How to Eliminate Writer’s Block with Freewriting

woman in orange shirt looking at laptop, her hands on the sides of her head

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We’ve all been there. 

Our fingers freeze above the keyboard. The pen stops scribbling, seemingly of its own accord. The cursor blinks, taunting us.

Maybe we don’t know what happens next in the story. Maybe we feel overwhelmed at how much revision the draft needs, so we avoid opening the document altogether. Maybe we’re frustrated, confused, or just plain bored.

Whether you want to call it writer’s block, losing your mojo, or a creative speed-bump—feeling like you can’t keep writing can really, really suck.

There are a multitude of strategies for busting through blocks, but freewriting might be the simplest of them all. 

Free your pen, free your mind

The concept of freewriting is very straightforward: Set a timer for five to ten minutes and write—typically longhand, with pen and paper—without stopping or worrying about mechanics, grammar, or quality of writing. 

Try to keep your pen moving until the timer goes off, even if all you can write is “I don’t know what to write.” Just keep going.

Freewriting is not a new concept. William Butler Yeats, Dorothea Brande, and Jack Kerouac all used freewriting in one form or another. Natalie Goldberg and Julia Cameron both advocate for freewriting as an important developmental practice for writers and artists alike.

The goal is not to produce “good” writing; rather, the ultimate goal of freewriting is to free up your mind to put words on the page, stretch your imagination, and get the creative juices flowing.

Here are 10 different ways you can use freewriting to overcome writer’s block.

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