The Slacker’s Guide to Breaking The Number One Rule of Freelance Writing

Every freelance writer knows it. It’s the “most important” rule of becoming a successful freelance writer.

Yep. You guessed it – write EVERY DAY.

When I first set my eyes on the goal to live the writer’s life, every learning resource I came across offered that same advice.

Given, there is no limit on what writers should get down on paper – or in Word – every day. BUT, really? Who has the time these days?

…. and if you do have the time, just take that as a rhetorical question. 🙂

But for those of us who are students, parents, business owners, etc., writing EVERY DAY isn’t as easy as it sounds. Taking into account that I am all of the above, I HAD to find a way around this writing every day rule. I have a knack for finding loopholes. Blame it on the slacker in me. But I’m more than happy to share my findings with you.

Writing Every Day Isn’t Necessary If…

I’m a firm believer that any one rule can never apply to ALL people. We’re just too different as individuals. Different talents. Different discipline levels. Different goals. JUST DIFFERENT.

So I’ve come up with a few exceptions that, at least, apply to me.

Writing every day isn’t necessary if…

You are a frequent leisure reader.

I don’t mean just road signs and restaurant menus. Leisure readers usually have their own libraries. I do. By reading so much, I’m always expanding my vocabulary. That helps my writing become more unique and creative.

Your work involves writing.

Freelance writers are encouraged to write creatively every day, but many already do enough writing in their current day jobs. A secretary types memoranda throughout the week. It may not be novel writing, but it is in fact helping her to exercise her craft. Even schoolwork qualifies if it has a hand in helping you practice writing nearly every day.

You are a naturally gifted writer.

Experts and gurus will never admit to this, but some people are just born with IT. They don’t have to practice every day to deliver copy or a story that sells. Among these naturally gifted individuals, you may find spelling bee champs, Literature majors, academic essay contest winners, musicians. All types of people. They all have one thing in common – a vivid imagination. Imagination can turn plain text into textual imagery.

I understand I’ve gone against everything some of you may have heard about freelance writing up until now. Let’s just say I choose to think for myself.

But don’t get me wrong.

I understand why it’s advised to write every day. Discipline.

One of the biggest challenges of being a freelance writer is having the discipline to stay on schedule. Believe me, I know how easy it is to piss away the day instead of working on that sales letter due next Monday.

Writing every day gets newbie freelance writers into the habit of making time to write.

Even when you don’t feel well. Even when your favorite show is on. Even when the kids are at grandma’s and you’d rather spend your spare time at happy hour.

The great thing about it is, if you are a person of strong will and determination, which I’ve come to realize most successful freelancers are, you’ll dedicate the time needed to producing great material anyway.

Being among the ranks of successful freelancers, I’ll gladly announce here that I did NOT write every day.

Yet, I am a frequent leisure reader with working experience in script-, grant- and legal writing. And I just happen to have a shoe box full of ribbons, medals and certificates won over the course of my childhood and adolescence for exceptional essays, poems and stories.

Hence this post giving freelance writers permission to slack off and disobey the number one rule.

I’m proof that there are exceptions. There are several paths to success. I just seem to have found a well-lit, straight and narrow shortcut.

Cheers to all fellow slackers on similar paths!

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