Tuesday, April 15, 2014


I can’t remember where I first heard about the process of Free-Writing, but I can tell you the advice continues to come back to me, time and time again. I’ve worked with this technique many times over the years, yet for some reason I always abandon it in the end. Now, I’m wondering why that is.

When I asked myself this, the first thing that came to mind was of the waste of ten minutes of time. That’s ten minutes that could be used on actual writing. This is what I tell myself, and then I laugh as I realize that’s the little voice, not me. For, I know from experience this is not true at all. It is anything but a waste of time.

I’ve completed story scenes, grabbed bits and pieces of dialogue, and even pulled a few blog posts from simple ten minute session. Without Free-Writing, some of my thoughts and ideas may have never seen the light of day, finding their way onto paper.

But, not all sessions produce usable material. That, I believe, is where you find the catch. You have so little time to get your writing done. Can you really afford to waste ten to twenty minutes on nonsense writing? Yes, you can afford it, and it’s not a waste of time.


1. Set a period of time between 10-20 minutes
2. Disconnect from your editor and inner critic
3. Put pen to paper, or fingers to keys
4. Begin - write whatever comes to mind and do not stop until you’ve reached your set time


1. Free up your creative muscles
2. Bypass the ‘inner critic’
3. Discover what lies within your subconscious
4. Give your Muse room to move
5. Get you through a dry spell (writer’s block)
6. Make you more comfortable with the writing process

When to use:

1. You’ve come to a block in your work in progress and can’t figure out where to go. Jot down the last sentence, set your timer, and just write. Within the words created, chances are you will find your next step. If not, take a break, come back and try again later.

2. Your writing has slowed to a snail’s pace, your editor has crept inside your head, and you find yourself stuck on the same sentence for thirty minutes. Try a few free-writing sessions to get rid of the ‘inner critic’ and then get back to work on your current writing task.

3. Free-writing is wonderful for brainstorming. Your next blog post is due tomorrow, and you haven’t even started. You don’t have a clue what to write about. Jump in to free-writing and you are sure to grab some ideas, possibly more than one.

4. You finished up your last project a few weeks ago and it’s time to get back to some writing. But, you hesitate, even sweat at the thought of all the work ahead for a new project. Don’t sit around and stress over the issue. Free-write your way back into action and discover your next gig.


I would love to hear from some of you authors on this topic. Do you free-write? How often? Do you set a purpose at the beginning of your session? Do you use it for warming up before beginning your writing for the day?

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

A Treacherous Journey

by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
No one said this would be easy, did they? And, in most cases, they probably told you it couldn’t be done.

Artists, of all breeds, face treacherous roads throughout their career. But, the biggest pothole I’ve found is the internal enemy. The little voice yelling at you with every excuse you can think of. For some, the voice mimics people they know, but sometimes it is your own words creating the blocks.

Excuses are made. Time and energy are lost.

Originally, this post had been planned as an announcement to a long, extended hiatus from the blog. The excuses ranged from I don’t have much more to say, I need to spend this time working on my creative writing instead, and how will I find the time to do any writing at all. I battled with the choice and realized my mistake. I was letting that little, nagging voice control me, again. It’s time to take back control and shut that little sucker up for a little while. Duct tape, please!

One of the hardest things I face is having the courage to sit down and get started. Even with the knowledge that everything will be fine after a few minutes, I continue to avoid the ‘getting butt in chair’. After proving over and over to myself that any amount of minutes can bring progress and heighten motivation, I still find it easier to let that nasty voice fill me with doubt and fear.

So, how can this monster be slayed? In all honestly, I don’t believe it can. You must shut it up and prepare for his return.

I’d like to send you to two different articles, which I believe may help us all in our journeys.

Remember when you wrote for the pleasure? When you had no expectation of publication, at least not anytime soon? You created wonderful worlds to play within, just for your enjoyment. Wasn’t that fun? Maybe one of the keys to shutting that sucker up is to find your way back to this child-like place and just play.

Her method consists of three objectives: Knowing what you’re writing before you write it, discovering your most productive writing time, and being enthusiastic during your writing session. This system may come in handy once you get your butt in the chair.

Good luck in your travels. Remember, you’re not alone. We may travel this road in solitude, but we are many walking toward the same horizon.

Blog Directory