A to Z of
Creativity Techniques
Free Association
Fresh eye
F-R-E-E-Writing F-R-E-E stands for Fast, Raw and Exact-but-Easy.


You write as fast as you can while remaining legible. Keep your hand moving: once you begin writing, you don’t stop until you have completed the time or page space you have allocated to the exercise. You don’t pause to reread what you’ve just written, because that leads to stalling and attempting to control or refine your first thoughts.

At first your wrist or hand may be sore but don’t worry about that – just keep going. Your muscles will adjust in a few days. Write as fast as you can until you have completed the allocated time or pages.

Let the words flow f-r-e-e. Lose control.


Writing raw has two meanings. On one hand, because you are writing as fast as you can with the aim of unleashing your unconscious mind, you can forget all about spelling, punctuation etc. This writing is for you; when you read it back you will know what you mean: so forget everything your English teachers ever told you and write as raw as you like. Pay no attention to style or expression, just write the thoughts that arise in your own, everyday language.

Don’t cross out or correct or try to edit anything, either as you write or once it is written. Even if you write something you didn’t mean to write, leave it stand.

The second meaning of writing raw is to resist any urge to self-censor. From time to time, you will find thoughts rise in you that you don’t want to write, thoughts that feel frightening or silly or disgusting or pathetic. Thoughts you don’t want anybody else to know you ever had. Let them come, raw as they are. Get them out of you. The words you least feel like writing are often those that are most significant. Don’t think, just write.

Let the words flow f-r-e-e. Lose control.


What we mean by “exact” is that you should be precise about detail as you write. Not “some fruit” but “a bunch of green grapes”. Not “a man” but “a 35-year-old bricklayer”; not “She sat at her desk, looking sad,” but “She leaned over her desk, the book she had stopped reading discarded, her arms crossed, her head low.” Take the time and the extra few words it takes to be specific.

This is also a matter of using the original detail of your own life. Nothing links us to our own lives better than writing down the real and precise details of how things actually are for us: the sights and smells, the tastes and feelings. Everyone’s life is at once both ordinary and extraordinary, trivial and important. The trivial detail is always worthy of record: through it, somehow, we sense our own significance.

The challenge is to keep the writing exact-but-easy, specific and precise without stopping to chew our pen over details or slowing down. This sounds contradictory but in fact is much easier in practice than it sounds. Once you give yourself the instruction in advance of your writing session, you find it happens automatically. Don’t chastise yourself as you write for getting it “wrong”: if you write something vague like “flower” and notice it, just put the name of the flower – “a rose” - beside “flower”. Be gentle with yourself.

And if you do find yourself in a situation where you have to choose between speed or detail, choose speed: writing fast is the first requirement of F-R-E-E Writing. Take a moment, before you begin a session each time, to instruct yourself to write concrete and specific details. We all have the habit of thinking and writing in abstractions, but lived detail is what we’re after in our F-R-E-E Writing.

Let the words flow f-r-e-e. Lose control.

Getting Started

Sit at a table or desk with your WoW pen and F-R-E-E-Writing Notebook. Sit in stillness and quiet, for two full minutes, letting your breathing become progressively slower and deeper. Let your thoughts rest, waiting to begin this new activity.

At the end of the two minutes, take up your pen and begin to write. Whatever form the words take, let them arrive without your direction. Do not reject or censor anything. Neither is there any need to affirm anything you write. Just let it come, without judgement. Do not welcome any thought or image because it is optimistic, or encouraging or “positive” in any way. Similarly, no thought or image should be rejected because it is too “negative” or because it points toward difficulties that may lie ahead. Accept what comes.

That’s it. You’ve done your first F-R-E-E Writing session. How did it feel? Were you surprised by anything that emerged? Did it feel strange?

If you wish, take a few moments to record your responses. Did you manage to burn through to first thoughts, to where the mind feels and sees, rather than thinks? Perhaps not. Often it takes a few sessions before we feel fully comfortable with the method and some of us (especially those who had good English teachers in school) may find it difficult to let go on the page. We learned too well how to censor ourselves, how to tidy things up so they were nice and neat (and unoriginal and boring).

Try not to judge your writing as good or bad. In F-R-E-E Writing terms, writing that is “good” is simply writing that is honest and open but we don’t – can’t – always produce such words. Sometimes we can write what seems like garbage for days and, then, like a flower from compost, something significant emerges.

But we don’t work for that. We work only to do it. We know that process of doing it is what counts. So if you are in any way unhappy with what you produced today, in your first F-R-E-E Writing session, forget about it. It doesn’t matter. All that matters is that you did it.

And that you will F-R-E-E Write again tomorrow.

F-R-E-E-Writing enables you to meet yourself on the page, connecting you to all three levels of your self: Front Self, Deep Self, Beyond Self.

F-R-E-E-Writing rights. It improves your psychic state, elevates your mood, makes you feel centred, sets you up for your day.

F-R-E-E-Writing sets the movements of your life into perspective and often uncovers hidden meanings and significances

F-R-E-E-Writing honours your life, gives it value.

F-R-E-E-Writing teaches you to trust your own intuition and your own experience of the world.

F-R-E-E-Writing processes your past and can help to heal trauma, pain or unhappiness arising from the past

F-R-E-E-Writing separates you from your thoughts and emotions, so you can observe them. By becoming “the watcher” in this way, your feelings and ideas lose some of their power over you.

F-R-E-E-Writing increases your awareness of all your relationships, with people, places and things

F-R-E-E-Writing gives you the courage to make change: truly allowing all the voices inside you diminishes the power of the critics outside.

F-R-E-E-Writing fosters a sense of gratitude and appreciation. It keeps you on the track of what you truly want and keeps you alert to opportunities as they arise in your life, including opportunities for increasing your prosperity, sharing your gifts and making a contribution. It is a creative act that roots you in the moment and shows you when you are going off balance. In short, F-R-E-E Writing grounds you to each of the stepping-stones to wealth