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Brainstorming: Free Writing

So far in this series, we’ve discussed three methods which largely involve making connections or finding ideas based on others. Free writing breaks free of this thinking, in fact, it was designed to set you free from the shackles of organised thought.

This is the fourth post in series about Brainstorming. This series includes the following:

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How do you do it?

Start writing. That’s all you need to do. Don’t stop, and don’t censor what’s going onto the page. You might want to set a timer, or choose a topic, but these aren’t compulsory. There are no rules in free writing, so let your subconscious loose, and realise the ideas your brain ordinarily wouldn’t let through its screen process.

What can I use it for?

Your first thought may have been for creative writing, but it could be used for any sort of writing: essays, reports, even speeches. It is most suited to work which doesn’t require any further research. This is because it draws on your knowledge and past experiences to generate ideas.

Free Thinking

Despite free writing’s limitations in terms of usage, the process associated with it can easily be adapted to suit any situation. The idea behind free writing centers on thinking beyond our consciousness. This goes further than ‘thinking outside the box’, because, while you can use lateral thinking, free thinking, as we shall proceed to call it, is based around removing the censor for your thoughts.

Thought Censor

Twice now, I’ve mentioned the censorship of thoughts by the brain. Humans have an unfortunate desire to not make idiots of themselves. This fear of failure causes the brain to censor its thoughts, removing anything it decides is illogical, offensive, immature or bizarre. Free thinking allows you to turn off this beep and black box.


Free thinking can also be extended to the artistic world. When you were younger, how often were you told off for doodling in your notebook during class? How do you think your teacher would react if you told them it fuelled your thinking process. It doesn’t sound plausible, does it? But doodling is a form of free thinking, because you’re drawing whatever comes into your mind, just as in free writing.

So that’s my take on free writing, and free thinking. I hope I’ve enabled you to open your mind to all those seemingly ridiculous ideas. Let me know what you think in the comments.


An Introduction: Habits of Mind

I first came across the Habits of Mind when I began high
school. They are an integral part of our education, and I firmly
believe they help students reach their full potential, whether they
realize it or not. Although the Habits of Mind are mocked by
students, the teachers persist in using them in assignments and
lessons, and they eventually reach students. Habits of Mind are not
a quick-fix solution like dieting pills and any product you may see
on any current affairs program. They are meaningful tools that
require effort to make an impact. Like any worthwhile solution, you
should not approach the Habits of Mind as a simple get-smart-quick
scheme. You need to be prepared to put the effort into learning,
incorporating and noticing the Habits.

Read More…