Free writing Pros and Cons

Free writing sounds lovely.  Let your mind go free, write whatever comes to mind for 10, 15 or 20 minutes.  This article makes it sound wonderful and relaxing.

The author of the above article does not live with my mind.  I absolutely believe that free writing has its place in healing.  For me however, I need a bit of structure or supervision.  I have truly dark places in my mind.  I do not want to wander there.  It is dangerous.  Totally free writing is not a safe thing for me to do.  It would be like wandering around along a cliff at night without a flash light.  I do choose a topic and start writing about it.  Many of my home work assignments were writing assignments.  I could keep track of my thoughts and see chains of thinking that linked together different subjects.  This type of therapeutic writing where you choose a very specific subject and explore this has more value to me.  It lets me do my own personal brainstorming about a subject.  My blog posts sometimes come under this category.  I start writing about a specific subject and share what I think.  However, I edit like crazy before posting.

Writing is an art form it does allow access to parts of the mind that might be locked up, but keep in mind it may be locked up for a reason.  Another related area that will come up in a search about free writing is journal writing.  There are web pages that provide places where you can keep a journal.  My paranoid computer techy part of me would never use this for truly private thoughts simply because I believe that once something is on the internet someone else without scruples is willing to exploit it.  There are many great web pages that share ideas on what to write journals about.

Inner conversations in a notebook can sometimes help connect yourself to yourself.  I spent a time of my life with parts of myself isolated from each other.  Writing was a way for me to connect with myself.  I could take a snapshot of what I was thinking in a moment.  Later I would return to the same writing and have a very different perspective.

In summary, I highly recommend writing as a tool for healing.  Use discretion and accept what your needs for writing are for you.  I enjoy sharing what I learn in a blog.  Others don’t.  I keep private many of my thoughts. Others don’t.  I give myself boundaries when I am writing.  Others don’t.  I hope you get the concept that writing as a tool whether it is structured or not has real value in the healing process.  Many of my writing assignments became talking points in my counseling sessions.  It allowed me to bring another part of myself into a discussion that I might otherwise exclude.  For journal writing, free writing, and private diaries skill in writing is not needed.  I don’t fret about spelling when healing is my goal.  (7th grade teacher gave me a “Bad Spellers” dictionary because I couldn’t find all my misspelled words in a regular dictionary. I love computers because they put a wiggly line under all my misspelled words. Sometimes my posts are quite colorful with squiggles before I edit them.)

Another point of view from Patricia J Grace

8 thoughts on “Free writing Pros and Cons

  1. Free writing: How to fall into the abyss in three sentences or less.

    I can reread my free writing journal years later and nothing has changed. I always spiral into the darkest corners and holes, and it always ends the same horrible way.

    Blessedly, I learned about blogs where I couldn’t/wouldn’t share my darkest thoughts. Blogs, for me, required planning and structure. The interesting part is that I don’t write in my deep, dark journal hardly ever anymore. I’d rather spend time writing something more constructive.

  2. Pingback: WRITING | Patricia J Grace

  3. Pennebaker’s Expressive Writing is good. Four 20 minute sessions a day apart. And instruction to stop as soon as you feel uncomfortable.

  4. Pingback: Comments about writing | PTSD - Accepting, Coping, Thriving

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