Just recently I was having one of those nights where I had so many thoughts running through my head that I wasn’t sure how to express everything I was experiencing. I didn’t know how to say what I was thinking and I honestly didn’t even know if I could say everything just because I didn’t completely understand all of the thoughts in my mind. I was so overwhelmed with thoughts and I could feel my anxiety rising, so I opened up a notebook and started writing. I kept writing and writing for about twenty minutes. At first, my sentences were jumping from topic to topic and my ideas were jumbling together, but, by the end of it all, I felt like a weight had been lifted off of me. By writing it down, I had worked through my brain so that I could understand myself and it worked. After getting my thoughts out in a free write, I felt so much better and I got a pretty good poem out of it, which is always a plus.
I’m sure you’ve had those moments, too. Those nights that you can’t sleep because you’re up thinking or those days when you can’t even carry a conversation because there’s so much on your mind. If you’re ever feeling overwhelmed like that, why not experiment with a free write? It’s so simple that there is no harm in giving it a shot. They can be as fun or as serious as you want them to be. As short or as long. Free writes can be anything you want, so why not?
On those days, take a pen and paper or even a keyboard and just write. Write for five minutes, ten minutes, or however long it takes to keep your thoughts from crowding your mind. I’ve been doing free writes forever and it is honestly one of the few writing tools I consider to be priceless. They help you jot down all of the clutter and nonsense in your mind, organizing your stream of consciousness to a point where there is cohesiveness to your words. Before you know it, you’re off on a tangent that exposes some thoughts you couldn’t tap into before, sparks a new idea for a short story, or just makes you feel a whole lot better.
Plus, there’s something special about expressing all of your thoughts without having to talk about them or share them if you don’t want to. Sometimes your thoughts should remain private and only you can make sense of them. Free writes can be that time of the day you dedicate to yourself, which is something everybody needs.