Freewrite to get started with writing


What is freewriting?

Anyone who says that writing is easy is a liar! Writers often have to create words out of thin air into a palatable idea. One technique is brainstorming points. But, points do not constitute writing. Writing is a string of words that makes sense to the reader. Peter Elbow, non-fiction author and author of Writing with Power, advocates an easy technique to get started with writing which he called freewriting.

Freewriting is simply writing without censorship and writing whatever comes to mind. Your thoughts do not necessarily have to be on the same topic that you must write about. No, you simply write.

Freewriting is somewhat like a journal entry. You write effortlessly. Julia Cameron advocates freewriting in a form she calls ‘morning pages.’ She says, that as soon as you rise in the morning, sit down and write three pages by hand. Clear your mind and do not censor yourself.

Freewriting also appears in academic writing. Psychologist Robert Boice studied block writers. He called freewriting, spontaneous writing as it was freewriting with one caveat: writing with a prompt for your high stakes writing and writing for ten minutes without censorship.

In all cases above, the concept of freewriting in its many forms is to generate words without considering if those words were bad or good. The main idea of freewriting is to separate word generation from word analysis. These are two different types of tasks. The main thing is to get the words down at the beginning of a writing project. Then, you can mine those words for little nuggets of information and revise your text.

How to implement this technique

So, try freewriting for yourself. Think of one word or phrase for your project. Set a timer for 10 minutes. Then, write rapidly, not hurriedly, for the 10 minutes without stopping. Afterwards, look at the writing and see if it has any useful information for you to take the next action on your project.

Image by nile from Pixabay.

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