Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Getting Past Your Inner Censor with Freewriting

Writer Wednesday

How many times have you found yourself staring at a computer screen, going over and over a sentence in your head, trying to get just the right structure and wording? You know what you want to write, but is it grammatically correct? Can you really end a sentence with a preposition, or will your readers call you on it? Should you use "he said' again, or try to come up with a better verb?

So you spend minutes, which could stretch into an hour, on creating a perfect sentence on a perfect page. But do you see how this can stifle your creativity? You spend so much time seeking the right word, that you lose sight of the whole work. You might forget what point you wanted to get across in this chapter, or where to work in backstory.

One way to get past this need for perfection and wasted time is to freewrite. Freewriting is setting words down on paper without listening to you inner censor. Set a timer for ten to thirty minutes, and write whatever comes into your head. It can be about whatever you want. It doesn't have to be grammatically correct, or even make sense. This lesson isn't about writing what's right, it's about freeing your mind to be more creative.

While freewriting, don't look back at what you've written while you're writing it. Don't correct spelling or grammar. Just let yourself write freely and without inhibition. This is a good exercise to do every morning before you begin to write for the day.

Getting rid of you censors will get rid of the reluctance to write what you really want. You will be more creative and more productive.

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