Use freewriting to avoid writer’s block, stimulate your thinking on a subject, and find your voice.
Freewriting involves writing without stopping. Your goal is to write whatever ideas occur to you, using a pen or pencil and paper or using a computer with the monitor turned off. When freewriting, your focus is to generate ideas as opposed to writing grammatically correct sentences. Get your thoughts down as fully and quickly as you can without critiquing them.
Freewrite to Avoid Writer’s Block
Freewriting is a powerful way to blast through writing blocks. Rather than staring at a blank page, wondering what you have to say about a topic, you can write about the topic, exploring what you know, what you need to research, and what you need to accomplish to finalize the document.
In Writing Without Teachers (Oxford University Press, 1973), Peter Elbow argues that freewriting is “a way to produce bits of writing that are genuinely better than usual: less random, more coherent, more highly organized.” Elbow believes that freewriting, when used routinely, helps writers to find their voice, a voice that is smoother than a voice “damped out by all the interruptions, changes, and hesitations.”
Different Ways to Use Freewriting
- Use freewriting to warm up; to identify everything you need to know about a topic
- Use freewriting to overcome writer’s block
- Use freewriting to find your voice