Free writing is defined as a period of time in which a person writes continuously without worrying about rhetorical concerns or conventions and mechanics.
I would argue that free writing is nothing short of therapy. Or at least it was for me.
I had terrible grammar when I was younger and my spelling was creative to put it nicely. I hated writing in front of other people because I didn’t want them to see that I couldn’t spell what were considered simple words, correctly. It didn’t help that I was homeschooled for my adolescent education. Everytime I slipped up, it felt like my homeschooling education was the factor people blamed.
However, I loved telling stories. I would draw pictures or make my sister act in the dramatic fairytale series that I dreamed up. And everyone could tell I needed a cohesive way to tell those stories, even if it was just so they could shut me up.
So my father introduced me to free writing.
The rules were simple:
- Write whatever you want to, about whatever you want to.
- Spelling doesn’t matter.
- Don’t stop writing until the ten minutes is up.
Every day we would sit together at the dining room table and I would write ‘bla bla bla’ over and over until time was up.
Eventually I started getting bored with the same words over and over and started writing down my stories. And for a long time the spelling was horrific, but that didn’t matter because nobody was allowed to demand to read my journal.
The idea was that I wrote for myself. That I wrote down the stories I wanted to read.
Free writing has continued into my young adulthood as a practice I’ve fallen in love with. Had a bad day? Write it down in intimate detail until the bad day is no longer in your head and it’s only on the page.
Writing has become my therapy and my meditation.