Free writing is beautiful. Brainstorming is beautiful. Collecting your thoughts and reflecting on them is one of a kind.
Many writers think that they can just write without critically thinking. However, I have had many great teachers tell me otherwise. That is why I love free writing. Free writing is when you sit down for about ten minutes and write continuously without concentrating on proper grammar or even the topic itself. I have had to make lists and tiny paragraphs on post-it notes in the past when ideas about a topic or assignment came out of the blue. Physically writing down your thoughts or typing them makes a huge impact compared to keeping it only in your head. Free writing or any prewriting activities help collect your thoughts and, in my case, ease my anxiety before starting a paper. I go with my gut feelings when I free write and I find that it makes the whole writing process less painful in the long run.