Finding the time…

As part of my study I have been given the challenge of freewriting for ten minutes a day. This was set as homework at my novel plotting class. I’ve studied creative writing with the Open University and one of the first tasks you’re given is to freewrite. This is to write whatever comes into your head, no matter what it is (swears and brain nonsense allowed), on paper using a pen. i.e. not on the computer. It’s something I often go back to when I am ‘stuck’ or in need of ideas. I find it especially good to drum up ideas for a poem. Metaphors are an important tool when writing poetry and as stated on* ‘Sometimes poets choose to use one metaphor in the beginning of a poem, and elaborate on it as the poem unfolds. So, if I was writing a poem, I would pick one metaphor and then freewrite, putting everything down that came into my head and then I’d use that material to formulate a poem. Not that I am writing poetry today, just giving freewriting the thumbs up.

So, I have been freewriting for ten minutes a day and after three days have over 1000 words. Because it’s always a bit more than ten minutes. I set the timer to ten minutes, but when time’s up, I’m usually well into another world I have to drag myself out of. I’ve been using freewriting to help me with Holly’s Hub (my draft novel). I have written out a list of possible scenes for the remaining fifteen thousand words of the story. It is a great way to discover new things about your character – by dropping them into a situation to see what happens.

It’s not always easy to finding time to freewrite, and it’s not necessarily the time but ‘uninterrupted’ time, especially at home at the weekend when my family are around me. For instance, since I started this post, I’ve made two cups of coffee, three cheese rolls, a fishcake salad, heard all about the progress of the England Rugby match and fed the cat. First thing this morning I took my darling daughter to her dance class. Instead of having a mooch around Sainsbury for half an hour, I took my pen and notebook and stayed in the car park. I slid into the passenger seat, moving it back so I had lots of leg room. I scribbled away with no interruptions listening to the rain pounding on the roof. I wrote about Holly conducting a networking breakfast meeting held in a cold town hall on a rainy day. I came away with a few new ideas. It’s such a great way of opening the mind…

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