Brainstorming can stop and start at a slow pace, whereas freewriting involves a continuous flow of ideas.
A way to vary the type and effectiveness of freewriting is by setting a time limit. A longer time frame enables more ideas to flow, but some may find a shorter time limit to be effective in staying focused and avoiding fatigue.
Freewriting is tailored to the individual. Letting your mind and hands keep moving as you freewrite will enable you to articulate thoughts you wouldn’t in a stricter setting.
If you become stuck, you can type/write “thinking” over and over until more ideas come.
Use freewriting to get you out of writer’s block. By eliminating expectations, the writer may become immersed in the physical process of writing and break through the block.
Examples of freewriting
I once participated in a lively discussion about whether Holden Caulfield is a hero or an anti-hero. Since then, I have reread The Catcher in the Rye numerous times, viewing it through this lens with each reading. Years after that discussion, I still find myself undecided as to how I would categorize Holden.
(This is actually an effective freewriting sample. It’s a decent start in that it deals with one facet of the prompt, but the writer needs focus to address the specifics.)