What stream-of-consciousness looks like
This is an example of stream-of-consciousness writing.
I’ve mentioned this technique a few times over the course of these daily writing inspiration posts. So I thought it was high time I showed you an example of how it might go.
I’ve set a timer for 15 minutes and am typing whatever words come to mind. Then I’ll give myself 15 minutes to do a little bit of editing and formatting — keeping it very minimal, just enough to clarify typos and format for Medium.
My fingers aren’t moving as fast as I might like them to… it’s sometimes hard to let myself type what I’m thinking without overthinking it. I’m an overthinker. I like to edit as I go along, even though I know that isn’t the best way to write. Exercises like this one help to stretch me.
I don’t alway like practicing writing, esepcially when it comes to exercises that make me uncomfortable. I like staying in my comfort zone, writing things that are comfortable and writing when I feel like it.
But I also like pushing myself out of my comfort zone because it makes me a better writer and a better person. I like who I am when I push myself and develop discipline by doing things like writing and publishing every single day, no matter whether I feel like it or not.
I can’t believe I’m going to publish this… I like refining my writing. Sometimes I think I like the refining/editing process better than writing itself! I don’t like putting my imperfect self out there. It’s hard enough to put an almost-perfect piece out, let alone this rough writing!
15 mintues of this… and then sharing it with the world. Why am I doing this to myself?
Because I would want someone else to do it for me. When all I see is polished work I expect or at least tend to expect my own work to be polished. all the time. right away. My rough drafts are rough and I don’t like that. Especially when I forget that everyone starts somewhere.
Sure, a lot of what I write doesn’t require a boatload of editing, but sometimes the words don’t flow out as naturally as I might like, especially when pushing myself to write uncomfortably like today.
I don’t love stream-of-consciousness writing. But I do know it helps me. I want to encourage my reader — anyone who ends up reading this far — that it doesn’t have to be perfect. Not everything you write has to be publishable. Not everything you create has to see the light of day.
The more you write, though, the more likely you are to produce work that is excellent.
Goodness the typos… so many misspelled words. I will let myself fix those before sending this out into public.
It’s hard to stay focused this evening as I write this. How I prefer writing first thing in the morning! But some days that just doesn’t work and so I write at an unideal time. I’ve written about that already this month: making and breaking routine. Routines help, but when they get broken that doesn’t mean I’m useless.
I write so many more words when I simply let myself write. This is a huge reminder of how much I usually edit myself as I go along… it’s a bad habit.
But then again being slow isn’t all bad, in particular when you are slow and steady. And I’m choosing to focus on steadiness this month, what with publishing every single day.
I’m not typing as fast as I possibly can… I’m letting myself slow a bit, but if I were truly writing everything that came into my head I could move so much faster. That would only be for the sake of practicing fast typing, though.
I think slow. I have all kinds of words going in my head at once, thinking on different topics, but when I zero in on one topic I think about it slowly…
I am mixing tenses here. I don’t know if that’s the best way to phrase it — but I’m talking about me, and also mixing in talking to the reader and telling you what you should do. This isn’t a good writing habit. But that’s a bit much to cover right now. I need to think through it a little more before I’ll be ready to string my thoughts together cohesively.
That’s a beautiful adverb.