When writing an essay or any piece of writing, we often face the problem that, even though, we seem to know the topic of our work, we can not do one thing – put our thoughts on paper. It may sometimes seem that once you sit down and try to write an essay, all your thoughts go away and leave your head completely blank. At this point all you need is a good preparation. Preparation can be of many kinds – brainstorming, listing – but one of the most effective techniques is freewriting.
Once you decided on the topic of your piece of writing, you may try to use freewriting as a way to start working on particular ideas about your topic. Freewriting is a technique quite similar to brainstorming but on paper. Brainstorming can be described as a process of thinking on your topic without any limitations, only generating as many ideas as possible, even the most absurd ones, to choose the best one afterwards.
Freewriting requires you not simply to think of as may ideas as possible but to start writing them down in sentences. The idea behind this approach is to make you start writing. You start to write without any thinking on the text you want to produce in the end. You just put your pen on the paper and start writing.
You can do freewriting not only when you start thinking about your piece of writing, but also after you have already made a plan of your future work but you haven't yet started writing the final text.
There are four main rules for freewriting.
The first one has been already stated – you should do freewriting in complete sentences, apart from brainstorming where you can brainstorm ideas making lists of words or graphics that would symbolize your ideas. Writing in complete sentences will help you to make connections between different ideas.
The second rule is to follow no structure. You should not worry about any rules of structure when you freewrite. This will only limit your imagination. The rules of structure will be necessary only on the next stage of writing an essay.
The third rule is strongly connected with the previous one. When following the specific structure, we often keep in mind the audience we are writing for. In freewriting you should also forget about the audience. It is not your final text, not even the first draft. The only audience that matters in freewriting is you.
The last rule is to write without stopping for at least 10 minutes. Writing without stopping will eventually make you forget about paying attention to grammar and will make you concentrate only on the content. Finally, there is no strict time period for an effective freewriting, but the main suggestion is to devote no less than 5-10 minutes on it.
Freewriting is a very useful technique not only to start writing your text, but also to generate new ideas if you are in the middle of writing and you feel as if you can not write any more. Freewriting can also be helpful for developing a writing habit so that with every try it will be getting easier to actually start writing an essay.