How to Jumpstart Your Writing Study Guide
How to Jumpstart Your Writing
True ease in writing comes from art, not chance, As those move easiest who have learn'd to dance. - ALEXANDER POPE (1688–1744) ENGLISH POET
This lesson teaches you how to do freewriting, a highly effective way of getting started on your assignments. This lesson provides another technique experienced writers use to help them jumpstart the writing process. Don't for a minute think that you are alone, as a young writer, in fearing the blank page. Every writer encounters the same preliminary fears, and every writer uses whatever tricks are available to get over the hurdle and into the writing task at hand.
Writing Isn't Quite as challenging or nearly as dangerous as climbing Mount Everest; it only feels that way. And just as serious climbers have to train on smaller mountains, writers often warm up by doing practice writing sessions, called freewriting.
Freewriting is the practice of writing continuously (usually in a timed session of about five or ten minutes), without delays to correct spelling, grammar, or sentence structure. If you get stuck and can't think of anything more to write, then you write about that ("I am stuck and can't think of anything else to write . . . and then oh, I thought of how I feel about. . . ."). Actually, freewriting can be understood as the written form of idle thinking, the kind of mind wandering you do when you're on the bus, or waiting to fall asleep, or trying not to pay attention to the boring conversation of the adults in the room.
In freewriting, you don't worry about staying on topic. Many find that it's easier to begin their freewriting with a topic, no matter how simple or vague, and then to let their writing take them anywhere. Once you're started writing, you let your mind (and your fingers) do the choosing. There is often an advantage to beginning your freewriting session with a certain focused topic. You may find yourself coming up with connections and ideas you wouldn't have come to had you been using some other planning technique before beginning a writing assignment.
If you don't already know how to touch type, which means typing quickly without looking at the keys, learn how! Touch typing is every writer's favorite skill. Being able to type quickly will make your writing better, because you won't lose your train of thought while you're hunting and pecking, and revising your work is much easier when you aren't fumbling around.
Ask your parents to buy a learn-to-type software program, with which you can teach yourself touch typing on the computer, or enroll in a typing class at school. Touch typing is not only a skill that you'll be grateful for your whole life, but it's also fun—it's like being able to sing and ride your bike at the same time.
Here's a sample of freewriting done by a student preparing to write a school essay about The Influence of Television on My Life. Note that the freewriting veers off the subject occasionally, but that the student manages to come up with several ideas that might be reorganized into specific examples and relevant points for the finished essay.
Does freewriting appeal to you more as a useful technique now that you see a sample of it?
I am really stuck trying to think of what to write about this topic, because television is a really important part of everybody life. Think of the war, we see it everyday on tv and then there are elections and politics and the government and the topic seems so big that I think the teacher wants to bad mouth television because she is always trying to get us to read books instead of watching tv so I thitkn this assignment is mostly to get us to say that we watch too mcuh television. The influence of television is really great, that's for sure. Think of how we get out news I don't read the papers and my parents don't even subscribe to a newspaper because when they did the papers would just pile up and no one had time in busy lifes to sit down and read all that detailed stuff that was not so important really and that is another reason that tv is very important because it becomes a way for all of us to learn things that we wouldn't kno if we dindt watch tv. And theirs also the entertainment factor. Plus baby sitting. When I was little me and my brother watchd sesame street and I can remember even lerning stuff from that show that I still know. So maybe what I should write about is all the good things from tv and not try to suck up to the teacher and say that ttv is bad for us cause I think that is what she wants to hear in this paper.
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