Naturally Disciplined Freelance Writers
Having an abundance of time and great prompts does not mean writing will come naturally. Great writing often develops after years of discipline. Most writers don’t just come into their own, they are guided by mentors, their communities, their reading, and of course their experiences.
But what are some important steps writers can take to enhance their material, broaden their horizons as literary artist?
The saying, “It takes a village…” applies to writing as well as babies. When you think about it your work is your baby. You put everything you have in it before you give it to the world. Having a set of like minded people to exchange ideas, collaborate, and even debate with can really affect your writing. Motivation usually strikes during a good forum discussion so try finding one particular to your craft.
Reading is a writers best down time and also study time! Read everything from the dictionary to the bible. Read different magazines, newspaper, and editorials. Reading increases your vocabulary, exposes you to different writing styles, and acts as a guiding muse walking you where you need to go when you least expect it. Try joining a local library. It gives you access to your favorite books for free on a limited time frame. They often have great book clubs and seasonal reading list.
Read your own work. Becoming your chief editor allows you the opportunity to proofread, trash any idea that may seem irrelevant, and emphasise upon any ideas you think the reader missed. Pushing out work that is sloppy, incoherent, and rushed ruins any article no matter how much research and detail you put into it.
Education is a writers existence. As a writer you never stop reaching for knowledge, you just grasp it differently. But, once you’ve conquered high school and survived college, you should try taking up an outside writing course or online class. You have to challenge your writing constantly and not just by writing about prompts out of your comfort zone. A writing course will keep your knowledge fresh and your writing will show definite growth!
And, lastly, give it a break! Writing is sometimes necessary to breath. Other times it’s nice to let your pen do the breathing. You don’t have to go on a writing retreat or burn your materials, but try taking the dog for a walk. Walk the aisles of the local supermarket. Watch a late night movie. Perhaps read a book! Whatever you do with your down time make sure it’s about you not your writing.
Continue Your Journey to Becoming a Better Freelancer
Here are some helpful sites to continue becoming a better writer:
Try this list of online schools offering free writing classes. I use Alison, which offers classes in all areas (writing, customer service, management, etc.) and most are free. Creative Writing Now promises great prompts and challenging lesson plans for fictional writers.
Challenge yourself with some outside work from freelance writing gigs. They have great resources for writers looking for work, critique, and even sites that refer you to online writing courses.
Let’s hear your feedback on Facebook. Make sure to use hashtag #GabBrand- Can’t wait for you to share your gift of gab!