August 16, 2018

Keeping a journal

Posted in Flow, flow in writing, freewriting, journal writing, Momentum in writing, writing productivity tagged , , , at 2:44 pm by Rebecca Hein

Keeping a journal, although not quite as unstructured as freewriting or wander-writing, is still an important form of undirected writing. Here you get to write down your thoughts, feelings, and ideas in any order you wish, and as often or seldom as you want.

Presumably you mean to write somewhat coherently so that later you can refer to an entry and make sense of it. Freewriting and wander-writing require much less structure, if any. Therefore, journal-writing may not benefit you in precisely the same way as freer types of writing, and should not replace them.

This is because when we try to govern what we’re writing, even on the minimal level of a journal entry, we lose a degree of freedom and momentum. We experience these two elements only when we’ve removed all rules and expectations.

If we want to progress, freedom and momentum are the most important in our total writing experience, because they will find their way into all our writing efforts. Then we will discover their entire value.

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March 21, 2012

Freewriting, Part Two: Unrestricted Words

Posted in Flow, flow in writing, freewriting, Practice Writing, Warm-Up, writing techniques tagged , , , , , , , , at 3:06 pm by Rebecca Hein

In journal-writing, where our only goal is to capture our thoughts and feelings, we still expect our observations to make some sense. Therefore, we try to steer our writing in a certain direction.

Freewriting is different. It steers us, and being propelled forward by the raw energy of undirected ideas is a good antidote to the strictures of self-expression, even the mild limits of a journal entry.

March 14, 2012

Freewriting, Part One: How It Differs from Keeping a Journal

Posted in flow in writing, freewriting, writing techniques tagged , , , at 4:14 pm by Rebecca Hein

Some writers equate journal-writing with freewriting on the grounds that journal-writing is private, informal, and unrestricted. Yet there are some important differences.

In a journal, we record our thoughts and feelings, along with events that are important to us. Self-expression is the goal, and by definition, what we write in our journal has to make some sense.

Not so with freewriting. We can wander, experiment, free-associate, and launch into our own stream-of-consciousness. Therefore, it doesn’t matter if it’s nonsense because order and coherence were never our goals.

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