Freewriting is a very useful technique to get ideas flowing. We often start criticising ourselves before we even start writing, and look at a blank page without knowing what to start. This is when freewriting is useful.

There is only one rule for freewriting: don’t stop writing! For a certain period of time, you are not allowed to stop writing. If you can’t think of anything to write, then you just write, I don’t know what to write, until another thought comes to you.

You can use freewriting to get ideas for a piece of writing, or an essay. For example, if you are writing about feeling like an outsider, make yourself write for five minutes on this topic. It may be that you go onto something else in your freewriting – that is fine! But the process will free your mind and help you get some ideas to start with.

Draw on all your senses in your freewriting – what you see, hear, taste, touch, smell.

And give yourself permission to write badly! Freewriting is getting your creative juices going, it is NOT a finished product. No crossing out, going back or reading what you have done till your time is up.

Many writers use freewriting as a way to warm up. What you write can often surprise you as you often become aware of thoughts and ideas that you weren’t conscious of before.

Once you have finished your freewriting, read over it with a fresh eye, and see if there’s anything you want to use or improve for your more polished essay.

So get a pen, and paper, and put on alarm to ring in 5 minutes. Decide what you are going to start writing about, and go for it until the alarm rings!