According to Wikipedia, Free Writing (also called “stream of consciousness writing”) is described as a technique in which a person writes for a set amount of time without regard for grammar, punctuation, spelling or topic.
I’ve done this writing exercise many times, and was first introduced to it in middle school. I remember being utterly enveloped in it and couldn’t wait to try it out more. I think it’s a fantastic way to not only overcome writer’s block but also to gain inspiration. You’ll be amazed at what is running through your head when you’re not concentrating on your mind and conscience.
The exercise does not discriminate. You can be a brand new writer, a seasoned author, or a first time freelancer. Because you’re writing what’s in your head, you create the content. It’s one of a kind content. No one else has it or has thought of it. Interesting don’t you think? I do.
Sure the writing will most likely be a garbled mess, but it’s supposed to be. Don’t worry about if it makes sense as you write it. The act of putting into perspective comes later, let the words marinate on the page awhile after you’ve finished writing. Sometimes I tuck my free writing away in a notebook or insert it into my file cabinet and come back to it days, weeks, even months later. I’ve created wonderful book ideas, characters, and articles from the otherwise indecipherable ink.
I tend to favor unlined journals when I free write, as I enjoy writing every which way on the paper. But a regular notebook will do just fine. There are no rules regarding free writing on your computer, but I am not a fan of performing this writing exercise on my laptop. Longhand has always been a favorite of mine. I enjoy the fluidness of liquefied thoughts and ideas. For me, longhand is an ultimate calming sensation.
Stream-of-conscious writing is great to do anytime, not just when you feel you’re ensnared in writer’s block. And you don’t have to put your writing away, you’re more than welcome to dive into deciphering it and putting it into some sort of order as soon as you’re finished.