Having worked with B2B sales and marketing professionals for a long time, we know that one of the most common pushbacks we hear when it comes to activating employees to create or write their own content is lack of time. And we get it, often creating content for your professional social media channels is just another thing on your already long to-do list.Fear not, in this blog post, we will talk about the Freewriting Technique which is the most effective way to become better and faster at writing content.
What Is The Freewriting Technique?
The Freewriting technique was developed by an American professor Peter Elbow in 1973.
Think of it as a brainstorming session but in a written format. It is an activity of continuously writing your thoughts for a certain amount of time without stopping to proofread or edit your writing. Naturally, people can write without any distractions for 5 minutes but the more you practice freewriting the better you become at it. Eventually, you will be able to write without interruption for longer and produce a coherent piece of writing quicker.
What Are The Benefits Of Freewriting?
As we already mentioned before, freewriting technique is an excellent skill for improving your writing and critical thinking skills. But what’s more, it can help you overcome writers’ block.
Elbow compares writing to speaking, saying that even when we speak or share our opinion in a conversation, it’s very rare that we get our point across right at the beginning. We might stumble at the beginning but as you keep speaking your speech becomes more coherent.
It’s the same with writing, if you don’t focus on getting the beginning right and just keep writing your thoughts until there is nothing else you can write, you will eventually produce a good piece of writing.
What Freewriting Has To Do With Social Media And Blog Writing?
If you've been trying to build your personal or professional brand on social media, you know that regularly sharing useful and relevant content, commenting on people's posts and creating original content, will positively impact your social media visibility.
By using freewriting technique, you can write a social media post, summarise an article or even draft a blog post in 5 minutes.
Let's see how it is done.
Grab a pen and paper and follow these steps:
- Choose a question or a topic you want to write about.
- Choose 3 words that you must include in your writing, start your writing with one of these words.
- Write continuously for 5 minutes or longer if you can stay focused.
- Don’t stop to self-edit or look back at your writing, just keep writing.
- If you reach a point where you don’t know what to write, then write: I don’t know what to write.
- Leave your writing for a few hours or days and then come back to it to finalise and proofread it.
Try this exercise and you will surprise yourself by just how quickly you can write a creative piece of content.
By regularly practising freewriting exercise, you will be able to produce a coherent piece of writing in 5 minutes, and eventually, you will be able to write a blog post or an article in 30 minutes. It's recommended to do the freewriting exercise at least three times a week to see significant results.
How Can You Apply Freewriting Technique To Your Social Media Activity?
Here are just some examples of how you can use freewriting technique to get into a routine of regularly creating content for social media.
Writing Social Media Posts.
Have you read an article, watched a video or listened to a podcast that might be interesting and useful for your audience? Use the freewriting technique to summarise your main takeaways from content and use them in your social media copy.
Start by choosing a question you want to answer and three words you will use in your writing, set a timer and just start writing. Freewriting will also help you make your summary more personal which works great for social.
Commenting On Other People's Posts.
If you've been following us for a while, you probably know about our 10-minute 'Coffee Cup' Routine which we created to help you to adopt social media into your schedule. Engaging with other people’s content should be part of your ‘Coffee Cup’ routine if you want to build meaningful relationships with your network.
Have you seen a post, content or discussion in your feed and you would like to add your comment or opinion to it? Use the freewriting technique to summarise your opinion in 5 minutes, proofread and post it.
Writing A Blog Post.
If you read our latest post about blogging, you’ll know that blogging on LinkedIn is great for building authenticity, thought leadership and expanding your network. The good news is that writing a blog post isn’t as massive and boring job as you might think it is. Using freewriting technique, you can draft a blog post in 30 minutes.
Simply, choose a blog post topic - the main question you want to answer, then decide 4-6 sub-categories (smaller questions) that you want to cover in your writing. Choose at least three keywords related to your topic which you will include in your blog post.
Then set a timer to write about each of these categories. You might not have enough patience to draft an entire blog post in one go at first, but you will get better at it the more you do it.
A Few Freewriting Tips
Did you know that you will naturally write better when answering a question?
That's why if you tried freewriting exercise before, but it didn't work, try answering a particular question instead of just writing your thoughts.
Creative writing likes limitations.
Set some limits for your writing by choosing 3 words that you must include in your writing.
When writing a blog post select good keywords related to your topics, this will not only help you with writing the content but will also boost your content visibility on the search engine.
Don't edit as you write.
Editing while you’re writing will only lead you to spend more time re-writing the same paragraph or a sentence over and over again. Try this instead - once you finished your freewriting exercise, leave your writing for a couple of hours or days and then come back to proofread and edit it with a fresh mind.
So What's Next?
We hope you enjoyed learning about freewriting technique, and you will be able to apply it to your content creation strategy.
Why not try freewriting technique to create your next social media post? Download this Freewriting Technique Template and try this exercise for 5 minutes. You might just surprise yourself!