You’ve been trying to solve the problem for months. It keeps rolling over and over in your head. You have experimented with many things, but you can’t seem to reach a breakthrough.
Have you been there?
I sure have.
I usually ask friends, go online, and search for answers where ever I can find them. Yet many times I end up stuck.
Many times it comes down to a decision or a less than desirable answer.
Sometimes I settle…
Sometimes I give up.
There has to be a better way.
Last week, while perusing the listings at Audible, I came upon a book with an interesting title
I decided that it might be something that would be of interest, so I downloaded it and listened to it on my daily commute. What I found was a little known problem solving technique called Freewriting.
This was really interesting, since I’ve been a big fan of Freewriting for some time. Yet I never considered it as a way to solve problems.
Freewriting can simply be described as sitting down at the computer, opening a blank word processing document, and typing whatever comes to mind for a limited period of time, usually 5 or 10 minutes.
I’ve used it for years to get unstuck while writing. If I have writers block, I usually Freewrite.
As I got into the book, author Mark Levy offers six secrets to turn Freewriting into a helpful problem solving exercise.
- Try Easy (Work at 90%)
- Write fast and continuously
- Work against a limit (10min)
- Write the way you think (not speak)
- Go with your thought
- Redirect your attention.
He suggests writing about your subject or problem in an easy low stress way. He calls it “try easy,” where you work at about 90% of your usual intensity. He proffers that writing fast and continuously for a set period of time, usually 10 minutes, will bring on powerful ideas one after the other. As you are writing, he says to put down your actual thoughts, not cleaned up versions as your would use in conversation.
Once you have reached your time limit, he suggests that you take a break and then go into another session, using the last thought as your starting point.
I have tried this technique over the last week and I can honestly say it has been a source of amazing ideas and creativity. The most interesting thing about this technique is to write things down in your thinking language. This provides great outline headings and junctions to start new freewriting journeys.
I highly recommend this book, in either audio or written versions. It’s simple premise and helpful tips can help you break through tough problems and come up with completely unique solutions.
Popular speaker and blogger, David Meerman Scott says in his Amazon review…
In a typical year, I’ll write one full-length book, a smaller ebook, about 100 blog posts and deliver about 50 talks all over the world.People ask me all the time how I can be so prolific. “Where do all your ideas come from?” they ask.
The answer is simple: I put my internal editor on hold for first drafts. This allows me to crank stuff out very quickly. A technique called “Freewriting” that I learned from Mark Levy in his terrific “Accidental Genius” allows me to get ideas down very quickly without seeing if it is “good.”
I’ve been amazed at how this simple technique can draw out ideas you didn’t know you had and word them so you can easily take action.
Question: Have you ever tried Freewriting before?