By Jessica Barker
Have you ever sat down to write a paper and found that you don’t know how to begin? I have found myself in this situation many times. In fact, there have been times when I have felt so stuck that I have spent hours typing, deleting, and retyping a single section of my writing. Luckily, over the course of the past few years, I have discovered a way to prevent this cycle of second guessing and writer’s block, and that is through freewriting!
Here are four reasons why I love freewriting and you should too!
- Ignore your audience
When freewriting, you do not have to think about your audience (the person or group of people that you are writing for). You can just write for yourself, which means that you do not have to worry about grammar or the style of your writing. This can help you develop your own authentic style of writing because it allows you to write in your own voice, not the voice that you think your professor wants to hear.
- Focus later
Since freewriting is “free,” you can write about anything that you want to. This is great if you are just starting research or beginning to write a paper because you can explore a wide range of ideas and then use it to help you decide what to focus in on for your actual paper.
- Reflect and connect
Another wonderful thing about freewriting is that it allows you to reflect and go deeper with your ideas. It can add value and purpose to your writing, by helping you realize how your research connects to the bigger picture.
- Learn something
Since freewriting allows you to explore your ideas and go deeper, it can help you grow in your understanding of whatever you are writing about. At first you may feel like you only have a basic understanding of a topic, but after freewriting, you might find that you understand much more than you originally thought you did.
Next time you are feeling stuck or do not know where to begin, consider freewriting, even for just five minutes!
Jessica Barker is a sophomore majoring in theater and minoring in sociology and anthropology. After college she hopes to use theater to create social change and empower others.