Free Writing

sprig, green, sprout

I’ve said I don’t get writer’s block, just writer’s procrastination. It’s easy enough to write if I’ll just do it.

Like any human, though, not everything in my brain is worth sharing.

That’s where free writing comes in. Often I do it in the middle of a story when I want to goose some tired language. Or you can try pen and paper, no keyboards. Write whatever comes into your head, no matter how stupid it is. Don’t worry about quality. No one will see it. Nobody cares. It’s just a way to unlock. And don’t stop for ten minutes.

A brief example:

I can see the trees and just a corner of mountaintop from my window today, the sky is blue blue blue no clouds and it’s dark in my office because the booth blocks the windows, only partly, but dark, it looms into my cozy space like an evil wizard cape. Jim’s bringing in his garbage cans, won’t let us do it for him, he wants to stay busy and I love him for it. Computer makes a buzzing noise, or is that the exterior drive? Coffee breath, no going out ’til that’s taken care of. Mail here on the desk, I’m not looking at it for the moment because it’s a SHOULD and I don’t feel like doing shoulds today. There’s a sound in the kitchen I don’t recognize. a thump or a slice.

Nothing spectacular, and if I were to edit it I might cut it completely. Except the coffee breath part, that’s kind of visceral. And I was getting to something spooky with that sound in the kitchen. Might be worth exploring.

Give free writing a try if you’re blocked, or if you need to find words for your feelings. A few minutes in, you’ll find your voice.


  1. Shelley - November 12, 2016 @ 00:12

    Love this, Petrea. I’ve read of it and tried it but not when I actually do need to write and I’m avoiding it ! I like the dark looming into your dozy space like an evil wizard cape. Ooh!

    • Petrea - November 12, 2016 @ 10:06

      I think you’d love this, it’s like a diary of randomness until your brain meets your pen and you’re onto something you didn’t even know was there.

  2. Shelley - November 12, 2016 @ 00:13

    Oops !! And clearly I’m not in a proofreading frame of mind. Though perhaps dozy space isn’t a bad thing, either. 😉

    • Petrea - November 12, 2016 @ 10:06

      The free writing is all about getting my head out of its dozy space!

  3. William Kendall - November 12, 2016 @ 11:39

    That does sound like a good idea!

    • Petrea - November 12, 2016 @ 19:47

      William, I think this would be a great tool for you. If/when you try it, let me know what you think.

  4. magiceye - November 12, 2016 @ 21:43

    I agree. Done it and love it!

    • Petrea - November 13, 2016 @ 16:10

      I’m glad to know it!

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