The practise of freewriting is becoming ever popular amongst writers as a tool to combat writers' block or to generate new ideas. The idea is simple: just write. And keep writing. Write whatever comes into your head first. Don't overthink it, and don't worry about grammar or spelling – you can always come back to these things later. Let your mind take you to some weird and wonderful places.
If you're getting stuck with your writing, or if you just want to try something new, why not get involved in our 7 day freewriting challenge? For seven days from Wednesday 19th August 2020 we'll be posting a different word or phrase on our Facebook and Twitter pages at 9am BST to inspire your freewriting.
The rules are simple:
1. Set aside some time (as long as an hour, or as little as 10 minutes) to write. You can use a timer on your phone if you like, or find one online, like this one.
3. Use the word or phrase as inspiration and begin writing. You can use a word processor on your computer, a pen and paper – even the notes section in your phone. Use whatever feels most comfortable for you.
4. Write whatever comes to your mind first. Don't overthink it. Keep writing with no pauses. Don't re-read your writing or edit it as you go. And don't worry about spelling, punctuation, grammar – or even if it makes any sense.
5. Keep writing until the 10 minutes are up.
The point isn't to produce a brilliant piece of prose or poetry, but to flex your creative muscles and have fun with writing. Perhaps you'll unearth some gems in your freewriting that you can use in later projects. Or maybe you'll uncover the bones of a thrilling story. But even if it's all a load of nonsense, it's still an extremely valuable tool to awaken the creative parts of your mind.
Make sure to let us know how you get on with the challenge in the comments section, or by using the #hhfreewritingchallenge tag on Facebook and Twitter. Feel free to share the challenge with other writers. But most of all relax and enjoy the process!
"Don’t overthink it, let the words pour out and take you where they want to go. You’ll be amazed how much easier your writing flows after a period of freewriting to wake up your brain and stimulate your imagination.
Do this first thing in the morning, when the remnants of your dreams are still fleeting shadows on the edge of your imagination. Go straight to your chosen place to write, before you become distracted by taking a shower, making a cup of tea or attending to the family breakfast.
Time passes quickly, 30 minutes, an hour, sometimes two, on a journey of discovery to expand the boundaries of your imagination." – Ted Stanley
Feeling inspired? Find out more about our 2020 competitions, with cash prizes and the chance for worldwide publication here.