Random Writing Tip – Free-writing to Prime Your Muse

Sometimes when I want to work on my WIP I sit down at the computer and…nothing. No ideas, no creativity, no words come out. My muse is: sleeping, hiding, sulking, missing, etc. I used to get irritated and try to force myself to work. Still nothing. Finally I turned to free-writing. It’s kind of like stretching before exercising. It’s priming the pump. If I do this for either 10, 15, or 20 minutes (depending on mood) then I generally manage to get my creativity going. If you want to try this all you need to do is grab a timer and either pen and paper or get on your computer. Set the timer for 10 minutes the first time, to see if that works for you, and write. It doesn’t matter what you write. It can be awful, it can be a whole lot of nothing. The point is to do the process and get yourself in the mood to create. I personally like to use a pen and paper to do this. Since I normally do my writing on a computer, this works as a nice little change-up for my brain. The first time I did it, I felt ridiculous. What I wrote in the beginning was silly. It started a lot like this:

I have no idea what on earth to write. All I know is I can’t seem to get started today. My muse hates me or it’s busy. I wish I could just write whenever I want to. It’s really frustrating to finally have the time to do it and then have nothing to say.

More of this went on for several minutes but about halfway into it I started writing the pros and cons of writing when you have a timer sitting next to you. When said timer went off I ignored it and kept going for another 10 minutes. After that I upped the time I did this exercise for. I certainly didn’t write a thing of beauty, but I did write. Afterwards I turned to the computer and ended up writing several scenes, some back story meant only for me, and an amazing fight scene. It won’t be that great every single time, but if it helps even a little then it’s worth it. Some people work better when under pressure and if you’re one of those then I encourage you to use a timer often. http://lifehacker.com/productivity-101-a-primer-to-the-pomodoro-technique-1598992730. This link will take you to one of the many ways to use a timer effectively.

I’ll be honest with you. The first few times I did this I wrote more like the quote above. Eventually I got to the point where I would write about my day, or my dogs, kids, husband. Sometimes I would look around my office and pick something random and write anything I could think of about it. Again, think of this like stretching. If your pen is moving, or your fingers are hitting keys, then you are doing it right. Experiment to find the amount of time that works for you.

Happy writing!

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4 comments

  1. I love the pomodoro technique! It’s so much easier to work and think when you break your time into small chunks. I’ve never done any sort of writing warm-up though. I never thought of free writing just to get the brain going. I’ll have to try it next time I’m stuck!

    Liked by 1 person

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