Monday, September 19, 2016

Good Reasons To Do Freewriting Exercises




Don't we all love to get something for nothing? We see a sign that says FREE and we hustle right over to check it out. Here's something that is free for writers. That's the freewriting exercise.

For the uninitiated, you are given a word or a photo. Set your timer for ten minutes and start writing whatever comes into your mind without stopping. Don't worry about grammar, spelling, or rambling. It's fine to do any of those no-no's during this exercise. You are writing here to get ideas, to get motivated, to search the recesses of your mind. Keep those fingers moving on your keyboard for the full ten minutes. Remember to use the word at least once or as many times as you like.

My online writers' group does this exercise on a weekly basis using a word. We call it the Random Word exercise. The person in charge for the month, selects the word. Believe me, we've had some doozies and also some very simple words. One way to choose the word is to open a book, close your eyes and point to a word. Another is to use something related for the 4 or 5 words that month. Another is to use words you happen to be partial to.One time, I used words that all began with the same letter for each week. The way the word is chosen is least important.

More important is what comes of it from you, the writer. Some of the writers in our group use the word to write the beginning of a piece of fiction. Others write using memories or knowledge of something the word brings to them. Some start with rhyming. Some toss in a this is going nowhere sentence now and then. And sometimes it does go nowhere. Other times, a golden nugget pops up.

One huge benefit of this type of exercise is that it can serve as the key to unlock the treasures buried in your subconscious. Things pop out that you thought were long forgotten.

Something I find interesting is that if five people do this exercise using the same word, there will be five different perspectives. Occasionally, two people will write along the same line but still have differences.

The reason I am pursuing the topic of the freewriting exercise is that I have had other writers in my group tell me that I need to expand on the idea in one of the exercises and make it into a full story or essay. It happened this weekend once again. When I went back to read what I'd written over again, I realized the person who suggested I use it as a base for an essay was right. The bones were there; I only needed to flesh it out. It's on my To-Do list. I have seen great possibilities in other writer's freewrite exercise, too. This exercise can serve as the beginning of a new writing project.

I have often given you photo prompts for freewriting but try it now with a single word. I'll give you a list of words. Choose one and put fingers to keyboard and don't stop writing for a full ten minutes. More if you are motivated to keep going. You can do this on your own every day by the closing eyes and pointing finger method.

Once you are finished, read your work carefully and see what you might want to develop further.

Freewriting Word List

1.  blanket

2.  time

3.  fish

4.  sky

5.  game

6.  school

7.  blue

8.  ferocious

9.  fear

10.  giggle

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