, take a short break then go back to the writing with a highlighter or different colour pen and mark out any ideas you find interesting, images or phrases you like.

Some practices will ask you to clear your mind and write without any thought or consciousness of what your hand is doing. Simply to move your hand over paper, to keep it moving and allow your hand to put words, shapes, lines, scribbles or even numbers onto a page. You can try closing your eyes as you do this, or stare at a fixed point or through a window - just try to not look at your page, or decipher what you may be writing. At the end of the allotted time, have a look at your page(s). You will see a lot of nonsensical lines and scribbles, but often by rotating your page you will find odd words or phrases, perhaps simple line drawings that will lead you to organic ideas.

So today, have a go! Try and empty your mind before starting, be comfortable, warm, let go of little concerns or niggles. Give time a go and try just putting down what comes into your head or comes to your unconscious mind. Remember only you will see this and there is no right or wrong either.

You could use what comes out to write a poem or try selecting some phrases to add to your scrapbook. Maybe try writing a slam poem type idea again for the scrapbook, experiment and allow yourself to dip where you hadn't before.

Good luck! Enjoy this freeing experience and if you should wish to share send it me and I will post it, but most importantly have fun!

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