Imagine your favorite activity. Keeping your thoughts on the activity and try to write a short paragraph in science or history. Difficult? Impossible? Yes it is.
A multi-window, multitasking, multi-tabbed system might be good on computers but it is difficult for our concentration. Like Micheal Yeboeuf says, few if any of us can write one thought and think another at the same time. Thus a pencil and paper makes excellent concentration tools.
A blank page has been a source of both excitement and trepidation. Few tools can accomplish what a scribbling pad can.
If only we could all touch a phoenix feathered wand to our temples, pull out our thoughts and store them in a blue colored fluid for later contemplation or review. But such things cannot be done by simple muggles like us and hence we depend on the trustworthy pen and paper.
Our memory is like a leaking bucket. A lot escapes in time. Amazing ideas, powerful thoughts, goals and even passions regularly leak out of our memory bucket. Writing them down improves our chances of success.
Writing as therapy
Cognitive science and psychological studies show writing as a very effective tool in overcoming trauma. This means, it is also a very powerful tool in anger management, blockages in self expression and to boost self esteem.
Practicing the process of filling up a page with personal reflections is therapeutic and often paves way to better creative interest.
An often talked and practised activity in creative writing is freewriting. Freewriting is the ultimate tool if you just don’t know what to do! If you are blocked, or your ideas are simply too tangled up to put down in a list, freewriting is for you. If you have an idea in the back of your head but just can’t quite pin it down, this is the technique that will pull that idea out. Freewriting is a little like fishing – you cast out with your pen, and then you let the ideas swim to you… but they won’t come if you don’t start fishing for them!
How to Freewrite
For five minutes, write non-stop: don’t lift your fingers from the keyboard or your pen from the page. Just keep writing. Don’t stop to ponder or make corrections or look up a word’s meaning in the dictionary. Just keep writing.
While you are freewriting, forget the rules of formal English. Because you are writing only for yourself at this point, you don’t have to worry about sentence structures, spelling or punctuation, organization or clear connections.
Freewriting can be used as a prewriting activity to tell your mind to start concentrating or as a brainstorming activity to put all your thoughts in perspective.