Use freewriting to pump your verbal muscles
Ian Lurie Jan 10 2012
Writing isn’t a talent—it’s a skill. You can get better at it through practice. If you want awesome verbal pectoral muscles:
If you want to get better, you could write a novel, or a textbook. But there’s a much easier way: Freewriting
Freewriting is like a verbal sprint. You write a lot, really fast, and you’re done. It’s a great exercise that:
- Gets you to stop self-editing;
- Packs about an hour of writing ‘thinking’ into 60 seconds;
- Helps you get faster, and more fluid, as a writer.
- Is actually fun, once you get used to it.
Here’s how you do it:
- Set aside 5 minutes, preferably when you first get to work.
- Open a blank document on your computer. Use whatever word processor you like, or just a text editor. OR (gasp) get a pen and a piece of paper.
- Get a timer. On your phone, or an egg timer, or whatever. Nothing fancy.
- Do not clear your head. You’ll need all the stuff in there.
- Start the timer…
- GO. Write. Don’t worry about what you’re writing. Write whatever pops into your head, even if it’s “I can’t think of what to write”.
- Write for 60 seconds straight.
- Stop when the timer stops.
- Save what you wrote.
- Read it later that day, or the next day. Is there a cool idea in there? Something you want to work with? Great! If not, great anyway!
Freewrite every day. It literally takes 1-2 minutes. Sometimes, you’ll even get a really funny result you stick on Reddit.
Ian Lurie is CEO and founder of Portent Inc. He's recorded training for Lynda.com, writes regularly for the Portent Blog and has been published on AllThingsD, Forbes.com and TechCrunch. Ian speaks at conferences around the world, including SearchLove, MozCon, SIC and ad:Tech. Follow him on Twitter at portentint. He also just published a book about strategy for services businesses: One Trick Ponies Get Shot, available on Kindle. Read More