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Freewriting is a technique developed by Peter Elbow in his book “Writing With Power” for overcoming writer’s block. This is an easy book to read and very interesting and helpful.
I have used it and found it really useful. Freewriting can be used for creative, academic or factual writing – any kind of writing.
The technique is also recommended by Steven Posusta for writing College Essays (even when you have to pull an overnighter!). The link is to the Kindle version which you can download immediately and complete reading in 2 hours if you really are in a panic over a paper you need to submit. I wish this book had been available when I was in school, but the author hadn’t even been born then. The writing is interesting and easy to follow, even for high school, never mind college. I read it while at university and it was useful for that too. GREAT book.
Many other academic writers recommend freewriting for writing scholarly articles. While Julia Cameron doesn’t mention the term “freewriting” in her book “The Artists Way”, she recommends a similar technique, for a daily practice that helps get negativity out of the way and sets you free to create. Many artists and writers have used the daily practices in the book for rekindling their creativity.
What Is Freewriting?
It is a technique where you put pen (or pencil) to paper and literally just write, without thinking. I have done it on the computer also. You don’t worry about spelling, grammar, logic or anything else, just let the words spill themselves out onto paper or screen. The proponents recommend that you separate out creating and editing, so that you first create what you want, or spill your thoughts and THEN carry out editing after the creative process is over. I have found this extremely helpful. Steven Posusta gives an example of freewriting in his book and then shows how he amends it to produce an essay. Not all freewriting can be amended but it will allow you to settle on what you would like to write. Peter Elbow gives several techniques to use along with freewriting for getting your thoughts down in a coherent manner, such as writing in and writing back.