Free Your Mind, Find Your Focus
One of my biggest writing challenges is simply getting started. In my ideal world, I begin typing the perfect opening sentence as soon as I sit down, and then the rest of the essay effortlessly finds its way onto the page. However, the reality is slightly different.
In an effort to find a new way to start assignments that have me stumped, I decided to try free writing. I had been taught this technique years ago, but was recently reintroduced to it by an instructor who had us complete a free writing exercise in class.
This was tough for me as my mind has a tendency to wander, especially if I’m not familiar with, or interested in, the topic given. So when I initially tried free writing, I allowed myself five minutes to see if this technique would actually work. I admit that on the first couple of attempts, some of my thoughts were unrelated to the topic at hand, but the more I have allowed myself to write whatever comes into my mind, the easier it has become to find a thought or phrase that helps me focus.
Free writing is still a work in progress for me. Patience is not always one of my virtues, so I have to remind myself not to get discouraged if complete thoughts or revolutionary ideas aren’t immediately filling the page. But, as someone who has a mind that likes to wander, this tactic gives it the freedom to do so, and I have been pleasantly surprised with the results! If you’re looking for a new approach to your assignments, you may want to give free writing a try.
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