One of the things I like about blogging is that you don’t have to be a professional writer in order to be successful at it. Unlike prose or academic writing, rules in blogging are more lose. Blogging gives many of us, especially those who are not professional writers a chance to express our ideas in writing and reach our target audiences.
I am an example of this. I am neither a native English speaker, nor I have never been taught the language. I have never studied literature, even in my native tongue and never took any writing classes. Yet I write for this and many other blogs and get people interested in my ideas. Incredible.
Why do I write all of this though? Simply because I want to show you that when it comes to blogging, there is really nothing to be afraid of.
In the past two posts of the series I talked about the benefits of blogging for small businesses and coming up with idea for your posts. Today it’s time to learn how to turn those ideas into posts. And of course how to do it even if you are not a trained writer and have no writing experience whatsoever.
What is free writing
Two main things that scare most people from writing are apathy and self-criticism. Most of us either won’t move a finger to do it or are so afraid of the result and give up before trying.
Both reasons however can be overcome with a very easy technique called free writing. In free writing a person writes for a predetermined period of time, without worrying about grammar, spelling and punctuation. It produces raw, often unusable material, true. But it helps to write the first draft of your post and that’s what’s important here.
The key concept of free writing is to write and don’t stop until the time is up. Nothing else matters here.
Free writing doesn’t produce pieces of art but that’s not the idea. The reason why you free write is to put your ideas into paper without worrying how good or bad they are. Basically you give yourself permission to suck at this first draft. And believe me, this really makes it much easier.
What are the advantages of this method?
First and foremost, it gets you to write. Since you don’t have to worry about punctuation, grammar etc and the form you also don’t have to worry about whether the end result will be any good. You give yourself a permission to suck.
Secondly, it helps you to develop new angles at which you approach your subject. Unlike brainstorming where ideas are only listed on a page, with free writing a basic shape of text is being put together which usually allows the writer to develop the text further.
And finally, it creates the base of your text. All you have to do now is to edit it but since it’s already written, half of the work is already done.
So, how exactly does one free write?
- Start with setting up a time limit. I free write for 10 minutes but you can decide on any amount of time you feel the most comfortable with. Remember to set a timer so that you know when your time is up.
- Write until the time is up. Do not pause to stare into space or to read what you’ve written. At this stage focus on throwing as much text as possible on a page.
- Pay no attention to grammar, spelling, punctuation, or style. No one else but you will read what you wrote here. The only thing that matters now is the act of writing.
- If you get off the topic or run out of ideas, keep writing anyway. Write nonsense, write that you don’t know what to write about, write anything. This will keep your mind working in a writing mode.
- When the time is up, step away from what you have written. Let your mind rest from the text before coming back to edit it. I usually leave this first draft for the night and edit it the next day but you of course can come up with your own system.
And that’s it. The simplest system to write interesting content even if you are not a professional writer.