Oct 12, 2012 by


Are you looking for a way to jump into your next writing project, but are having some trouble getting started? Here’s a tip that I learned years ago…just start writing.

Yes, it is really that easy!

Freewriting - Daily Pages

Freewriting – Daily Pages

But, when I say, “Just start writing,” I mean that you need to just start getting words down on paper…as fast as you can.  I tell my students, “Start writing as soon as the timer starts and you don’t stop putting words on paper until the timer goes off.”

Usually, I have the timer run for about five minutes. Even if you can’t think of something to write, you write the same word over and over again, or your write, “I don’t know what to write,” over and over until a thought comes to you and you start getting things down on paper.

Sometimes our brain suffers from a type of stage fright, and feels that whatever it is thinking isn’t good enough to be put down on paper, but if you keep writing a single word over and over, or state that you don’t know what to write over and over, then your brain will take over because it knows that you have things to write about, things to say.

Once you get over that initial period of not knowing what to say, most people can’t write fast enough to get words down on paper.

As with any other habit, this is one that really needs to be nurtured for a good two months before it becomes a habit, so for the next two months I want you to commit to writing in a “freewriting” style for a full 20 minutes every day.  Many people find that doing it the very first thing in the morning when they roll out of bed, you can often write about your dreams, your unformed thoughts, your deepest secrets that you may not even realize you have.  By writing in such a way, without consideration for a purpose, but to simply to write means that you are practicing to develop writing as an automatic process into a habit.

Some people like to use really expensive journals to write such thoughts, but I still find that most people have a resistance to writing “meaningless” drivel in such a nice journal. (Did you hear that? It’s a form of judgment, which is the biggest detriment to the ability to write that I know about.) Use a spiral bound notebook. You can make it special by gluing on a picture, or some type of cover that has meaning to you, but you can easily write anything you want in such a notebook.  I know this from experience. I have dozens of filled spiral bound notebooks. I have half a dozen really nice journals that only have a few pages written in.  I know better, and yet I can’t seem to break myself from that type of judgment.

We will talk more about judgment of our writing in a later article.  For now, I want you to jump into writing as an exercise.  You run miles and miles without worrying about where you’re going. Learning to freewrite gives you the same type of practice without any other goal but to develop the ability to do so.

I think that’s a good enough reason.  Don’t you?

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