Photo: Silly Kids by Martika G
Before free-writing, enjoy the poem on Your Daily Poem called What Matters and What Doesn't by Guatan Sen.
After reading the poem, free-write for 8 minutes on specific things in your life that matter, and the things that don't. For example, I might write that it doesn't matter that I slightly burned the pizza I was cooking the other night, but it certainly does matter that I got to enjoy a great day with my entire family, including my daughter's boyfriend, because the time spent together is more precious to me than what we eat. Make a list of specific things from your life and expand on the ones that move you. If you want more time than 8 minutes, go ahead and take it if you have it.
After your list is made, try weaving those things into a poem or an essay.
For fiction writers, you can focus on a character (one you are already working with OR a new one) and make the list of what matters and what doesn't for your character. Then put the character into a scene doing one or the other.