One of the most common challenges in writing is the dreaded “Writer’s Block” phenomenon. It’s when you just don’t feel like writing for a variety of reasons, some of which include; lack of inspiration, doubt in one’s own abilities, and real life just to name a few. Perhaps in the future I will cover Writer’s Block in more depth, but for now I would like to present to you a helpful exercise that helps in combatting this wall of infinite confidence destruction.
The Free Fall Journal is where you set a timer for yourself (from 10-30 minutes) and write to your heart’s content until the timer ends. The goal here is not to be fancy or eqloquent in your writing, rather free in expression as you fall into the page and simply let your thoughts out without stopping or editting in the process.
Whether you’re writing in long hand or typing into a document, never lift your pen off the page (except between words and punctuation of course) or your palms off your keyboard. Just write whatever comes to your stream of consciousness, even if it’s “I don’t want to write now, this is stupid. What the hell is that Marlon guy talking about?”
Writers and non-writers alike suffer from the plague of perfectionism, and writing a Free Fall Journal is a way of saying to hell with perfection as you allow yourself to write whatever feels natural. Maybe what comes to mind right away is gold or maybe it’s absolute crap. Who cares?!
The point is to feel free to express yourself without censorship and without self editting. We live in such a self-conscious society where we constantly worry about what people think of us, and sometimes we go insofar as to filter our own thoughts and think that they are worthless. Well, as long as you’re not planning anything malicious against another human being and are actually considering doing it, then feel free to think what you like. There’s no such thing as Thought Police except for in our own minds. Set your thoughts free! Try writing a Free Fall Journal.
How to apply this to your life:
Even if you’re not a writer, this exercise will help you feel comfortable with your own thoughts. You can write whatever you like; a delicious (or disgusting) recipe, manual instructions, a journal entry, or even the beginning of a story. The possibilities are endless. Remember, no one ever has to read it but you, and you might not even want to keep it, though I suggest you do for interesting re-reading purposes. You’ll be surprised by your own train of thought, sometimes even scared, and often for me, I get amused by what I’ve written.
Why this exercise is important:
As I mentioned earlier, we do live in a self-conscious society, usually afraid of outside opinions. Take back your dignity and self respect by trying out a Free Fall Journal. The only judge is you and it’s up to you to be fair, harsh, or even nice to yourself. A Free Fall Journal is a place where you can feel safe being unfilitered and unexamined by others, unless if you want to share it with people, that’s fine too.
So try it on for size, give yourself 10-30 minutes a day to free fall and you’ll be amazed by how freeing it is to your self esteem. I personally free fall to let myself write the stupidiest, incoherent, sometimes most vile crap just so I know it’s okay to express myself in a safe and creative way. Give yourself the same luxury!