Freewriting is a technique that helps you clear mental space so that thoughts about an issue in question can emerge that had been below the surface of your attention--insights that you were not able, at first, to acknowledge (see also Supportive Listening, q.v.).

In a freewriting exercise, you should not take your pen off the paper. Keep writing even if you find yourself stating over and over again, "I don't know what to say." What you write won't be seen by anyone else, so don't go back to tidy up sentences, grammar, spelling. You will probably diverge from the topic, at least for a time while you acknowledge other preoccupations. That's OK--it's one of the purposes of the exercise. However, if you keep writing for seven-ten minutes, you should expose some thoughts about the topic that had been below the surface of your attention--that's another of the aims of the exercise. Reference: Elbow, P. 1981. Writing With Power. New York: Oxford U. P.

In a guided freewriting exercise, you continue where a sentence I provide leads off (examples follow).

At the start of a project
Early on in a project
When you begin to draft a report

Updated: 6-17-02