If you struggle with writing -- formulating ideas, choosing the right words and connecting ideas with creativity and clarity -- then free writing just might be the exercise to unleash your inner Hemingway. As its name suggests, free writing is the process of writing in a free, unrestricted manner with the ultimate goal of unleashing compelling ideas.
Free Writing in Action: Just Do It
Two words govern the process of free writing: Just write. Just write whatever comes into your mind and don't critique or edit your writing until you're finished. And if you get stuck? Say so. Just write, “I'm stuck and don't know what to write about.” Most teachers ask that students keep their pens in motion for about 15 or 20 minutes.
Free Writing as Discovery: It Frees the Inhibitions
Free writing is intended to help students feel more comfortable with writing while freeing their inhibitions and squelching their self-doubts. Against the backdrop of what many students consider to be the weighty rules of English language, they often relish the liberating aspect of free writing. While enjoyable, free writing also serves as a form of discovery, allowing students to review their words afterward and focus on topics for future papers or projects.
- Merriam Webster: Freewriting
- University of Richmond: Writing Across the Curriculum
- Missouri University of Science and Technology: Free Writing
- Prentice Hall Guide to Basic Writing, Instructor's Edition; Emil Roy and Sandra Roy; 1989.
- Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Stockbyte/Getty Images
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