Free-writing for clarity and self-coaching - Free-write your mind | Rika Cossey | Skillshare

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Free-writing for clarity and self-coaching - Free-write your mind

teacher avatar Rika Cossey, Environmental Educator & Simplifier

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

9 Lessons (57m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. The basics of free-writing

    • 3. Exercises explained

    • 4. Writing exercise one

    • 5. Check-in after writing exercise one

    • 6. Writing exercise two

    • 7. Check-in after writing exercise two

    • 8. Writing exercise three

    • 9. Final check-in and parting thoughts

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About This Class


This class gives you the opportunity to experience the power of writing.

Writing can do so much more for us than just putting words on paper to convey a specific message. Writing also gives you the opportunity to heal. It gives you the opportunity to gain clarity. Writing can help to break destructive thought patterns, and to 'work through stuff'.

Writing can help you to look into the future filled with anticipation.

Why writing?

Writing is more than a way to communicate with each other. It is also a way to express ourselves. When we write, we show a glimpse of who we are to the outside world. And because writing is so personal, it can also help us to work through personal challenges. 

Writing is a way to slow down an endless stream of thoughts. By focusing on the words on paper, we automatically slow down and focus our attention. This slowing down increases our inner clarity, widens our perspective, and decreases our mental load. It is a way to put words to emotions and actions that can only happen through slowing down and writing.

Why free-writing?

Free-writing is a way of writing that is both structured and full of surprises. While you are writing with a purpose, it will also enable you to break through writer's block. You will gain a wider sense of self through free-writing.

Free-writing is personal and confidential. Whatever you write, you write for yourself. No one will read it and there is no pressure to 'get it right'. Once you have stopped writing, you can decide what happens next: re-reading and editing or disposal and even burning. 

The sole purpose of free-writing is to gain clarity on a specific issue, question, or trigger. 

Class structure

The class begins with an introduction to free-writing.

And then it's up to you. I will ask you to complete three writing exercises. Please have a pen and paper ready to experience the power of writing yourself. I will check in with you after each exercise and provide additional information about the different prompts. However, first and foremost, I want to provide the space for you to experience the advantages of writing for yourself.

Don't overthink the exercises in advance as this will compromise your ability to experience them.

After the class, you will have the tools to incorporate writing into your daily life.

A word of caution

During the writing exercises, personal issues might arise that need further investigation. For that reason, I highly recommend writing in a quiet space without distractions. Please also leave time after the workshop to reflect on what you have written.

Meet Your Teacher

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Rika Cossey

Environmental Educator & Simplifier


Hi, my name is Rika. In a few simple words, I describe myself as adventurous, as a growth-seeker, and helper. I am also a simplifier, tiny house dweller, DIY enthusiast, and passionate teacher (and learner) of all things sustainability. 

I'm really happy to connect with you through Skillshare and to assist you in your quest of learning new skills. My classes are about inspiring YOU to farewell a well-designed lifestyle and to discover what you know, what you can make yourself, and what matters to YOU.

I would like to use the opportunity to invite you to join me on a journey, one of self-discovery and growth. I am a certified mindfulness practitioner and counsellor and as such, I would be delighted to guide you further than all these classes here can. Pl... See full profile

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1. Introduction: Hi and welcome to this class. My name is Rekha. I'm a writer and a life coach. And F develop this course because I am passionate about the power of writing. I have seen it and my clients that writing, writing through a couple of things can really help to lose some blockages that we all carry. I've given this workshop multiple times in online environments and in face-to-face contexts. I've decided to record it to give you the opportunity to learn what free writing is and to also experience it. And that brings me to the most important part of this class. I really invite you to start watching the next section and don't stop until the end. There are three writing exercise is included in this class and I invite you to have pen and paper ready and to get started on these exercises. And if you begin to our think them, they're not as powerful as they eyes. If you let it come to you. I will explain the exercises throughout the course, but I really invite you in the next video to start watching and to go along and let it come to you, let the flow take you. So with all that being said, I invite you now to watch a few information about what free writing this and what it can do it for you and then to experience it for yourself. Have fun. 2. The basics of free-writing: So let's get started with the basics. I've called this class free write your mind. Learn the art of free writing and clear your mind. The intention behind this title is really a very practical one because I want to not just teach you something, but I want you to experience it. I, my intention is that if you go out of this class and you want to experience it yourself, then free writing is a tool that's always at your disposal. But if you're taking this class in order to teach someone else, I really want you to experience it first because you can't teach, what do you have an experienced yourself. So the whole idea behind this class is that I'm giving you now some basic information around free writing, what it is and what it does and why we use it. And then I want you to go and practice that our explain the exercise of them the next video. But for now I want to just go through a couple of basics around free writing and what it is. So the purpose of the class, as I've just explained, is that I want you to learn something new, but I also want you to experience it. Maybe it's something new for you. So I want you to try something new. And you'll notice that in the process as you trying this new thing, you will be growing. You will be growing in your knowledge, but you also grow in experience and maybe depending on how you use this class Exactly, You will also grow and self-awareness and self-reflection. So why do I think that free writing is so great? First off, free writing is a very creative process. So it's a very process. So where you get to let your creative juices flow as they say. It can also be very healing because through that creation, you are able to work through issues that you might be bothered by. Four, might've had been bothered by them for a really long time. I have known people and I have, I've done it myself as well. Who views this exercise took you forgive people. So if you have someone in your life who is hurt you in some shape or form, this could be a really great tool for you to forgive them, ride it out, and then to just let it go, It's out on paper and it's gone. Another advantage of free writing, this as it's non-judgmental. So no one will reach your work and judge you for it. It's just for you. It's also personal and private. So whatever you write today is just for you. You're the only audience. I don't want to read what you've written and no one else wants to read it as just for you. You're not writing for someone else. And that comes with my encouragement of you to maybe at this point, oh, we did start thinking about what you want to do with your writing. There's two options. Either you can write and then think about publishing it and working through it and editing it. Or you can also dispose of it. Some practices and there can be extremely powerful and carrots you to burn what you've written. So whatever you put on paper, if it is, for example, a letter to a person who has hurt you in the past. It can be extremely liberating to just step that piece of paper on fire afterwards and it's gone. But this is already getting a little too far down the road at the moment. And I want to stick to more of the general advantages of free writing and come to 1 that I'm very particular about. And that is the slowing down potential of free writing. Because when we think about it, just take a moment and Canada, track your thoughts, how fast your thoughts on I yeah, I were to put every thoughts into words. I able to verbalize everything that's going on in your mind? I'm to bed no, because most of us have lightning speeds thoughts. So whatever shoots in shoots out at the same time. It's just a nonstop firing and our mind and that AS the daily life of for most of us. Now when we try and verbalize those, those thoughts were already slowing down the process. We're already talking about roughly a 110 to a 130 words per minute that is already slowing it down. What's going on between the two ears? So putting words to our thoughts is already a great way of making use of the ability to slow our mind down. That's raging as one step further. And for me, one step further towards having a, having a conscious mind. And that is writing, because we were writing at roughly 20 words per minute. Obviously that depends on what language you're writing in and your typing speed or your handwriting speed, whatever it is. But you can't deny the fact that we've gone from really fast thoughts, too much, much slower words. And again, this is the advantage of writing here because we are able to come down. Whatever is going on in our minds is able to calm down and be put on paper. So VOT in particular as free rising in contrast to general writing. So first up, free writing, this guided writing. So you will see in the exercises that I have prompts. Now the important part here for free writing in contrast, for example, to journaling is this question that you're working on, this prompt that you are working with, this intention of your writing. When you're journaling, you're mostly journal about your day or a specific issue that's going on when you're free writing, it's your starting with the end goal in mind. You sometimes have a question that you want to pursue or answered for yourself. Or you have your scene, something that you want to work with. And then comes the next path that's also important and that's it's time to writing. I use the word timed writing here loosely because this is what I'm using in this class, but it's timed. Writing death unnecessarily only mean in terms of time. But it can also be in terms of number of words, or it can be a number of pages. So there is always a limit. There is no open-end rating, but there is a limits to when you begin and when you end. And then free routing us also irregular rating. So again, in contrast to journalling, which is encouraged essay brachial activity, prewriting as something that you do when you need. At most often you don't need it every day, sometimes you do, sometimes there is there are issues that are so big, they need to be taken every day. But sometimes and in most cases that's not that's not the case and it's more of an irregular activity that you do when needed. And then free writing is writing with purpose. So I've already mentioned that you will start with a prompt. You start with a question. There is something that you want to resolve. It was something that you want to figure out. There is something that you need to clarify. So there is a purpose for your rating. Again, the purpose is not that someone else reads it, but the purpose is for you to understand something better. So the last thing I want to talk about him comes to the basics of free writing is how to free write. The most important part is that you're not editing. You're not editing via writing and you're not rereading while you're writing this. These are the two foundations of free writing. You are a free writing is best when it goes on pen and paper. M, because of the physical, the physical sensation of writing. And also I've already spoken about that. If you want to dispose of it, if you want to get rid of it afterwards, this is a much more powerful process. Then to have it on the computer. And free writing comes with guiding prompts and limited time. So in the next video, I will explain how these exercises work and how he can move forward with them once the class is finished. 3. Exercises explained: So let's look at the exercise that I have for you. I have three different writing exercises. They're quite different in style. I want you to use this opportunity since you're taking this class now in HE do the exercises one after another to get the real comparison of the moment. I've already spoken about how to free, right? So the basic idea is that the video stats and two out of three videos of a read out the prompts. And then the time of stats for 10 minutes. In the last video and the last prompt, you will see that there was no explanation by me. You can start writing straight away. And what I mean with you start writing is to put your pen down and you start writing. What ever comes to mind, you start ranking and this is what I meant in the last video with the basics of free writing that you're slowing down your thoughts. You're not thinking about what you're going to write. You just right? And that means that if you don't know what to write, you write exactly that. You just write. I don't know what to write. You can write that for the entire page. You will see that that changes as soon as as soon as you start writing. I don't know what to write. I don't know what to write. Things will come up for you. This is the most important instruction that I have for you today that you start writing. You don't over think, like I said before, this is not for anyone else, this is just for you. So don't overthink your writing. Let's whatever needs to come to you, come to you. And then the last one I like to point out because I don't know what your native languages, right in your thinking language. So you're watching this class and English. But if you're speaking another language, any of you are more comfortable speaking and thinking in another language, then use that language. Don't feel compelled to write and the language that I'm speaking or that this class is in the prompt sign for that matter. So use your thinking language as the language that you want to write in. And if you speaking multiple languages, write in whatever language you're most comfortable. And so with that said, I now encourage you to watch the next video and do the first exercise with me. This exercise is the fiction writing exercise, and I will explain a little bit afterwards why I chose this exercise as the first exercise, but our counts you now to just give it a go and see what comes up for you. There are three prompts for the first two exercises. You can use those if however, they don't speak to you or you don't feel like they're really encourage you to write anything. Leave them, don't get hung up on them. Like I said, put your pen down the stack rioting and lifted off the minute you're finished. But don't get hung up on anything that is on the screen. If it goes with you and what you are thinking about, it's great. If it doesn't, that's also great. I have on my website more writing prompts. So if you're interested, have a look over there. What other writing prompts you could use. Or writing prompt are all around you. Think of your own writing from and try it with that. So most often explanation out of the way and now encourage you to watch the next video where we'll be starting with the fiction writing task. 4. Writing exercise one: I'm ready for the first writing task. This is the fiction writing task and you have 10 minutes. You can either trace the sound louder and louder. Hello. Okay. Hello. Hello. The answer is yes. Hi. Hello. Hi. Hi. Okay. Hello. Class. Okay. 5. Check-in after writing exercise one: Welcome back. And let me first say congratulations on finishing your first free writing exercise. Take a moment and check out your hands. Shuffle the papers away and take a moment and look just physically at what you've just written. You've just spent ten minutes writing about something that's going on for you. I want to take just a moment to explain a little bit why I chose this fiction writing approach as the first approach and the first task. You can listen to reds or you can use the time now to reflect on what has happened for you. Sometimes it's easier for us to solve our problems when we look at our problems from a third person's perspective, when we solve someone else's problems, we often actually solve our own problems. It's ironic how it works for us humans, but this is how we make sense of the world. Something happens out there. It's not necessarily asked that's happening, that what's happening to It's something that's going on outside and we solve it for someone else. And this is the idea behind the fiction approach. It gets you to solve someone else's problems. And isn't that great? Isn't that a nice way to solve problems? So this is the idea behind the fiction writing approach. It gets you a little bit closer to you and what's going on for you. But it's still far enough removed. So you don't really have to think about yourself too much here. You will notice if you do go back over what you have written, that there's a lot of personal items in there. There's a lot of personal story in there. Now I have met people who have taken this fiction approach and taken it further and they developed a real story out of it. Because ten minutes for fiction story is not enough. But you can use it and develop it further and see where it takes you. Maybe you want to become a fiction writer after this. So this is the idea behind the fiction writing approach to get you to start thinking about someone else while you are subconsciously working through your own problems. The next reading task is a little bit more straightforward. This is the writing tasks that I call the nonfiction approach to free writing, is the real more traditional coaching questions. You'll see on the next, in the next video that the questions and the prompts that I've chosen are very confronting, but also very telling. And I hope that I encourage you to think a little bit about your life and who you are as a person. So join me for the next free writing task, where we're looking at a nonfiction approach. 6. Writing exercise two: Let's get to the second exercise, the nonfiction writing exercise. And you can use it after France. Does independence mean to you? Why do you believe to be true? Are you lying to yourself? Hello. Okay. Hello. Hello. So this is times hello. Hello, hello. Hello, hello. So as I suggested. 7. Check-in after writing exercise two: So how did it go for you with this non-fiction approach to free writing? Again, I encourage you to shake out your hands, look at the papers in front of you and admire the fact that you've just spent ten minutes writing about something that might have been very close to your hat. If we were in a personal setting or even in an online context, I would ask you to share a little bit about what has happened to you while you were writing. Maybe you can take a few moments and you can use the comment box below and say what happens to you while you were doing this non-fiction approach to free writing? What may be where your insights into the prompts that I had on the slide. What happens to you, what came up for you? So again, this is a, an approach to free writing that's a lot more traditional. There's a something that I use for myself. He quite often where I sit down and I think about a particular issue that happens at particular situation I was in, where a particular person that I was worth a conversation that I was involved in. And take take ten minutes, I take 750 words and I explore of what that means to me and what I can, I can gain from this kind of situation. So this is how this non-fiction approach to free writing comes in. It gets you a much closer and much more personal experience of the writing exercise. The next writing exercise and another 10 minutes, will be on a completely different prompts. And there's my attempts to go a little bit further than just the cognitive approach to your writing. It has a photo and as a filter that I chose at random to be honest. But that's ambiguous enough for you to think what that could mean. What does it mean to you to look at this photo? So this photo is a visual prompts for you to think about your life from a visual perspective. Have fun with it. See what comes up, and explore what's this, this visual image does to you as a person. 8. Writing exercise three: Hello? Yes. Yes. Hello. Hello. Hello. Hello. Hello. Okay. Okay. Hello. Okay. Hi. Okay. 9. Final check-in and parting thoughts: So the visual, the photo that I put up on the screen, I'm glad I'm really love to know what came up for you there. Yes, we are surrounded constantly by visuals. We are constantly bombarded with visual material much more than, than the written words or the spoken word. We live through our vision. So there's writing prompt was the idea to get you to think about what you see and what that means for you. So again, you had 10 minutes and I I'm really I am very curious to know what came up for you when you thought about or when you looked at this picture and when you thought about what this picture means for you. Again, my invitation to share your thoughts and your insights and the comments below. But I want to take this opportunity now and just wrap up this class for today and give you a break from former exploring your mind, from free writing your mind and share a couple of tools that I find useful. So the most obvious tool you've already used over the last half an hour of which was pen and paper or so whenever you want to do a free writing exercise, this as my go-to tools, half pen and paper and start writing. Have a timer if you want, or have a page limit which you can also use whatever works for you, have a limits and have pen and paper and off you go. Under tools you can obviously use or any kind of words processing tools. We're talking about Google Docs and Microsoft Word's leaper offers whatever our texts processing software you have on your computer, you can obviously use that in a context like that, I always encourage you as well to use the limits are either use the time limit or to use a word limit or page limit. So if for example, you want to write us about a specific issue, may be set yourself the limit of two pages, say to yourself or specific fund and set yourself a specific line, the size, and off you go. If you wants the help of online tools, they are three of that, unlike recommending, one I use personally and as 750 And that is, as the word implies, as the name implies, a tool to get you to write 750 words. Now 750 words as around about one and a quarter page in A4. And that's a quite a nice way to explore whatever is going on. And really to get you to read, It's not too long, not too short. Takes when I'm typing fast takes me about 15 minutes. So that's a tool that you can use. It's not free though it costs $5 a month, which I find a nice encouragement for me to actually to reuse it every day. But it's 750 words works best if you use it every day because they have a little timer and they, they encourage you to write every day. So it's a tool for free rising if you use it with caution. Another tool that's much more suited towards free writing, it's called Ray It's very similar to 750 words. You can set your own words limits, so you have a word limit for writing. But it doesn't save your words, your work. It doesn't say if you're writing a deletes and after seven days. So if you want to save any of it, you have to do it somewhere else. It's free to use whatever and you can set your word limit for each day. And then the last tool I want to recommend, it's called overrides dot col. And as, as a co-writing space, your form rooms with people you want to write with. So if the, for example, if the friction writing approach really spoke to you, and now you find yourself each into write this into a bigger story, into a short story, into a book. Even maybe it would be a good idea for you to be part of a writing group and then all right, as a really nice opportunity for you to join a writing room and write together with other people. Because then you are encouraged in the group by your peers to actually keep writing and keep writing edit. Because the truth is the biggest obstacle for any writer as procrastination. If you want to take us writing junior further, I really encourage you to look into that. But that's all for me and for this class. I really hope that you gained a lot from it. I really hope that you understood yourself on a different level. That you understood what freewriting can do for you and the tools that you are at your disposal it at anytime. If you're interested in what I do and if you're interested to explore more erasing and please do stay in touch with me and my website is on the slide. And I hope to see you again in one of my other classes.