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April 16, 2014

Naked Writing


N is for Naked Writing

“In writing, when you are truly on, there’s no writer, no paper, no pen, no thoughts. Only writing does writing –everything else is gone.” –Natalie Goldberg

No, I’m not talking about writing in the nude. But if you want to, I’m not stopping you. Just don’t tell me about it! :P

What I’m talking about is letting down all of your walls, forgetting rules, and writing from your heart, your soul. That is naked writing, because nothing is holding you back or restricting your ideas, thoughts or creativity process.

How can you write like this?

Well, there isn’t a real solution. Some people can sit at their computer, mentally strip everything away, and write from their core. Others may need a little help getting into this zone.

You could try these techniques:


·         Meditate for 30 minutes before you begin writing. (Even ten minutes of quite time can help.)

·         Turn on moving music. This could be classical music or songs with lyrics that fill you with emotion, like Only Time by Enya.

·         Don’t edit while you write. This is something I do, but this can stop the flow of words and hinder your creativity process. Just keep writing! Don’t worry about it being perfect.

·         Write whatever comes to your mind. Don’t filter your words. You can cut out all the crap later, but you may be surprised at the gems you’ll find in your unrestricted writing.

·         Pretend you are writing in a journal. This technique can help you to write freely and not hold back.

·         (Thank you to Donna for reminding me about this technique.) Try training your eyes on something other than the page, such as a pretty picture or out a window, and let your hand flow across the page with your thoughts.

Now what are you waiting for? Try these strategies immediately, and let me know how they work. :)



SHARE: Your tips for writing from your core.


QUESTION: How do you get into a writing zone?


A to Z Blogging Challenge:


62 comments:

debi o'neille said...

Great tips, Chrys. I always call this free writing, but I guess it is sort of naked, isn't it? :-) I love following your blog!
Deb@ http://debioneille.blogspot.com

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

I love that Natalie Goldberg quote! I find that sometimes I just have to start writing to get to that core place where the words pour out. Kind of like digging down into a well then being rewarded with cool, clear gushing water. :)

Madeline @ The Shellshank Redemption
Minion, Capt. Alex's Ninja Minion Army
The 2014 Blogging from A-Z Challenge

Tasha Duncan-Drake said...

I like to write while listening to music because it gets me in the zone. At first I always end up humming along, but then it will flit to the back of my brain and just keep the random part of my thoughts distracted. I've heard naked yoga is good for self-esteem, wonder if the same can be said for naked writing ;).
Tasha
Tasha's Thinkings - AtoZ (Vampires)
FB3X - AtoZ (Erotic Drabbles)

Pat Hatt said...

Just let it flow, the way to be at ones sea. I may have wrote naked a time or two too, whoops told you lol

Chrys Fey said...

It is like free writing, but I like calling it naked writing. ;)

Thank you, Debi! :D

Crystal Collier said...

This is something I need to do more often, but it's so difficult to break through the chaos of daily life just to find that place where I can write from my core. I'm sure it won't always be that way, but for now I write to distraction. =)

True Heroes from A to Z

Chrys Fey said...

So do I, Madeline. :)

For me to write from my core, I have to sit a while in silence with only my thoughts. Then while my thoughts are rolling and tumbling in my head, I let my hand just move across the page and let all of my thoughts and emotions pour out. :)

Chrys Fey said...

When I write I also listen to music, but if I need to get to the place where I write from my core, it's better for me to turn off the music and let the silence bring out all my thoughts and emotions. :)

Naked writing could be like naked yoga. I just won't try either one. haha

Chrys Fey said...

Just let it flow is right. :)

Darn you, Pat! LOL!

Chrys Fey said...

I need to do it more often too. I remember doing it once when the heroine in my series was going "crazy". And also during a scene when a character committed suicide. Both these moments required naked writing.

It is hard to find your core when life is crazy. Right now, I wouldn't be able to find it if I tried!

Stephanie Bird said...

I'm stuck right now so I really appreciated reading this blog post. I think I need to get naked today and write, LOL!

David P. King said...

I hadn't thought of this before. I guess you can say my approach is I start each writing session fashionably appareled. I also like to break rules. :)

Chrys Fey said...

I'm glad this post helped you, Stephanie. Go ahead and get naked! ;)

Chrys Fey said...

You can be fashionably appareled while also stripping away the things that block your creativity. :)

Lisa Thomson said...

This is hard to do as we often self edit. I find I can do it after a couple of glasses of wine because I'm totally relaxed and usually I'm writing from the heart. I can fix the typos and junk later. I hope I don't sound weird. I also like your idea of having music on in the background and some meditation! Thanks for another inspiring post, Chrys.

Donna Smith said...

This is a great post. Loving your talk here.
I am at my writing best when I just let my fingers go and I am looking off into somewhere else, not at the page.
It helps if my husband doesn't start humming or coming into the room talking to me. It helps when the phone is shut off. And whem <u cat is NOT rubbing agaings my fgingers like hw now (ok, he stopped - "when my cat is NOT rubbing against my fingers like he is now"). Or when he stands on the power button and shuts my computer down - must remember to save frequently! He deleted a bunch of stuff this morning...
Donna Smith
The A-to-Z Challenge
http://mainelywrite.blogspot.com
Mainely Write

Chrys Fey said...

And I am one of those self-editors. lol

Wine can certainly help! It helps us to let go and when we can let go of our troubles that's when we can find our naked thoughts.

Chrys Fey said...

Training your eyes on something else, such as a pretty picture or out the window and letting your hand go really is a great technique! I've done that too, and it does work. I'll add that to my list. Thank you for reminding me! :)

S.A. Larsenッ said...

Naked writing or free writing is a fav of mine, as long as I don't have a deadline. Music is usually the muse which takes me there. I'm always amazed at what I come up with while writing freely like that. It's actually relaxing.

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

I have trouble doing this. I always have such great thoughts when I'm running but then when I sit at the computer, I can seem to put them down.

Carrie-Anne said...

We used to do freewrites in Creative Writing Club, with prompts or advice from Natalie Goldberg's Writing Down the Bones and some book by Peter Elbow. It's been a long time since I did a freewrite.

My ex never understood how annoying and selfish he was being when he interrupted me when I was in the middle of writing. He had no idea what it takes to get into that uninterrupted flow, and how long it can take to get back into that mood after being interrupted.

Laura Clipson said...

These are great tips. I love taking part on NaNoWriMo because you have to write this way if you want to get it done.

River Fairchild said...

And here I thought there'd be pics of naked writers...never mind. That could be ugly... ;)

I'm very bad about editing while I write, even to writing with a pencil so I can erase. Your suggestion about meditation works great. Unfortunately, that's exactly what happens as I try to fall asleep - the story starts flowing and I have to write it down or forget it. I've gotten really good at writing on a pad of paper in the dark. Sometimes it's even readable!

Arlee Bird said...

I'm in such a habit of editing as I go that I don't know if I can ever break it completely. My writing is usually pretty naked though as I tend to write fast when I get into the zone and put down what flows from my mind.

Lee
Wrote By Rote
An A to Z Co-host blog

Stephanie Faris said...

I find myself editing while I write despite my best intentions, but I see from the comments I'm not the only one!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I do listen to music, but the perfectionist in me slows me down to select the right word.
No writing in the nude, although author Hart Johnson writes from her bathtub and is still aiming for world naked domination. I'll just watch.

Andrew Leon said...

I disagree with that editing while writing thing. I sort of hate it when people say that stuff about it hindering the flow of creativity. Just because it might hinder their flow doesn't mean it hinders mine. NOT editing while I'm writing hinders my flow. It's part of how I work, and I find it a little more than presumptuous that people want to say that my style is "wrong" just because it isn't their style.
So you shouldn't feel bad about editing while you write, either, if that's how you write.

Sophie Duncan said...

I like telling stories, I think about what I want to write for a long time before I write it, but I do love it when the words just flow. It doesn't happen to me very often. I think if I tried some of your techniques, I'd like to try it early in the morning, when there's a beautiful misty sunrise out the window and everything is still. :)
Sophie
Sophie's Thoughts & Fumbles - A to Z Ghosts
Fantasy Boys XXX - A to Z Drabblerotic

Timothy S. Brannan said...

I have been telling my son this all week. Just write, get it all down and we can worry about editing later.

Easier said than done sometimes!

--
Timothy S. Brannan
The Other Side, April Blog Challenge: The A to Z of Witches

Unknown said...

It's hard to turn that internal editor off, but when I do, I tend to get my best ideas out there.

Nas said...

Great tips, Chrys. I will try all these strategies! Thanks for sharing!

Nas

Nicki Elson said...

Usually I don't get into my zone until I've been writing for 30 - 45 minutes and not editing as I go definitely helps get there. I LOVE the idea of just staring out a window or a picture and letting my mind go.

Chrys Fey said...

When you write freely, your mind is open to anything. :)

Chrys Fey said...

Sometimes it can be difficult to calm down and remove ourselves from our hectic lives.

Chrys Fey said...

I love Natalie Goldberg's Writing Down the Bones! It's a great book.

A lot of non-writers don't understand how difficult it actually is to write.

Chrys Fey said...

I've never done NaNoWriMo, but I hope to one year. When I have time. lol

Chrys Fey said...

Sorry to disappoint you, River. haha

I'm also quite skilled at writing in the dark. ;)

Chrys Fey said...

Me too, Arlee! And we aren't alone. You're lucky then. :)

Chrys Fey said...

No, you're definitely not the only one. I am with you, too. :)

Chrys Fey said...

Sometimes I search for the perfect word too, and it can take several minutes.

lol I also do that . . . perch a notebook on the rim of my bathtub. :P

Chrys Fey said...

Editing while writing can hinder other people's flow of creativity, so it's not all together false. Many techniques work for some but the same ones don't work for others. I don't think anyone is saying it's wrong, or at least not here. I do it, and I don't feel bad about it. Even if I get into the zone of free writing I still edit while I go by reading over paragraphs. It is how I write and I'm not changing it. :)

Chrys Fey said...

Definitely easier said than done. :)

Chrys Fey said...

It doesn't happen to me very often either. I really have to beat the words out. lol

Chrys Fey said...

I agree, Melanie! :)

Chrys Fey said...

Awesome! You're welcome, Nas! :D

Chrys Fey said...

It does take time to get into the zone, or at least for me. Next time, I'll have to time myself. :P

Sonia Lal said...

This happens to me when I'm in the zone.

Chrys Fey said...

That's great!

Trisha said...

I do feel like, for the most part, I write "naked" - as in, I don't let anything hold me back from what I want to write. But I can say for sure that when it comes to writing any sex scenes in any of my stories, I usually fade to black or if I want to add a bit more detail than that, I do struggle a bit. :P

Jocelyn Rish said...

This is part of why I love NaNoWriMo so much. Because of the time constraints, I can't second guess and edit myself like I normally do. I just have to let go and let the words pour out of me, even if they are crappy. :-)

Hope you’re having fun with the A to Z challenge,
Jocelyn

Slamdunk said...

I like the concept, Chrys. I mean the writing while not feeling bound. I have found that silence allows me to do this as well (as opposed to listening to something). With just the sounds of pecking on my keyboard, I find myself more focused with my thoughts.

Roland D. Yeomans said...

Great ideas, Chrys. Harlan Ellison wrote in the nude until he caught pneumonia! Now, not so much! :-)

J.H. Moncrieff said...

Interesting post. Writing is the most difficult for me when it feels like I'm making stuff up. Usually, I'll get an idea--often a "what if" scenario. Then, in the next few days, a character will pop into my brain and introduce himself. My job is to write down his story as fast as I can. I'm always surprised by the outcome, but everything works out in the end and every stupid little detail ends up meaning something.

The trick is, I can't take more than a few days off. If I do, the guy leaves and it's hell to get him back. Absolute hell. Kind of like if you left a friend hanging on the phone for days…they wouldn't be too happy, would they?

That's naked writing for me. Although, never literally naked. That may change when I live on an island where it's always humid and hot, though. :)

Lynda R Young as Elle Cardy said...

Forgetting the rules is important..and not editing as you write. That slows everything down and makes it possible to start over thinking it.

Chrys Fey said...

Sex scenes are tricky. I'm not sure if anyone could write a sex scene while free writing. lol

Chrys Fey said...

Another commenter mentioned that. I've never participated in NaNoWriMo, so I don't know what it's like to have to write so much in such a short amount of time. I'd love to give it a shot one year. :)

Chrys Fey said...

I agree! I love music and like to listen to music when I write, but if I want to get into this zone I prefer silence. :)

Chrys Fey said...

I don't think I'd ever write in the nude. lol

Chrys Fey said...

That's interesting Holly. I write stories based on what my characters tell me and what the plot needs, but I still feel like I'm making it up because . . . well I am! lol I've never had a hard time getting a character to come back if I haven't written a few days though.

Chrys Fey said...

It is! Sometime we let rules and what others tell us weigh us down too much. We just need to let it all go. :)

Ragtag Giggagon said...

Super tip to overcome writers' block, Chrys.

http://ragtaggiggagon.blogspot.ie/2014/04/p-is-for-poetry-az-blogging-challenge.html

Chrys Fey said...

Oh yes, these tips can help you overcome writer's block. Funny, I hadn't thought of that. :)