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Monday, June 25, 2007

Writers, You Need To Get Out More

Once upon a time, freelance writing was an out and about business. You went out, met people, talked to sources, talked to editors and generally had a range of conversations related to what you were writing. Now, freelance writing can be very different, especially if your main business is writing web content.

As a web content writer, you can spend days or weeks at your desk without ever seeing another person. You can research your articles on the internet, draft them and send them off with very little human contact at all. In some ways, it's like living in a protective bubble, where you don't have to deal with the real world. However, it's a mistake to stay in that bubble for too long.

The reason is that without some outside input your writing will get stale. You will be drawing on the same old sources for inspiration you have always used. No matter how expert your knowledge, you need to refresh it from time to time. In order to produce a pearl, you have to throw in a little dirt.

So how do you do this when your writing job keeps you tied to your desk? Virtuality has advantages as well as disadvantages and one of the advantages is that you can keep up with developments in your field without leaving your desk. You can read news sites, online magazines and ezines, and you can subscribe to blogs in your field. All of this will keep you abreast of what people are talking about and thinking.

Offline, you can get a lot of inspiration from the books you read, the radio programmes you listen to and the television you watch. Anything can spark an idea or create a metaphor that will liven up your writing. The trick is to be alert and be ready to capture these fleeting inspirations – and to get out more. It will do your writing no end of good.

1 comment:

WritingForFood said...

Great ideas! I find it helpful to just leave the house sometimes. I hate to become one of those cliche "coffee house" writers, but a change of scenery can sometimes help me change my perspective.