Favorite writing advice:
“Write without editing in your journal for 15 minutes every day. It will change your life.”
Who said it:
Katherine Black, poet & creative writing professor
Writing steam of consciousness ~ whatever comes to mind, zero editing or judgment ~ lets you open up your mind. It lessens fear of the blank page and the worry of measuring up. It eases perfectionism. It allows you to tap into the subconscious where, IMO, all good stories come from. It allows you to make connections on the page that you might not have thought of but your subconscious knew were there. You don’t show this journal work to others; this is strictly for you. That way there’s no pressure; there’s just simply you writing.
How it changed my writing:
Doing this was really a revelatory act for me. Not only did I learn to loosen up and let myself play on the page but also I learned things about myself that I hadn’t known at all: things about my own process, things I believed were true, judgments I was making, the vision I had for my life, and how I needed to learn to trust myself and the story for starters.
The trick, though, is that you must write whatever comes to mind, stream of consciousness, without editing it or judging it at all. At first it was awkward, and sometimes I wrote over and over: I don’t know what to say. But eventually out of that came what I did want to say. It turns out I had a LOT to say and didn’t even realize it. That was a gift of this exercise, too ~ finding my own voice.
Even if it’s unfamiliar and strange to you, stick with it. Like most things, the more you practice at it, the better and easier it gets. If you write whatever comes to you for 15 minutes every day (even if you don’t consider yourself a writer), if you guard that time as if it’s precious (meaning you don’t make excuses and skip it), if you let your subconscious come out and lead you, it truly will change your life.
So do you write without editing for at least 15 minutes every day? Please feel free to share your thoughts & experiences in the comment box below.