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Frameworks and Freestyling

Sometimes a structure feels supportive of our intentions and actions. Sometimes it gets in the way. Like a chair.

Imagine that you want to know yourself better, so you decide to meditate. You make the intention and go for it. Where do you start?

There are many options. You can do it seated on the ground or a cushion, standing in place, in a chair, lying down, walking, flying through the air, swimming in a cool lake, or folding laundry. Just to name a few.


Let’s focus on seated meditation for this.


There are times when the chair feels supportive. It makes you feel strong enough to focus better.

There are times the chair is a distraction. You can’t get comfortable, no matter what you do.

And now and then, the chair is your crutch, your self-imposed jail cell, and you think it has you stuck in a limited state or experience.


Flip this, and look at sitting freestyle on a cushion. You put yourself in a good posture with your hips lifted slightly higher than your legs; knees crossed, spine straight. The meditation experience is focused and your body is relaxed.

Other times, your back hurts, your hip hurts, your knee twinges. You keep moving the body and arguing with the body-mind.

And don’t forget the moments you stay in the position because you don’t want someone to think you can’t cut it on a cushion.


There isn’t a right way or a wrong way. It’s all an experiment in meeting yourself until the limitations and protective illusions drop away. The same applies to writing.

A framework can be helpful. Sometimes you might use it to support you, so you get out of your own way and write. Does it help your reader to write with a framework? It can. Right now, though, we're talking about what supports you.

Types of Writing Frameworks

FICTION FRAMEWORKS (books, movies, plays)

Hero's Journey

Save the Cat! Beat Sheet

Three-Act Structure


AIDA (Attention, Interest, Desire, Action)

PAS (Problem, Agitate, Solution)

QUEST (Qualify, Understand, Educate, Stimulate, Transition)


The Listicle

How-to Guides

The Story/Anecdote

The Review or Comparison











As you see, there are loads of ways to structure your writing. Boatloads, shiploads, and wheelbarrow loads. Loads and loads. Pick one or none. (We'll explore some of these another time.)

There’s no right or wrong way to Write.

Wait. What?

What supports you so you can move beyond your resistance and do it? Do that. What if it is always changing? So what?

But Andrea, I want to be productive. I want discipline.

To my way of thinking, if you aim to write, it's helpful to know if it's your Macro (Main) Focus or Micro (SUPPORT) Focus. I'll go through that in another blog. For now, here's a snapshot:

Macro: It's the Main Thing. (Big picture) You'd like to be a professional writer or content creator.

Micro: It supports the Main Thing. Personal creative writing, journaling, hobby, or supports the bigger thing.


Let's get back to Frameworks and Structure. We'll talk about discipline next time.

Have you ever been really attached to writing because you believed it was the only mechanism to express or explain yourself well? I have. Have you ever forgotten or refused to drop away from the symbols into the spaces and breath, into the direct experience beyond? I have. Writing itself can be a support structure for life or work. But if it gets in the way of your expansion, that's something to reflect on.


Structures provide a dynamic force to work with or against. It is up to you. We can use inner structures and outer structures. They both serve a purpose and are fun to experiment with. Will you let yourself relax and meet yourself in this moment, instead of who you were Tuesday or in April 1994?


If you use a writing framework, you have an outer structure to play in. Remember in school when you had those lunch plates with the sections? Green beans here, PB&J there, weird gooey mac-n-cheese in the big compartment. Everything had a place. And if, like a wild thing, you chose to mix the green beans into the noodles, you could. Isn't that great? What happens when you mix them together? Wow or Yuck or Meh? You'll never know until you try.

Framework or Freestyle?

The way to find out what supports you is by experimenting with both as a Practice.

  1. Intentionally commit to working within a [] framework [] to find your edges and the limitations of each framework.
  2. Intentionally commit to writing ~freestyle~ to find your edges and the limitations to complete the writing.

Practice is helpful. Practice until what you seek comes more naturally.

For instance, you might commit to doing a certain number of 10-minute or 20-minute timed writings. Maybe your goal for a writing session is to go deep into memories. . Or you just wanna write because it's fun, and that is good enough.

Now, are you freestyling or frameworking? (Totally made that word up)

Commit to as many timed writing sessions as you like. See what happens.

Experimenting & Play


It’s all an experiment. It’s all a play. Have fun. Write.


But, Andrea, how do I use this to help me become a better writer?


Commit to an experiment, to practice meeting yourself. Or don’t. There’s no right. There’s no wrong.


Tools Help You

Tools are simply here to help us. Use them. Drop your habitual patterns and egoic response, and remember playing is so much fun! Learning how to use a new tool is so much fun. So is being clumsy and clunky during the learning curve. Will you let yourself just have a little fun?

Explore frameworks and relax into freestyle. You'll find what works for you in each writing session.


You are here because you choose to be, not because you are forced to be. The reality is you don't have to write. So, why are you doing it? You can experience resistance to form, to structure, to wild abandon, to being an open channel, to all kinds of inner and outer structures. Or you can embrace them in the moment.

Whatever resistance there is within you, meet it. And if there is none? Celebrate. And then get back to writing. Or be in the space between the words.


It’s your choice. 

If you'd like my coaching or support with any of these things, you can explore different types of private sessions with me HERE.

I offer a variety of private or small group sessions, including"

  • Writing & Publishing coaching,
  • Presence (on the page and off),
  • Intuitive Inquiry - Know Yourself Better,
  • Quantum Shifts & Healing (for writers, artists, creatives, and Conscious creators)

From my heart to yours,

Andrea Mai ~ Dao Wei