We all know writing is a journey, a process by which we navigate our way through an idea. Finding ways to get our ideas onto paper is the unending task of a writer. There are many different ways to inspire the writing process. Some are more formal while others take a far less guided approach and instead one that encourages the free flow of ideas. Writers have many techniques for working on their craft, and one of those techniques is to practice stream of consciousness writing. Stream of consciousness writing is unstructured and unedited, a free writing exercise that follows no rules other than to simply write down the thoughts that are free flowing through the mind.
This short video from Overall Adventures highlights the benefits of this free writing technique, highlighting several reasons why a writer ought to embrace stream of consciousness writing. Stream of consciousness writing will help a writer:
- identify emotions,
- improve journaling,
- improve connection to self,
- problem solve and see from a new point of view,
- help heal trauma,
- get comfortable with the unknown,
- increase creativity,
- and allow for “brain freedom” (capture the “chatter” and harness its power).
If you already use this writing method, Overall Adventures also shares ways to improve this practice, such as:
- Pick a topic or theme.
- Forget about grammar.
- Pause before rereading, for several days even, to prevent negative judgment.
- Make it routine.
- Set a timer.
- Write about discomfort.
Whether you’re looking for new ways to approach your writing or simply some fresh ideas to build upon your own techniques, the practice of stream of consciousness writing is one way to just get ideas on paper, without judgment, then taking the time to reflect on those words in a meaningful way. You might be surprised what comes out of these moments of “brain freedom”.