Photo by Kelly Sikkema, Unsplash.com.
WHY DO PEOPLE FREEWRITE?
If you have writer’s block, you have probably stumbled into advice to freewrite. Freewriting is writing without thinking about the quality of what you write. It’s just sitting at the computer and letting the stream of your consciousness into the file. When you have writer’s block, writing poorly feels better than not writing anyting at all. It is so because it gives you the illusion of moving forward – after all, it allows you to produce large amounts of text in short time. However, freewriting will backfire – if it hasn’t yet.
WHY IS FREEWRITING A BAD THING?
- Freewriting doesn’t cure writer’s block in the long term. Freewriting during writer’s block is like taking a painkiller for tooth pain instead of seeing the dentist. You need to know that writer’s block seldom goes away on its own. It’s your mind telling you that you need to change something about your approach to writing, your writing routine or your life as writer. If you keep ignoring it and freewrite through it, you are like a man with a broken leg who is running, thinking that running will help him heal.
- Freewriting worsens the quality of your writing. Have you ever asked yourself why most first drafts are crap? It’s because writers freewrite them. They don’t pay attention to the quality of the work. They are focused on the quantity and speed. They want to have the book in front of their eyes. Do you know why writer’s hate editing? Because editing freewritten text requires a lot of re-writing and correcting. I am telling you, if you spend a decent amount of time planning details of your book and then do your best every time you write, you won’t have to edit endlessly.
- Freewriting pushes you in a vicious cycle. You write poorly. You get writer’s block. You freewrite through it. You read your poor writing. You write poorly. You get writer’s block… etc. Break out of it! Stop freewring.
WHAT SHOULD YOU DO IF YOU HAVE WRITER’S BLOCK INSTEAD OF FREEWRITING?
- Don’t panic – you are an olympic swimmer who caught a cold. It is temporary. it will pass. Your writing will be back in no time. Believe in yourself.
- Find and heal the root cause of the writer’s block – ask yourself “Why can’t I write? What’s bothering me?” and reply yourself honestly. Then, think about what would help you. If you are stuck, you can check my article: “10 most common causes for writers block and lessons you need to learn”, where I provided realistic solutions to the problem.
- Write less but keep the quality of your writing – I suggest starting with 50-100 words and then gradually increasing the amount. Why you should focus on quality? Because it will show you that your writing is still amazing and motivate you. Once you are motivated, the writer’s block is practically gone. Also, if you are blocked with a particular story, switch to something else. Write something completely unrelated. Write something you have something to say about. The quotes that I publish on my Twitter originated from my trying to help myself through writer’s block. I have written many amazing things that I wouldn’t have written otherwise.