Occasionally, we can all hit a snag in our writing, call it writers’ block, loss of inspiration, not following process, whatever. One useful exercise is freewriting. That is where you set aside time everyday and write anything. It doesn’t have to be a song, poem, or narrative. It can be anything. Words that you think of, describing your couch, literally anything that jumps into your head. The goal is to set aside five or ten minutes each day and do not quit moving your pencil for that time. It doesn’t permit you time to edit or overthink.

I found a good way to go about it was setting varying times everyday. Throughout the day, your senses and experiences are different and influence what you write about. So the first day, I might do the ten minutes before getting out of bed. The next day: before going to bed, the next day after breakfast. The next day: right before supper. After a few weeks, you have a lot of stuff written down.

Likely, most of it will be garbage. But there may be some gems in there, and there may be some fodder that you can put together and make into something.

This song of mine was written from freewriting materials.

During the first chorus, you can really tell. It starts: “Your soul seeps through the light between the blinds to find the bed I want to slide back in”. That was from a day when I wrote after waking up and before breakfast and coffee. The original line was “The light seeps through the blinds, finding the bed. I just want to go back to bed. So freaking tired”. Later is the song, there is the line “Yes or no questions aren’t easy to construct” line came from when I wrote during the work day and was preparing for a deposition.

The rest of the song I pulled from random words and sentences that I had written during the freewriting. I just compiled it all, edited the stuff a little, and had fun. I thought it would be fun to share that experience and the result with you.

If any of you have ever attempted freewriting, how did it go? Would you like to share the results?


I definitely subscribe to this technique, I spoke to a songwriter called Chris Read who swears by it, and showed me this software called Flowstate. Essentially, if you stop typing, the words on the screen gradually fade away and if they disappear completely there is no way of ever getting them back. This draws words out of you by brute force, and as you say you often get one interesting droplet in an ocean of garbage.

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Ha ha. I should learn more technology. I just have binders and notebooks and notepads everywhere and all colors of pens laying around. Technology would certainly cut down on the clutter.