Free-flow writing

The only way to start writing is to start writing.

This is a handy writing exercise that I learnt about at a creative writing course. It's to get the ideas flowing and it's so useful that I'd like to share it with you.  Initially you should write for five minutes without stopping and then increase it to ten minutes when you get more used to the discipline.  

  • Pick a starter word or phrase from a newspaper or anywhere. This word is not really important.
  • Start writing.
  • Don't stop to think. Let yourself go and just write, write, write even if your writing appears to make no sense.
  • Don't correct any mistakes in the content, spelling or grammar. Don't cross out mistakes. Just write.
  • Keep writing whatever else is happening around you.
  • Don't worry if you stray from the original subject. This is good. It means you're reaching the ideas hidden inside your head.
  • Don't reread your work or try to reword sentences to improve on style. There'll be time for that later.
  • Don't stop yourself from writing things that you want to keep secret or feel embarrassed about. No one else will ever read this but you.
  • If you run out of things to write just repeat your initial word a few times and then write the first thing that comes into your head even if it has nothing to do with your initial word.
  • This piece of writing will not be a great literary work. That's not what it's about. It's about freeing up ideas that are hidden away in your head.

Do let me know how you get on with this exercise.