Freestyle Life Writing is one brilliant way to pour out honest, heart-felt truth. It’s not the only way, but I’ll blog about that another time. As a professional copywriter and ghost writer, I’ve written for other people for a long time. I’ve written in the style and the voice of other people, putting down words that best suited their lifestyles and businesses.
I love helping people with words, it’s my passion. I know the power that well chosen words can give a business and I know that in our personal lives, words expressed freely in a journal can release us from fear, anger, frustration, wrong thinking, and unrelenting bad memories.
I believe there’s a kind of magic that happens when we sit in front of our Life Writing, free from the kind of rules we’d apply if we were a professional writer. Ignoring spelling, neat writing, grammar, profanity and tidiness, and freeing yourself from any of the rules of writing, you can pour yourself out, release yourself to simply write what you’re thinking, feeling, remembering, celebrating, regretting, loving, hating and confused by.
Freestyle writing means letting go of your hangups about writing. It was hard for me at first; really, really hard. I kept wanting to go back over my words and edit the errors, cross out the bad grammar and rewrite the sloppy writing. After I’d been writing freestyle for a while, and I was able to look back on my Life Writing, I saw just how liberating it was. It was like I was tapping into a primal part of myself that held the truth and the facts most sacred to me. This primitive part of me loved the freedom to be utterly honest. It was a little scary at first, I admit, but it turned out that one of my most authentic ways of Life Writing came from this place of unrestrained, defiant, liberated, grounded self.
As I write my book Life Writing for Women, I’m including some excerpts from my own Life Writing, showing just how raw some of it was, and still is. The tough memories and the worst things that happen are owed a piercingly honest voice. Of course, this takes courage, the courage to let it all out, and sometimes it takes stamina to stick with the Life Writing until we break through the fear of discovery or the fear that we are full of crap. We don’t always trust ourselves, our own feelings and thoughts, am I being authentic? Surely I’m being overly dramatic? You know what? Overly dramatic is exactly what Life Writing is all about. In the same way that talking to your best friends brings out the real story, warts and all, our journal can be a place we go there as well. But our journal is never going to unintentionally change the subject without realising it’s closing us down like a friend might, it’s never going to have to go take care of its own family, it won’t offer advice when we only want to vent. It’s our life, it’s our Life Writing, it’s all for us.
Don’t get me wrong, my friends and family are great listeners, and we all lean on one another when we need a shoulder. I give and take advice, sometimes I’m a great listener and sometimes I feel like I know exactly what to say to comfort or at least help the ones I love. I’m just saying that our journal is pure in its ability to be there one hundred percent.
So, the benefits of Freestyle Life Writing are: It liberates us to say exactly what we think and feel. It keeps us on track. It gives us a very clear and honest account of life. It can help us with self-acceptance. It doesn’t judge.
If you’ve never tried it, I recommend you give it a go. Find a place where you won’t be interrupted, take out your journal and pen and write exactly what you are thinking and feeling in that moment. Say yes to whatever your hand wants to write. Don’t stop until you have finished expressing yourself. Then, be kind to yourself about whatever you wrote.
Write your life, know yourself. Rachel