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Articles on Freelance Writing Success
- Bob Bly
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- Nick Usborne
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by Nick Usborne
The biggest thing that gets in the way of writing is inhibition.
It may be a conscious inhibition. Perhaps you dont believe you are good enough.
Or have concerns that people will criticize what you write. Or worse still, laugh at your efforts.
It may be an unconscious inhibition. This is tougher territory. I believe most of the limits in our lives are set by ourselves. We limit what we can achieve. We doubt ourselves. We put a brake on our ambitions.
Very often, we dont know why. Theres just a block there we cant seem to get past.
As we grow older we might get a hint as to the origins of these blocks, and overcome them.
But what if you would like to be a writer now, and cant seem to find the confidence or momentum to get started?
Take one small step at a time
If you want to write...whether its for advertising, articles, a novel, screenplay or poem...start in a way that doesnt scare you.
Lets take the example of writing a non-fiction book.
You dont have to look at the whole scary picture on day one. Dont get frozen by the prospect of having to write thousands of words, find a publisher, deal with the promotional side of being an author and more.
If you do have some inhibitions, the big picture will surely bring them to the surface.
So take one step at a time.
Write a few lines and paragraphs here and there, just to yourself. Dont worry about other people reading them. Just write to yourself. Take notes, start a journal. Get started.
Taking your words to the public
Again, when it comes time to write for a public audience, you dont have to jump into the deep end on day one.
You can start by writing articles for a small trade journal or a local newspaper.
Better still, start a weblog. Its just an online journal and will not only get you into the habit of writing every day, but will, in time, attract a group of readers. And these readers can provide you with invaluable comments and feedback.
In fact, many authors create a blog while writing a non-fiction book. They do it to try out their ideas and also to solicit feedback.
Once you are ready, once you know you have enough material, and are confident enough in your own writing and communication skills, then is the time to start on the big project.
The best tip of all...write every day
Plenty of people have made this point before. But its an invaluable tip.
If you want to be a writer in any medium or field, then the act of writing has to become as familiar to you as breathing, as present as the sound of your own heart beating.
And the only way to get to that point is to write something every day.
If you want to be a poet, write a poem or part of a poem every day. It may be bad, it may be incomplete. You may just throw it away. But you will have written something, and your brain will have learned something.
If you want to write articles, write an article or part of an article every day.
The same goes for advertising copy, screenplays or anything else.
You dont have to finish anything each day. Nor does it have to be good or seen by anyone else.
But the more you write, the more you practice, the more you will learn.
And the more you learn, the more confident you will become in your craft.
And yes, the day will come when you are ready to write something wonderful, and share it with the world.
NOTE: To increase your productivity as a writer, follow the 5 rituals I lay out in my guide for writers, Writing Rituals. Learn more at the Writing Rituals web site...
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