Keeping Yourself Limber as a Freelance Writer
Have you ever felt like the writing you churn out is all really just the same? When all you do every day is write, it can be easy to get stuck in ruts of how you phrase things, how you organize articles and what topics you write about. After all, once you find a writing niche, you devote all of your energy to perfecting your skills in that niche. But is this really the best thing for you to do as a writer?
Rather than letting yourself turn into a writing robot, make use of several exercises to regain some of your flexibility and keep yourself limber. Not only will this bring your writing alive again, but it will keep you ready to jump on new opportunities as they present themselves.
Take on a New Project
Next time you need a new client, intentionally look for one outside of your usual realm. For example, if you specialize in technical writing, look for a job writing real estate ads or writing a guest post on a news or politics blog. Even if it’s an unpaid project or one below your usual rate, the experience can still be worthwhile in helping you think outside the box again and de-specialize, even if it’s just a little bit.
Write with a Different Voice
When you tackle your next project, write it with a different voice from your usual one and see how that changes your style and the way you phrase the piece. One helpful way to do this is to close your eyes before you start to write and imagine yourself as a different person. This person could have a different gender, educational background, age, and interests. Then, think about how this person would approach your project. When you write, stay in this persona and write it as if you were this person.
If you want to see what difference it made, write the piece again in your usual way and compare the two to learn a thing or two about your unique style.
Write for Fun
Let’s face it: when you become a freelance writer, the last thing you want to do at the end of a work day is to write something else that you aren’t even getting paid for. Even if you got into writing because it was a hobby, after making writing your living, all that writing you used to do for fun starts to feel like work. Change things up and rekindle your love for other types of writing by sitting down and writing for fun sometime. Try writing some fiction, poetry or even journal entries.
All of these exercises can help remind you that writing isn’t just about coming up with the perfect piece for a client. It’s about finding new and creative ways to express information, feelings, and ideas on paper. What are some other ways you can maintain your love for writing and avoid getting stuck in ruts?
Kristen M is a freelance writer available on WriterAccess, a marketplace where clients and expert writers connect for assignments.