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When you don’t know what to write

What to write when you don’t know what to write about


or, “How to Write a Song” when you:

  • don’t know what to write about
  • don’t know what to write
  • keep getting stuck



It’s time to Free Write…

  • write about a topic / song idea for 10 minutes
  • get a pen and paper (handwriting triggers more connections in your brain)
  • choose a topic and go.


The only rule: you have to keep writing

  • No stopping to second guess yourself or spell properly
  • Write whatever comes to mind, without judgement
  • Don’t worry or think about what you are writing, no time for debating or fixing spelling
  • If you hit a snag, repeat repeat, repeat a word or phrase until you start to write new words
  • Continue until the timer ends


When you have finished your Free Write

  • Read through… look and listen for the best ideas, images, words, phrases
  • Use a different color pen to circle the best stuff
  • Rewrite the best stuff in your note book or on your song worksheet



Your Goal

Write without interrupting yourself

Spoiler alert: the trick is to learn to think a few words faster than your hands. I average about three words ahead of my pen (about 5 seconds)…..

With practice you instantly drop into the writing flow when you start…

Free Writing is a writing exercise to get ideas and words flowing, try to create phrases and ideas without hesitating or pausing to edit or change, just keep writing! You develop the skills to recognize and write your thoughts… chase the crazy thoughts you have and put them on paper. Once the free write is done, you can come back and play with the words again.

Free writing practices making creative decisions without over thinking… bypassing your internal editor, creating without hesitation, enjoying the surprise of imperfection.







You try to avoid Free Writing… you have to write without stopping, it feels like an impossible challenge…

When you first try it you will feel uncomfortable, worried about writing dumb stuff or getting stuck… what if I have nothing to say, nothing to write?

I will try it tomorrow… Didn’t try it yet… Not sure I will try it.

These are excuses….

Don’t let you stop you from doing it!


Try Free Writing today



The Tricks

  • Free Write more than once – free writing is a skill that is developed with practice
  • Set a timer, start with 5 minutes and increase it with practice
  • Don’t worry or think about what you are writing, no time for debating or fixing spelling
  • Think only a little bit faster / farther ahead than you write (I average about 3 words or 5 seconds ahead of my hand writing)
  • It’s ok to use point form, write as quickly as you are able to
  • Short phrases are easier to play with later when you are editing
  • Don’t try to rhyme… let it rhyme if you hear it, but don’t expect it. You have the option to edit later… wait until later, keep writing!


If you don’t already have something you want to write about:

  • Free write song ideas, song themes for 10 minutes
  • Flip through your note books, find an interesting idea to write about
  • Or you could write about:
  • Random object in the room
  • Google search images for an interesting word or phrase
  • Different perspectives on a song theme: Love… good love, bad love,  young love, love is over, far away love, lost love, sexy love, marry you love, old couple in love



Action Steps


Choose to try a week of free writing, 10 minutes per day for 7 days…

All you need: pen, paper, phone with count down timer app, interesting ideas



Comment and share your free writing success stories!


What other strategies do you use to kick start your writing?



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© Trevor Dimoff,, 2019