This morning I was listening to my subliminal meditation tape (the cats have been getting me up at outrageous hours) before dawn, and as often happens when I'm listening to my tape, I started thinking about the current Work In Progress. I got a good line, a scene. When this happens and I'm feeling energized (as opposed to sinking into sleep) I get up and start writing. I RARELY ignore inspiration. Can't afford to.
ANYWAY, my brain buzzed and I finished the scene and made my wordcount and didn't continue writing because this was a "sandwich" scene, coming between other scenes I've already written, and now it's time to sew them together. I've got too many just hanging out there, like oddly stacked blocks. (Different metaphors, I know). So I need to spend time with the rough manuscript. Sure am glad I have the rest of the day.
Blathering, I know, but that is pretty much the essence with free writing. I think I've spoken about Free Writing or journalling before. That's when you sit down WITH PEN/PENCIL AND PAPER IN HAND and write, keeping your hand moving across the paper, moving, moving, moving, until you've reached your goal of 3 pages or 1/2 hour or whatever. Julia Cameron (The Artist's Way) is of the opinion that if you're not used to free writing, you need to do it for at least three full 8 1/2 x 11 pages, because what's really bothering you won't come out until about page 1 1/2. When I followed the program (The Artist's Way), I found this to be true, then later, I was able to just purge from sentence 1.
There are many, many benefits to free writing -- purging your feelings of inadequacy, talking about what's working against you in your artistic endeavors, time commitments to family, fear of failure, etc. And you don't even need to do free writing for just your life, once I wrote all the things I was scared of about a manuscript. It was trite. The hero was stupid. My word choice s*cked. The plot would NEVER come together and I wouldn't be able to finish. (I think this was Heart Duel). Anyway, getting all my fears out on paper really helped. Pretty cool, too, when I lit a match and watched the thing go up in flames.
Now, I had no clue what I was going to write about today, which is not how I usually do it. Mind was blank. But then I thought of free writing because I'm proposing a seminar on it for Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers conference in September. We haven't had a free writing session in a couple of years, so I think we're due. And I think I can do it. With a little more preparation. ;)
So I thought I'd lay this on you. It's a good technique. Especially when you're stuck. Try it.
May your subconcious help you in your writing today. (and mine came in fits and starts).