inCredible Messages Blog

How to Create Content by Throwing Writing Away

In their quest to write a book or create content for their businesses, people often ask me how many words they should write each day. They also want to know what time of day is most productive for writers.  Should they write 500 words each morning or 1000 words each afternoon?  Should they lock themselves in an empty room or write in a busy coffee shop?

Unfortunately, successful authors don’t have a universal answer to these questions.  That said, there is a surprising practice they all share. Here’s one thing virtually all top writers have in common:  they expect to throw writing away.

Many practice a technique called freewriting, in which they devote brief periods of time (10-20 minutes at a shot) to write whatever comes to mind.  In freewriting, they write their stream-of-consciousness thoughts, without regard to logic, punctuation, or grammar.  They do this to become better writers.  Freewriting is professional writing discipline.  Why?  Because freewriting provides at least three powerful benefits.

First, freewriting forces a writer to create content without criticizing, which improves the ability to generate ideas, even if you aren’t shooting for wildly artzy ideas.  Writing and criticizing at the same time (which most of us do habitually) breaks off the generative process and keeps the really good ideas stuck inside the writer.  Freewriting is the disciplined practice of separating the two.

Second, freewriting serves as an effective warm-up.  Getting the initial words on a page or screen can be the hardest part of creating content.  Rumor has it that Hemingway ended each day at the top of a new page, in the middle of a sentence.  That way, he didn’t have to start from scratch the next day.  A brief freewriting exercise can get the writing juices flowing so you don’t have to start cold.

Third, when you go into a writing exercise expecting to throw the work away, it frees you up to explore.  In 20 brief minutes of freewriting, writers often find they uncover fresh ideas, ones that are connected by unconventional logic or unique perspective.  While these writers throw the exercise away, they keep the ideas and use them.  These are the ideas they work to develop and refine.

You don’t need a lot of time, energy, or skill to practice freewriting.  You just need 10-20 minutes, your own stream of consciousness thoughts, and an attitude that allows you to explore.

Invest 20 minutes to experiment with freewriting today.  Send me a note to let me know what happens! What new content did you create?  I’m cheering for your success.


Posted by Bonnie Budzowski in Write a Non-Fiction Book that Builds Your Business, How to Write Content to Attract Clients, Multipurpose Content, Clear, Concise and Compelling Writing, Creating Content to Build Your Business.


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