Here’s why free writing helps you tap into the creative side of your brain.
When we write, we must resist the temptation to edit and proofread as we go along. If we edit and proofread as we create, we limit the amount of original content we can create. The editor and proofreader are the left brain jerks that get in the way of good creative flow. If you had an actual editor and proofreader in the room looking over your shoulder and stopping you to make corrections every time you misspelled a word or used incorrect punctuation youâ€™d never get anything written.
If the editor kept rearranging text as you went along, youâ€™d be lucky to finish a single paragraph. Yet this is what we do every time we sit down to write. We invite those two into the room with us, give them a seat on either side, and invite them to stop us as often as they feel like. Then we wonder why nothing ever hits the page. Your best bet is to work alone.
But, before you start the editing process, knock out todays ten minute writing session. There are two reasons for this:
- First, even though yesterdays session is long over, your subconscious is still playing with some of that material. It just might come out better today.
- Second, since it’s harder to fire up the right brain after the left, you will probably find it a lot easier to put the editing of yesterdays material off.
So now that you’ve written for 10 minutes or so without editing and set it aside for a day, what comes next?Â Chances are really good that you’ve got a lot of crap on the paper. But you might also discover that there are a few nuggets in the rubble you’ve created, and those are the things we want to dig out.Â Granted, there will be days when ALL of what you’ve written is unusable. In time though, you will find that each day you produce better and more usable material.
Once you’ve sorted out the wheat form the chaff, you’ll find that you might have the makings of a complete article, blog post or White Paper. If so, great! Put the finishing touches on it and put it out there. If it doesn’t feel quite complete, that’s OK too. Just let it ruminate in the noggin for a few days, and use it as a jumping off place for another days free writing. Eventually you may find a gem inside.
In part 3, I’ll cover a few of my tips and discoveries.