A person writing in a notebook.Freewriting is just what it says—writing freely, whatever comes into your mind, without caring about spelling, punctuation, etc. It’s a way to free up your thoughts, help you know where your interests lie, and get your fingers moving on the keyboard (and this physical act can be a way to get your thoughts flowing).

Try a series of timed freewritings. Set a timer for five minutes. The object is to keep your fingers moving constantly and write down whatever thoughts come into your head during that time. If you can’t think of anything to say, keep writing I don’t know or this is silly until your thoughts move on. Stop when the timer rings. Shake out your hands, wait awhile, and then do more timed freewritings. After you have a set of five or so freewritings, review them to see if you’ve come back to certain topics, or whether you recorded some ideas that might be the basis for a piece of writing.

Here’s a sample freewriting that could yield a number of topics for writing:
I don’t think this is useful or helpful in any way. This is stupid, stupid, stupid. I’m looking out of my window and it’s the end of May and I can see that white cotton stuff flying around in the air, from the trees. One of my aunts was always allergic to that stuff when it started flying around in the spring. Don’t know offhand what type of tree that comes from. That aunt is now 94 years old and is in a nursing home for a while after she had a bad episode. She seems to have one now every spring. It’s like that old tree cotton triggers something in her body. Allergies. Spring. Trying to get the flowers to grow but one of the neighbors who is also in his 90s keeps feeding the squirrels and they come and dig up everyone’s flowerbed to store their peanuts. Plant the flowers and within thirty minutes there’s a peanut there. Wonder if anyone has grown peanut bushes yet?  Don’t know . . . know . . .

Possible topics from this freewrite:

  • Allergy causes
  • Allergies on the rise in the U.S.
  • Consquences of humanizing wild animals
  • Growing your own food

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