Do you have trouble writing? Did you choose a topic or idea to develop, but now you find yourself stuck? Try free writing! This exercise is used by writers to gather their thoughts and ideas before they begin a document, with the result being an endless, non-punctuated, and free-flowing paragraph that will be immensely helpful in the preliminary writing process.
Doing Your Own Free-writes
- Set a timer or use the clock on your computer screen.Give yourself 5 to 10 minutes to write continuously. This is so you get going and write quickly. Spend the time writing, not worrying about the time.
- Select a topic for your free writing.If you have chosen to do focused free writing, write this topic at the top of your page. If you just wish to write without a topic, go ahead without one. You may be surprised at what you write even on days when you begin with “I can’t think of anything to write here.”
- Start your timer.
- Write down whatever comes to mind.It can be in relation to your topic if you have one or if you are doing unfocused free writing because you are trying to come up with an idea or topic, just write down every random thought that crosses your mind as quickly as possible.
- Continue writing until the designated time has run out.Do not stop until that point.
- Do not pay attention to grammar or typos.
- If there are any incomplete sentences or misspelled words, do not worry. Just keep going.
- If you run into a dead end or draw a blank, keep writing the same word or phrase over and over again until something else pops into your mind. One idea is to take a quick glance around the room and choose one object to describe.
- When the time has run out, look over what you have written and circle or underline ideas that you like or that you think that might be useful for your project.
Group your marked ideas and phrases and decide where they lead you in your writing process.
Use online tools such as 420fables.com to make free-writing a regular part of your daily writing discipline.
Begin your rough draft. If you have enough to start your paper or document, then begin working on your rough draft. If you do not have enough ideas, free write for another session, or try another informal invention technique such as brainstorming or mind mapping.