In high school my AP English teacher made everyone in his class have a free writing journal. Every day before class began he gave us a prompt and told us to free write. He explained that free writing everyday would make starting the writing process easier. I think free writing is an enjoyable but very useful activity. Free writing jump starts the brain and allows writers to write without pressure. Free writing before a paper or a discussion is helpful, because it promotes idea clarification and allows thoughts to freely flow. Free writing is an excellent way to start a paper. Some students have found success in just writing down all their thoughts, then going back editing and fine tuning the paper. I find this method useful sometimes because it prevents writers block. When I try to write a paper and structure a paper perfectly the first time, I end up overwhelmed and then experience writers block. I guess what I am trying to say is that free writing can sometimes turn into a rough draft.