Do you have a million great ideas, or even fragments of ideas, sloshing around in your head on a daily basis? Do you just KNOW something would make a great blog, article or book, but you don’t know how to start writing about it? Do do you start writing, then very soon feel as if you have been bound in chains, which are getting tighter and tighter with every sentence that you try to squeeze out? Or maybe you don’t even get that far -- the racing heart and butterflies in the stomach at the thought of writing, force you to go and do something else instead.
Do any of these writer’s block symptoms sound familiar to you?
If you are anything like me (and myriads of other people with blogs), you will have experienced at least one. My specific problem is desperately WANTING to write, WANTING to share, WANTING to love writing, but in reality I hate writing. Well actually let me correct that and make it past tense -- I HATED writing…until I read a book called “Accidental Genius”, by Mark Levy.
All I can say is that unless you are a fully confident, prolific and highly successful writer who never stumbles for words, then you NEED TO READ this book. When I first drafted this post I had no affiliate interest in this book, I just wanted to share the utter excitement I felt when I started using Mark’s “freewriting” as he calls it. (Since then I have joined Amazon’s affiliate program so I may well make a dollar or so when you buy this book.)
When you read “Accidental Genius”, prepare for WRITER’S UNBLOCKAGE, if there is such a term. Prepare to improve your writing and more importantly, your CONFIDENCE and ENJOYMENT in writing -- immediately.
The only reason this post is appearing here today is because my block has already been broken down by using freewriting.
What Does Freewriting help you to do?
Freewriting will help you reach a level of thinking which would otherwise not be possible in your normal ways of doing things. It will help you to
- see opportunities you may otherwise miss
- solve problems which seem impossible
- generally write better and more easily
- write more interestingly and creatively
- explore new situations and gain clarity that you did not know was possible.
As if this isn’t enough, the one that really struck my interest (as a Passion Test Facilitator) was when Levy pointed out,
- “You could even use freewriting to find purpose when you dont have a purpose in mind.”
What is this Freewriting all about?
As Mark Levy says, we have brilliant creative thoughts and ideas going through our minds constantly. We are not even aware of many of them. Take dreaming for instance -- what amazing things our minds can do even when we are asleep! Memories are the same -- we don’t put them there, they just appear from nowhere in the middle of doing something else. It is the same with solutions to problems. How often do you find that the answer to something just “pops into your head” when you are sitting at the traffic lights? The point Levy makes, is that these ideas don’t come from anywhere OUTSIDE of you, they are coming from INSIDE YOUR MIND. So the trick is just to be able to access your brilliance WHEN YOU WANT TO and when you need to. This is where freewriting steps in.
The trick is to make use of these thoughts without the boring, controlling, editing, mind taking over and limiting us.
As Levy describes, “as expansive and impressive as the mind is, it is also lazy. Left to its own devices it, it recycles tired thoughts, takes rutted paths, and steers clear of unfamiliar and uncomforatble territory. You could say that one of its primary jobs is to shut off, even when there is important thinking to be done. Freewriting prevents that from happening.”
So what is Freewriting?
In a nutshell, freewriting is a fast method of “thinking onto paper”. You simply start writing (or typing onto your keyboard) as fast as you possibly can WITHOUT STOPPING, and for as long as you can. You ignore the normal rules of grammar and spelling and just go for it, spilling out everything that is important to you on that particular topic.
Without stopping literally means you do not stop -- even if you hit a block where you can’t write anything meaningful, you just write anything (even repeat one word!) until you get going again. This stops your boring internal editor from keeping up.
How do you use your Freewriting?
Levy of course elaborates on the technique, describing 6 secrets of freewriting, and gives 15 problem solving and creativity-stimulating principles to get you going even more. Most importantly, he then goes on to explain how you can refine this freewriting into something that you can share with the world -- phew!… That’s lucky!
If you feel that this brilliant technique is something you could use to improve your writing skills -- for whatever you want to write, then you can get a copy of Accidental Genius: Using Writing to Generate Your Best Ideas, Insight, and Content now.
This post is obviously my own personal take on the book. If you want to hear a whole lot more about how this book can help you in your business with ideas, problem solving and leadership, then listen to the short video below, by the author himself.
Please leave your comments below and let me know if you use this technique or anything similar. I would love to hear from you. If your friends would find it useful too, then be sure to share it on Twitter or Facebook!
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