Brainstorming: Free Writing
So far in this series, we’ve discussed three methods which largely involve making connections or finding ideas based on others. Free writing breaks free of this thinking, in fact, it was designed to set you free from the shackles of organised thought.
This is the fourth post in series about Brainstorming. This series includes the following:
How do you do it?
Start writing. That’s all you need to do. Don’t stop, and don’t censor what’s going onto the page. You might want to set a timer, or choose a topic, but these aren’t compulsory. There are no rules in free writing, so let your subconscious loose, and realise the ideas your brain ordinarily wouldn’t let through its screen process.
What can I use it for?
Your first thought may have been for creative writing, but it could be used for any sort of writing: essays, reports, even speeches. It is most suited to work which doesn’t require any further research. This is because it draws on your knowledge and past experiences to generate ideas.
Despite free writing’s limitations in terms of usage, the process associated with it can easily be adapted to suit any situation. The idea behind free writing centers on thinking beyond our consciousness. This goes further than ‘thinking outside the box’, because, while you can use lateral thinking, free thinking, as we shall proceed to call it, is based around removing the censor for your thoughts.
Twice now, I’ve mentioned the censorship of thoughts by the brain. Humans have an unfortunate desire to not make idiots of themselves. This fear of failure causes the brain to censor its thoughts, removing anything it decides is illogical, offensive, immature or bizarre. Free thinking allows you to turn off this beep and black box.
Free thinking can also be extended to the artistic world. When you were younger, how often were you told off for doodling in your notebook during class? How do you think your teacher would react if you told them it fuelled your thinking process. It doesn’t sound plausible, does it? But doodling is a form of free thinking, because you’re drawing whatever comes into your mind, just as in free writing.
So that’s my take on free writing, and free thinking. I hope I’ve enabled you to open your mind to all those seemingly ridiculous ideas. Let me know what you think in the comments.