Freewriting is a technique in which you write your thoughts quickly and continuously, without worrying about form, style, or grammar. Freewriting is typically used early in the writing process to collect and manifest your thoughts. The resulting writing is usually not intended for the final draft, but to give you a starting point for structuring your work.
Freewriting is generally how I start out all the blog posts that I write. I have a template I use, and then I just start typing. Once I get to a point where I feel I’ve exhausted the usefulness of the freewriting, I’ll go back through what I wrote and start to structure it.
Freewriting is a valuable tool for organizing your thoughts and overcoming hurdles like writer’s block.
What Is Freewriting and What Are The Benefits Of It
When you write, you never just focus on the writing itself. You’re focusing on what the reader will think, if they’ll understand it, and how all the parts fit into the overall topic, all while avoiding spelling and grammar mistakes. The goal of freewriting is to wipe away all the concerns of spelling and grammar and return to a focus on writing only. Just get the words out of your head and onto the paper or screen.
The benefits of freewriting include organization, brainstorming, and inspiration, as well as beating writer’s block. Just getting anything written, even if it’s word vomit, can jump-start creativity.
Freewriting can also defuse some of your own internal obstacles: self-criticism, fear of failure, or even a looming deadline.
Just like brainstorming, freewriting produces a handful of ideas that you can later rearrange and develop into structured content. It can also help cultivate your unique writing voice. Not to mention, freewriting can inspire some ideas you may not have thought of otherwise.
How To Start Freewriting
Typically, a writer will set aside a certain amount of time for freewriting. The standard is 15 to 20 minutes of writing without stopping. I’ve gone as much as 30 minutes before.
If you have a topic already, you can start with the most basic thoughts on that. When you make a mistake, keep going. Don’t worry about what your reader will think or what the next sentence will be, just keep writing no matter what. Enjoy the creative flow state you’ve entered into.
Freewriting is supposed to be sloppy, unstructured, and full of errors. That’s how you unlock those raw and unfiltered ideas. You have permission to write poorly and you’ll be surprised at how much good writing comes to you when you take the pressure off.
When To Use Freewriting
Freewriting techniques give you that initial momentum during the first stages of writing. However, there are many other times it can be used to your advantage.
Writer’s block has taken hold of your brain
Freewriting is a popular cure for writer’s block. More often than not, writer’s block stems from fear, anxiety, and being overwhelmed. Freewriting banishes those fears by providing a safe environment where mistakes are not only allowed but also encouraged. Embrace the madness and let the words flow.
You’re feeling overwhelmed
“I’ve got so much to write today and I don’t know where to start!” If that’s the case for you, freewriting is where to start!
Freewriting is ideal for getting thoughts onto paper, like an intense brainstorm session. Often the stress of getting started is enough to put us into a daze, in which case freewriting gives us an outlet.
You’re a new writer
Writing is a skill that gets better with practice. If you’re just starting out with your writing career, you can use freewriting to train your brain. Consider freewriting as a warmup to the workout. Set aside time each day for freewriting and watch your writing improve after just a couple of weeks!
Wrapping It Up
Freewriting uses whatever is in your head. After a few minutes of sitting down to brain dump, your brain will come up with something. Those are often the moments when inspiration is just around the corner.
Set aside 15 minutes each day for the next week and you’ll feel the magic of freewriting start to develop your writing.
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