Word Jar

 

Word Jar

The word jar is a handy tool to have in your writing space. It is exactly what it sounds like, a jar full of words! Simply write out as many random words as you wish on scraps of paper, fold them up and put them into the jar. It works best if you keep the words as varied and un-related as possible. You will find there are many writing warm ups and activities that this random word jar will come in handy for.

In particular you can use your random word jar for a directed free writing warm up. All you have to do is pull out a word from your random word jar and free-write about that word for a set length of time. This direct approach works well if you find the idea of undirected free writing, or trying to pick your own topic from thin air intimidating.IMG_8598

Your jar can be as plain or as prettied up as you would like. Keep it close to where you do most of your writing, so whenever you need a little writing warm up, some inspiration, or an excuse to procrastinate you can grab your jar, pull out a word and stretch those creative muscles.

Free Writing Example

Free Writing Example

I set my timer to 5 minutes for this example and just let my thoughts and words loose!

 

5 minutes is on the clock to free write what ever thoughts flow through my head. No editing, correcting, formating or deleting as you go! Make sure you keep yout hands moving, moving, moving. Always moving. If you can’t think of anything to write, then write that over and over again until uanother thougt pops into your head. The point is to get your brain firing, to get the words flowing so ehwn you sit down to write or plan your current project your brain is firing all synapses. The words will flow and the creative process will be that much easier. I can smell spring in the air, fresh cut grass and flowers. THeres a warm breeze and the sun is shining. Its hard to believe just yesterday the city was bombarded with artic breezes and heavy rains. I remember when my hubby and I went away for a 6 week camping trip last year we went up to the blue mountaings I was so excited to hike them and see all the different rock formations. Its stormed the whole time we were there! The wind was so strong our tent kept bowing inwards. I had to get up and go to the toiket at about 3am, bedraggled people were cralwing out of collapsed tents and sheltering in their cars. IT was insane! We hope to go back at some point and visit when it isn’t such bad weather. IT did make for a very interesting camping trupthough! The mountains, from what we could see peaking under the heavy cloud vover were beautiful. Camping is not

The timer went off before I could finish that last sentence. I didn’t come up with any best-selling ideas, however it has definitely loosened my creative muscles so I am ready to tackle my next blog! I highly recommend using this warm-up exercise before sitting down to write your project. It is also useful if you are ever suffering from the dreaded writers block. Sit back, take a breath, and do some free writing! It really does help to get the words flowing again and to clear your mind so you can return to your project fresh and inspired.

Free Writing

Free Writing

Free writing is an essential tool to any writer. It is an important practice that helps to improve your ability to write, encourages you to listen to your thoughts and to write with more confidence. It is also a fantastic way to warm up before knuckling down to tackle your current project!

Joel Friedlander explains the concept of free writing in his article “Unleash Your Creativity Now: How to Freewrite” quite well. Free writing is a simple and effective tool to help warm up and stretch your creative muscle! It releases all those pent up ideas and stray thoughts in your head so you can approach your writing project with a clear mind and an easy flow of words.

How to “free-write”:

Like any pre-writing warm up it is important to set a time limit. 10 minutes is a good length of time; however if that seems too daunting to begin with then try 5 minutes.

Set your timer and start writing. Write non-stop until you run out of time. Do not stop to edit, plan or correct. Just keep your hand moving the whole time. Write whatever thoughts pass through your head. If you cannot think of anything to write, then just write that over and over again until something else pops into your head. Write poorly, it doesn’t matter. You don’t need to worry about punctuation, spelling, grammar, margins, paragraphs, word choice or messiness. Just keep your hand moving. There is no right or wrong, no good or bad. It is just a way to get the words flowing, to help you move pass any barriers in your mind and get your thoughts out.

FREE WRITING EXAMPLE

 

Directed Free-writing:

Another way of free writing is a more directed approach of picking a topic. You can utilize a word or topic from your word jar, or pick a topic such as a recent trip, a pet, a holiday, work, a photograph etc. Once you have picked your topic, set your timer and off you go! Once again, don’t let your hand stop; keep the words and thoughts flowing and let your inhibitions go.

DIRECTED FREE WRITING EXAMPLE