What Is It?
Free-writing involves writing continuously without regard to spelling, grammar, or topic. It is often done to a set period of time, but for me personally, I write as long as the words and energy continue to flow, typically ranging anywhere from 5-30 minutes.
Why I do it?
Free-writing is something I picked up in high school. I was always a journaler, not so much about what happened to me in a given day, but more so about my thoughts, feelings, dreams, and aspirations, and it was just something I stumbled upon one day. It wasn't until later that I realized there was a term for it or that it was a common thing. It's something I've always done because it gave me relief, and a safe space to share my deepest emotions without fear of being judged. It was healing for me and continues to be - sometimes every day, sometimes weekly, but always when the urge strikes.
Benefits I've Received
- Emotional Release: Provides a safe space to release pent-up emotions, which allows me to process what I am feeling without censorship, to self-reflect, and let go of all that no longer serves my highest good. Free writing also helps bring light to subconscious patterns and beliefs that unknowingly hold me back so I can finally let them go.
- Clarity of Purpose: Helps me to know what I am meant to do, which path to take, especially if I feel confused or need a reminder. During times of doubt or uncertainty, I pose a question before writing to help gain the clarity I seek.
- Inspiration: Pretty much every Mind, Body, Soul blog post was created via free writing. Sometimes on napkins or post-it notes when the inspiration struck, and others mindfully with my journal in tow. When we become strong in our practice, we become open, allowing space for inspiration to flow right through. We shift from being the writer to being the vessel through which Wisdom flows. I cannot claim authorship for those pieces, as they were written through me rather than by me.
- Love: Free writing always helps me to see the places where I lack Love, both in regards to receiving and giving. When you get into the flow and write without thought, often our truest and deepest emotions come out, some so deep that they are unknown even to us until we see them appear on paper. This helps me to recognize when what I think and what I do are out of alignment, when what I believe and what is true don't align. Free writing opens the doors to these truths and provides the unhindered honesty and awareness which helps me to forgive, Love and grow.
Tips to Get You Started
- Find a Journal. I highly recommend pen and paper to increase your connection with yourself (mind and body) and also prevent distraction. Find a journal or notebook that speaks to you, that you feel drawn to. You're more likely to use it if it's something that you actually like or are inspired by!
- Find the Right Pens. Trust me this makes a difference and can significantly affect, or even worse completely interrupt, your flow. The goal is to make the writing process as comfortable and effortless as possible, and that means having the right equipment ;)
- Carve out Space. Block out space where you can sit in silence and write without interruption. Start by carving out 10-15 minutes a day. It doesn't matter when. All you need is a quiet, safe and comfortable space for you to get into the zone and tap into the flow.
- Try Not to Think. Allow yourself to write mindlessly for as long as the words will flow. At first, you may try to correct grammar and spelling out of habit, or stop to go over what you have written, but simply continue writing for stopping will only interrupt the flow of emotion, giving your inner critic an opportunity to take over. The more you think about it, the harder it becomes. Tip: If you have trouble beginning, start by describing how you feel and go from there.
- Practice! Free writing definitely gets easier every time you do it. It's just a matter of retraining our brains to write without concern for grammar or trying to create a story, but rather simply for the sake of writing and falling into an uncensored flow. Schedule a few moments to practice every day until it becomes second-nature. Afterall, practice makes perfect.
- Allow. Don't be afraid or surprised if you are struck with ideas, inspiration or deep revelations about yourself or life in general. Release any fear and allow the experience to unfold as it may, trusting that it will lead you in the right direction and that you will learn and grow from the emotional release.
- Be Grateful. Learn to be grateful for whatever comes up. Close your eyes to send out gratitude for the insights revealed.
- Tune In. Once you are comfortable with the process and able write freely for 10-15 minutes, learn to tune in and recognize when your heart is pushing you to do it. I promise the insight you seek is always there if you know when to pause and listen!
Sometimes I like to wait a few hours, or even a day, before going back to review what I have written, to prevent my inner critic from judging the emotions and ideas released. I find that going back at a later time helps me to perceive what is written more objectively, which ultimately helps me to gain the insight I need.
With Love + Light,