One of the great methods of writing that I really like is free-intuitive writing. First time I learned about it was in Tristine Rainer´s book The New Diary. I had then already explored this method without knowing it was a special method well known even within the world of psychology. It had already given me so much happiness, self-awareness, and creativity! It had already blown my mind with ideas of how to change my life and how to write the greatest story in the world. I had already learnt that there is abundance within the world of words, that I can and are allowed to write in any way I want, and what I want. But after reading Rainer´s book I got much deeper into it, and when I came out of it on the other side of the experience I had learned much more both about my self and my writing process. Free-intuitive writing is a well of hidden gold that makes anyone who uses it rich in fantasy, creativity, the flow of words, new words, ways of expression and self-esteem.
WHAT IT IS
Free-intuitive writing (you can also call it active fantasy, flow of consciousness, free association, free writing), has nothing to do with what you are aware of. It comes from a deep lever of you inner space, and the result of it can sometimes be the opposite of what you feel and think. It can point out a new direction for you – in your life or in the story you are writing. It can be used in conduction with writer´s cramp, with great results.
What you do is just to relax and write every single word that comes to you. Do not think, do not judge, do not re-write, do not make any censoring and do not have any opinions about what you are writing. In fact – do not check what you just wrote, just keep on with the next word, and then the next. Just write! And remember – this writing exercise is best done in handwriting. You are allowed to write in any direction at the paper, turn the paper if you want while writing, and use any handwriting you want, good or bad. Write fast! What you write will most likely be lacking logic, maybe it will be ugly, the spelling and grammar does´t matter. This writing is like being in trance, without any reflection over what you´re doing, why or how. It can look like this:
“today yey hey are you me we be bee beep wake up morning tired wired slow too slow wow! is it bit hit money hunny bunny hare hair beautiful girl girlish wimp nerd glasses professor tintin serial serious get serious hard too sharp sacked no humor braindead strange stranger stranger stranger unknown story worry time press deadline I’m fine”
See? The grammar, spelling and the sense of it is totally absent. That does´t matter. I can do this for as long as I wish, but when I´m done with it I start looking at it asking myself questions.
- What does this piece of writing tells me that I didn´t know before?
- Are there any words that returns over and over again? What does that mean to me?
- What is the difference between my feeling before I did this writing exercise and now?
- What kind of feeling does the piece of writing mediates to me?
My reflection is that this piece tells me is I´m worried about not getting done with the novel I´m writing. I already passed the deadline and feel stressed about it. It also tells me that I seem to be a bit worried that the story isn´t good enough – maybe it´s too little humor in it, maybe I´m trying to be too much of a professor writing that kind of stuff as in my story.
WHAT FREE-INTUITIVE WRITING CAN DO FOR YOU
Now, when I know this about my self I can start to work with the problem; my stress and lack off self-trust in my writing. Then I will finish my story. You can do this exercise to get over your writer´s block, to get new information about your self, just to have fun, to get a new direction in your story, or just to see what happens if you do it… And most important of all – always keep your exercise! Hide it away in some archive, but remember that even if you don´t think it can be useful now, maybe it will be useful tomorrow.