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Freelance Writers: Jumpstarting Your Creativity Before Writing

July 05, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 229

Do you remember those times when you sat in front of your computer and stared at a blank sheet of MS Word?

That time when no matter how hard you try to start typing you just can't? Or you can, but you also kept on hitting the Backspace button because the words don't seem right.

Here's how to jumpstart your creativity before writing.

Get comfortable and ready

First things first, make sure that you and your working area are ideal for a no-nonsense session of writing.

  • Eat first if you're hungry.
  • Use the bathroom, even if you don't need to, before sitting down in front of your computer.
  • De-clutter your working space.
  • Keep needed items near (glass of water, paper, pen, etc.)
  • Remove noisy distractions.
  • Resolve not to open any social networking site. I mean it.
  • Set a timer for each phase of the writing process: before, during, and after.


One of the reasons why it's difficult to start writing is because we have no clue on what to write about. Hate it or love it, research is what will get you started.

Be careful, though. There is a right way and a wrong way to do research. Especially when your pressed with time, aimless research, or should I say internet surfing, will do you more harm than good.

Do effective research and focus on relevant content.

Using Google is easy; typing in your keywords results in a thousand different results. Avoid being overwhelmed with all this information by clicking one search result at a time, starting from the top of the list.

Open one website result in a new tab, scan through the content and see if it is relevant to your topic. If it is, read it more thoroughly and write down (or copy and paste) important points that you can use as basis for your article. If not, close it and proceed to the next.

Don't open 10 tabs all at once and then go back and forth between sites because you will end up getting confused and more frustrated.

It's easy to get tempted to click on links on the sites or blogs you opened. I'm not going to stop you from doing that, but remember to follow the same rules as above:

  1. Open site or link
  2. Scan content
  3. Decide if relevant (if yes, proceed to next step; if not, close)
  4. Note important points
  5. Close site
  6. Proceed to the next site

Focus on credible sites.

Aside from relying on good ol' Google's search results and Wikipedia, you can also have your own list of useful websites related to your usual article topics. Having this list will shorten the time you need to research since you already know which website to go to when you need to read on a topic.

Freelance writers are usually hired to write articles on health and wellness, skin care, weight loss, SEO, blogging, MMO (make money online), real estate, small business, internet marketing, and personal development.

And since these are popular, there are many authoritative (and high-ranking) blogs about them; all you have to do is identify which, then read and soak up all the information.

So how do you know if a site is credible?

Well, the fastest ways to determine if a blog or site is to check for most if not all of the following characteristics:

  • It has been around for some time and therefore has a lot of valuable content.
  • Has updated content. The latest blog post shouldn't be older than a week or maybe two.
  • Has lots of comments and interaction among readers.
  • The owner of the site is not afraid to show his face. Seriously. Check the sidebar or the About page.
  • Has a high page rank.

You can then either subscribe to these site's RSS feeds using Google Reader, like I do, and organize them in folders, or you can bookmark them in your browser.

Important Note: Research does not mean copying the work of others. Think of it this way, focusing on one source or one article and just simply rewriting is stealing content; reading and taking down notes from multiple sites and then writing about it is research.

Write an outline.

Once you have the results of your research, come up with an outline to guide your writing. You can either choose to write down potential headings and subheadings or list down questions you want your blog post or article to answer.

Alternatively, you can use a mind map software, such as Free Mind or Mind Domo, to organize your ideas, but only if you have enough time.

If it's your first time to use the software and you're on a tight schedule, settle with pen and paper for the time being.

Make sure your outline is easily accessible. Pen and paper is preferable or a sticky note at the side of you word processor is also ideal as either of these two will make you click away from your writing.

Do you need quality custom content for your blog or site?

Glori S. is a nurse turned freelance writer. She writes articles, blog posts, and short stories for various clients at competitive prices. Visit her at to find out about her writing services and what she can do to help your small business.

Source: EzineArticles
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