Monday, April 13, 2015

Find The Golden Nuggets In Freewriting

I found it rather interesting that this poster on freewriting included a picture of the Statue of Liberty. For the uninitiated, freewriting is a warm-up or exercise. Pick a word at random--open a book and point your finger--then use whatever word you hit. Set a timer for 10 minutes. Wrtie the word and then start writing whatever comes into your head. Pay no attention to the rules of grammar and punctuation. Just write without stopping! Open your heart and mind.

When the timer goes off, stop--or keep going if you're on a roll. When you read what you've written, you may be in for a surprise or two. This kind of writing exercise tends to release thoughts that may have been buried for a long time in the recesses of your mind. It can also produce a whole lot of nothing!

My online writers group does this as a weekly exercise. One member is responsible for selecting the words for one month. She can choose them in any way she likes. Some do the 'open and point' method and others keep a running theme. Last month, I chose all words that began with 'fr' and they brought forth many interesting pieces of writing.

This weekend, we were given a word that few of us knew but I certainly do now. The word and it's meaning is:

frangible:  adjective--easily broken; breakable 

My first thought was that it appeared to be a combination of the words tangible and fragile. I put fingers to keys and came up with ten minutes worth of interesting thoughts.

A freewrite exercise can lead to bigger and better things. A number of times, members of our group hit on an idea while freewriting and expand the exercise into a full story or essay.

Give it a try today. Use this word that we don;t use in our everyday conversation but is a very good one. Maybe we should try to use it now and then.

Set your timer for 10 minutes. Write the word: frangible. Put fingers to keys and let your brain start the exercise. Don't worry if what comes out is all drivel. Sometimes it will be but a golden nugget can come through, too. Freewriting does set your voice free. You can write anything you want to, no judgement from anyone.


  1. I love free writing, for myself and for the students when I taught. I discovered that students often would want to correct what they were writing while they were writing, so I had to caution them to wait until later to do that. It's amazing what a writer can come up when he or she lets the mind roam free.

    1. No one realizes the benefits of this exercise until they actually try it.