What Is Free Writing?

Young boy writing in notebook at kitchen table.
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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.

1 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.

2 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.

With education, health care and small business marketing as her core interests, M.T. Wroblewski has penned pieces for Woman's Day, Family Circle, Ladies Home Journal and many newspapers and magazines. She holds a master's degree in journalism from Northern Illinois University.