Focused freewriting, broadly defined as writing without stopping and editing about a specific topic, has been viewed and used as a powerful tool for developing student writing in a wide spectrum of educational contexts. This study aimed to further explore the use of focused freewriting in the context of promoting students’ academic skills development, particularly in the area of academic writing. The study was conducted in an intensive writing course provided for students from diverse disciplines during which focused freewriting was employed throughout the entire program to help students develop understanding of academic writing and effective writing strategies. The analysis of student freewriting and student feedback to the course reveals several emerging themes, which highlight the beneficial effects of using focused freewriting as a pedagogical tool in the intensive writing course. The study provides suggestions for utilising focused freewriting as an empowering learning tool beyond the writing class to enhance student learning in the disciplines.