In my Writing From the Heart, Writing From the Head workshops, I spend the first day showing writers how to tap into their inner world by doing these specific writing exercises. By going on this visual journey many writers come up with extraordinary images they record through the written word, describing all the details through their sense of smell, sight, sound, taste and touch. Afterwards, they take their childhood memories and stories and transform them into fictional characters and plots.
Many writers were surprised at both the quality and power of this type of free writing. Others never approached writing from this perspective of dealing first with creativity and found this technique allowed them to write with greater ease and intensity. Stories that they needed to write became accessible to them through free writing.
My main objective for having you write this way is to get you to write your truth, to write your passion, by taking your memories and transforming them into well-structured, stories that emotionally move others. After you've completed writing about your childhood memory, see if you can put it into a story or a scene. When you write from this powerful source you will be able to create fresh stories and original characters who come alive.
A tool for self-knowledge and self-discovery, free writing allows you to self-explore your unconscious. Not only will your writing improve, but through writing your childhood stories you will be on the path of healing unfinished business. By dealing with your past through writing, will make you feel better and also relieve stress.
Remember, when you begin to write you just want to get your creative ideas down on the page without the self-consciousness of your judgmental self. When you analyze and criticize your writing too soon in the writing process you may become blocked. So silence your critic by continuing to write without editing your work, no matter what! This free writing must be done without self-criticism. There is certainly plenty of time for that to come when you're rewriting. In the beginning just write without censoring your thoughts, feelings, or ideas before you ask yourself the following:
"Is it good?" "Does it work?" "Will it sell?"
The only thing you should be concerned with at the beginning of your writing journey is to get your words down on the page. Just get out of the way of your creative self and trust the process. Successful writers have an openness to themselves and their writing. Trust the process without being self-conscious and you will end up rich with imagination, spontaneity, and creativity, all the ingredients you need for screenwriting success.
When you are able to write from the inside out, your writing is more honest and has greater feeling, because you aren't forcing it or trying to be brilliant. I always tell writers when they first begin a screenplay: "It doesn't have to be right, just WRITE it!"
Your creativity must be nurtured. It is one of the real gifts in life that is also free for the taking. It's up to you to untie the bow and open your gift each and every day! Before you know it you'll have more story ideas then you ever thought possible.
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