Tue, Sep 14, 2021 3-minute read

When I was in college, I took a pretty fantastic English course. Most of my time spent in high school English revolved around diagramming sentences and recognizing parts of speech. There was quite a bit of writing, but very little of it actually worked to teach me to think like a writer. That was something I had to work out on my own. This college course really hammered into me how to write and think like someone who wants to write. Not only that, it gave me a really important skill that I didn’t even know I needed:


Freewriting is the practice of sitting down at a pad or paper or computer and just jotting down everything that flows through your mind. You might not even have a desire to write anything at the time. It’s just that you know you need to, so you sit down and let it roll. Nothing that comes to you is off limits and everything should be poured onto the paper without edits. You don’t have to worry about grammar or spelling, just let it flow.

I’ve only used this tactic a few times since learning about it, which is pretty sad. Like, why have this fantastic tool in your toolbox and not use it? It makes no sense, so I decided to give it a go yesterday. I have a story that I’m supposed to write for our annual 2Dorks anthology, and I’ve been trying to come up with an idea that will fit our new theme for next year. I was walking yesterday and I got an inkling of an idea that I think will work.

I got back to the house, still with just a sliver of an idea, and I sat down with my notebook. I decided too give freewriting a try and I ended up with way more than I started with. Not only did it help me flesh out the basic concept, but I was able to get a beginning, middle, and end. I even got an idea for a few characters that should really make the story fun and interesting.

Freewriting got me to thinking about how there are plenty of other things for me to write about if I would just sit down and start writing. This blog post is kind of a product of that. If you’ve never done it before, it’s worth a shot. There’s something about dumping your brain onto paper that really helps get things moving when they are stuck. I figure this works for both creative and work pursuits. Just throw stuff out there. You can always delete it if you hate it later.