Posts under the tag “freewriting” follow the format first introduced by Professor Peter Elbow. His idea is that when we write, we tend to edit ourselves—stop ourselves from writing what we truly want to say because we are thinking about spelling, or word choice. As Dr. Elbow argues, “it’s an unnecessary burden to try to think of words and also worry at the same time whether they’re the right words.”
In my classes, we freewrite to get into the rhythm of writing, to get our ideas down, to share our thoughts with others. In class I tell my students that freewriting is “dirty writing” because it’s the writing we do before a polished draft. In fact, it gets us to the polished draft. It’s dirty because it’s full of spelling errors, the punctuation might be incorrect—or missing—and the sentences are seldom complete. But it should be that way: it’s free writing.
My freewrites here will follow this same pattern. Sometimes, I might get back into a freewrite and “clean it up” but more often, you will see my spelling errors and other “dirty writing” examples. The biggest thing you will see in my freewrites is that because I am not stopping to think of the “right words,” I also tend to be all over the place when it comes to the topic. This is why in one freewrite, I am talking about more than one—or five!—things at a time. Sometimes I don’t even follow the prompt. But it should be that way: it’s free writing.
Any post tagged with “freewriting” has been composed in class or for class since I write alongside my students. Expect the unexpected.