I just set the timer for five minutes.
Five minutes to write whatever comes into my head on the topic of “writing un-edited.”
Just let the words spill out onto the page…flowing…saying what they need to say. Without me getting in the middle, wading in with a giant machete that is my “backspace” button and destroying all their unfettered wondered. Sometimes you just have to let go. Let the words do the work. Just type. That’s all they ask sometimes – for you to type so that they can be heard.
There is a time and a place for editing. Certainly it is one of the most important components of good writing. But first you have to write unedited. Or else you may never get anything down on the page. If you self-edit before it’s time to edit, your words may come out stuffy and un-you…not what you want or what the world needs.
Whenever you sit to write…or you’ve been sitting to write over and over and over again…wondering what to say, how to say it…just write unedited. Let the words speak for themselves. Unfettered.
Wonderful things may come. Don’t judge yourself. Don’t hold yourself to some invisible standard – that your words have to be perfect before they even hit the page. Just write. Or, rather, let the words write for you. Your job is to write [or type]. Only write.
Editing will come later. Never fear. There will be time enough for that. But not now. For now just let the words write for you.
My five minutes is up and the above was what I got. Rough. In need of corrections. Un-edited. The tense needs work. Punctuation. Some of the ideas need to be more fully developed. But I have 235 words. In five minutes. It’s a place to start.
Try it: set a timer for five minutes and just let the words write for you. Don’t use the backspace key. Don’t erase. Just write. You’ll be surprise at what happens.
Let me know how it goes!
I’ve tried doing this a lot, especially when I’m trying to loosen up for a creative writing project. Probably the equivalent of improv in music…
Absolutely! Definitely the equivalent. I find the hardest thing to write is usually the first sentence.