Freewriting is one of those tools I use all the time. It’s a great way to complete work when I’m not feeling motivated and it’s a great way to get my creativity going when I feel sluggish. Freewriting is also blessedly simple:

1) Get your weapons. You will need a piece of paper and a pen or your computer and a timer. You can find an online timer at and at

2) Decide how long you will write. At the beginning, 5 minutes might be a good aim, but if you learn to like freewriting as much as I do, you might end up going for 45 minutes. You can also set your timer for 10 or 15 minutes – do what feels right for you.

3) At the top of your paper or blank screen, type out what you will be writing about. This can be a topic you have for an article, the next scene of your novel, or just a general idea , such as “love.”

4) Start the timer and immediately begin to write. Write without stopping until the alarm goes off. Write quickly and do not go back or edit what you have written. Just keep moving forward. If you get stuck, write “I don’t know what to write, but” or write the words at the top of your screen or paper. You may veer off in all sorts of directions or even onto different topics. Again, don’t think or worry about it. Just write.

5) When the timer indicates that your time is off, review what you have written. You may find that there are some sentences, ideas, and phrases that you can use in your work. If there aren’t you will still find that you leave the exercise more motivated to write. It’s very rewarding to be able to produce some work – and often good work – in such a short period of time.

6) Repeat as necessary.

Many people think that freewriting works because when you do this exercise you are not listening to that little voice inside your head that tries to tell you that you can’t write. Creativity experts – including Natalie Goldman and Julia Cameron – both advise something similar to this exercise. It really works. Try it out for yourself.

1) — Freedom Communications Inc. usually has a number of jobs of interest to writers, mostly in the US.

2) — Hearst has many opportunities for editors and some for writers.

3) — A general job site, usually with a number of jobs for writers and editors.

4) — Lots of media jobs here.

5) — Lee Enterprises has a number of positions in newspapers.

6) — The Oregonian has lots of newsroom jobs, internships, and some editor positions, usually.

7) — The Georgia Press Association has a classified section that lists Georgia news jobs.