Free writing actually works! I can plot again.
Despite having been advised to write freely by nearly every writer and book that I’ve met and read, I still hadn’t believed that it would work. Writing whatever was on your mind non-stop and expecting to come up with something good sounded silly.
But after repeatedly writing half a page of ‘I want to write well’, or something to that effect, my anxiety and frustration were flushed away. I started brainstorming, trying not to break the flow of words I’d built up, and in just half an hour, I came up with a rough plot synopsis for the first third of my novel.
I will never doubt timeless writing advice again. I’m still not sure if free writing can directly produce brilliant ideas, but I think it has a wonderful detoxifying effect on a writer. Now I know that the best way for a writer to find the energy to write is by writing.