One of the easiest ways is to just take a scrap of paper and jot down whatever comes to mind. This unpunctuated, unbridled, and hopefully unstoppable stream of words goes by the name of freewriting. Although it may not work for everyone, freewriting exercises are one of the best ways to walk around the writer’s block.
Freewriting also helps to develop the habit of writing. Sir Francis Bacon was probably talking about freewriting when he said – Write down the thoughts of the moment. Those that come unsought for are commonly the most valuable.
Here are five freewriting websites to put his words”¦into words.
Don’t think, just write. The website’s About page describes precisely what it is all about. Every aspiring writer has to kickstart his or her imagination. The site’s single word exercises are about that. It displays a single word and you have to conjure up a complete sentence or more around it. And you have to do it in 60 seconds.
The idea is to put you in the flow of writing and get your spontaneous thoughts out. You can log into the site and take part in the little community. Your sentences are also put on display there. You might think how far can you take a single word?
Well, take a look at the responses from other writers and you will see that everyone has their own take on what a word means to them.
Writeforten.com is a writing sketchbook. The exercise is simple: write on anything for ten minutes. It can be anything, structured or unstructured, rambling or planned. The idea again is to spark your spontaneous creativity without letting fear of failure bog you down. You have to register for free to use the simple blog style interface of the site.
As soon as you are ready, a text box opens up and the clock starts ticking. At the end of 10 minutes, the timer stops and you can submit the off the cuff post marked as public or private. All public posts get their unique URL for display.
If you keep at it for ten minutes each day, you will be well on the way to becoming a writer by habit.
This freewriting website is actually a social network of writers. The “˜Playground Rules’ say that you can write ten sentences or less and a maximum of three every day (or less). If you are interested in Flash fiction or micro-fiction, or poetry in ten words or less, this website is definitely for you.
With a vibrant forum, blog posts, videos, and an involved community of writers, this is a cool social network for working on your writing skills.
Here, you have to spend more than ten minutes and use more than one word. The well designed 750words.com extends the freewriting exercise to 750 words or more. That’s about three pages of text. The writing is all online and you also get motivational points for your efforts. Extra points are awarded if you stay on track every day.
You can sign in with a Facebook, Google, Yahoo, or OpenID account. You can set up email reminders for writing on the site each day. The interface resembles a blank white page with your track record on display at the top. Posts are auto-saved every ten seconds, so your writing is left unhindered. Posts are kept private. You can look up stats to see who’s doing what. Each writer has a chance to earn “˜badges’ for consistency.
What I am looking forward to are the One Month Challenges. Perform writing feats and see your name on the Wall of Awesomeness, or lose out on the Wall of Shame.
This website is not actually a dedicated freewriting website. But it has a lineup of useful tools that can help you fill up a few pages with letters and words. The site has lots of writing prompts and exercises. Especially, if your motivation to write is flagging, check out the creative writing tools like the Cut up Machine, Text Collage, and Random Line Generator. You can also use the single click Writing Prompts tool to start off your writing.
Maybe Sir Francis’s words will come true. Give these freewriting tools a try at least once. The least they can do is relieve you of the stress of writing. Once that’s dealt with, you can really get down to turning your writing into a habit. What do you think of freewriting websites and tools like these?
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