Writing isn’t something that one gets as an inborn trait. You may have a natural passion for the craft but it’s still a skill that you’ve learned because someone taught you typically when you were young. Writing is something that’s learned.
And just like any other skill that’s learned, you’ll need to constantly practice and keep learning to improve your craft. For instance, if you love marathon and you want to run in one, you don’t just wake up on the day of the race and start running. You need some training. The first time you run, you might just finish half mile but that distance should improve in the succeeding sessions.
After a consistent training, you’ll see that the distance you cover improves. Doing this activity again and again exercises your body and you’re actually working your way towards the actual race. You’re getting yourself in shape for the real thing!
The same principle applies to writing. You need to constantly practice to achieve the goal of becoming a real writer. And even if you reach the professional level of being a writer, you should not stop honing your skills.
One of the most effective form of practice which has worked for me is ‘freewriting’.
What Exactly is This Thing Called Freewriting?
Freewriting is an activity that every writer (or aspiring writer) needs to engage in. It involves giving time each day to write on a specific number of pages. You don’t need to have a topic or a purpose for your writing, you just write. It sounds simple right? During this time that you’ve allocated for freewriting, you will need to just write without ceasing. You don’t need to rush things since there is no deadline, you just need to have a goal when to stop so just continue writing until your timer beeps or your target time is reached.
You can make the goal short for now then gradually increase the time you spend in freewriting as you progress. For example, you can start with the goal of just 10 minutes writing on 2-3 pages but be sure to have your goal framed properly. As you move along, you can add time or pages to your goal.
Just like any other skill, you will feel more comfortable as you do this practice more consistently over a period of time. Don’t stop just to edit cohesiveness, spelling, or clarity, just continue writing. You can choose to write about a specific subject or just let your imagination flow and see where it will take you.
This idea behind this activity is simple. Just write! And if you want to achieve the best results, you’ll need to make sure that you have a good schedule and do it consistently. Whether freelance writing is your full-time or part-time job, giving time for freewriting should be easy since it does not require too much time just to see some improvements in your writing.
Just give time for this habit and make it a regular part of your daily routine if you want to be better as a writer.
Freewriting may be a simple habit but it comes with a lot of benefits especially for those who do writing as a job. Here are some of them:
It Helps Improve Speed
After making freewriting as my daily habit, I have noticed a significant improvement in my writing speed. If you spend time each day just writing without really putting much thought on grammatical errors and spelling, you’ll be able to write faster. Oftentimes, the result is going to be a useless piece of written work but that’s okay.
The point of freewriting isn’t to produce some articles or blog posts to be published on a website. This habit seeks to help train your brain to organize thoughts better on the go. As you go on with your practice, you’ll see that the errors become fewer by the day.
Freewriting also reflects your professionalism as a writer. It helps you learn the valuable lesson of not editing while you’re working on your piece as this can potentially slow down the process of writing. Your first drafts will form more quickly when you’re doing your job once freewriting becomes a daily habit.
Freewriting lets you focus on the process instead of the result. This is a lot more liberating and oftentimes beneficial especially if you’re catching up with the deadline.
It Enhances Creativity
Writing without any inhibitions can help boost your creativity as a writer. Writer’s block is a common enemy that freelancers combat against and even if this comes to the surface just occasionally, it still can impact the overall product and speed of accomplishing a given task.
A writer’s work is dependent on his/her ability to create engaging pieces. Those that captivate readers every single time. However, when writer’s block hits you, it seems impossible to even start with a single piece.
Freewriting is one way that you can combat this and enhance your creativity. You can start by choosing a theme which you will freewrite about. It can be a feeling, idea or just one word that’s in your mind by the time you start the session. Be sure to write only about that single topic until you reach the goal or set time.
Let your kind wander and allow it to expound whatever pops in your head. Freewriting helps you connect with your subconscious, the only part of your brain that is immune to writer’s block.
At first, your end product may look like a piece of nonsense composition and useless stuff but when you read it again, you may find some parts of it that can inspire you. You can save the best stuff in a folder so you can use it later on.
It Builds Momentum
You won’t accomplish anything unless you start writing. Writers would often tell you that once you get going, it would be a challenge to stop. Freewriting will help you get the momentum that you need to start moving forward.
As we have already mentioned, your freewriting sessions may produce some strong ideas in the form of well-composed sentences and you can use these as starting points because they provide inspiration for a new piece of article.
In other instances, even the sessions in freewriting which did not produce some good ideas would give you even more inspiration to write. That motivation is going to be very useful as you start a project which you have been procrastinating for a long time now.
It Boosts Confidence
Self-doubt is the arch-nemesis of every freelance writer. It hinders growth and even inhibits your ability to write effectively. Whether it’s a struggle with a client or you’ve read a piece that you wrote before and start thinking that you’re not that good a writer, self-doubt is every writer’s pitfall.
Freewriting is an excellent weapon to combat this formidable foe. They say that practice makes perfect but the truth is there’s nothing that’s perfect in this world, what we have is growth.
Writing is a skill that is learned at a young age but you surely have grown from your previous writing styles. You don’t stay as you were before. You’ve grown now and your style has evolved. Your skills change for the better.
You can go along with that growth by making freewriting a daily habit. When you keep practicing in an environment that doesn’t have stringent standards and requirements, you are actually taking away the pressure that can prevent progress.
By practicing, you are actually learning new things and become better at crafting ideas. This leads to better expression in words making your thoughts expressed in a more efficient manner. You become a better storyteller!
Start Writing and Keep It Going
Bad pages can always be edited but a blank page cannot. Freewriting gets you going with the career that you have chosen. It’s one of the greatest benefits that a freelance writer can get from this habit.
Distractions are ever present and adding to it are some other responsibilities that we have in life. We often wait for the perfect time to start writing or look for a good motivation to start striking. But there are times that the best way for us to get going is just to go and start writing!