Why Freewriting Is Important

Perhaps you feel like writing. You know deep within you that you have something you would like to share. Perhaps it is your own personal story. Maybe it is a book that will help you get your message out. But you ignore this feeling. There is no doubt that writing is tough. It is a skill developed on self-discovery and deep thought, both of which are time-consuming and emotionally draining. Just like proofreading, plotting, editing, and character development, and writing is a skill. Learning freewriting takes some patience and the ability to accept correction. Even a badly written piece can be educational. It can teach you the act of thinking deeply and clearly. Freewriting is, therefore, to the mind what yoga is to the body. 


Freewriting is one of the most important forms of writing. The idea is to write some things down for a time period, or to fill up some pages, and not stop until you’re done writing. The topic you write on doesn’t matter much – only that you write, till the timer’s second stops. But there is more to freewriting than just to get a story for your novel. It is used in therapy and counseling as a means of handling trauma. It can help bloggers and writers deal with issues they are too scared to deal with in real life, and it gives an avenue to channel that nervous energy.

Benefits of Freewriting

Some reasons try freewriting are:

  • It can help you develop your writing abilities
  • Train your self to write without self-censorship
  • It can drive inspiration
  • It builds honesty in your writing
  • Helps you find topics to write about. If you are not quite sure the subject to write about, whether a blog post, a personal experience, or as a journalist, freewriting can help you figure the right topic. Think of a place, person, feeling, or event that you value so much and write about it.
  • It helps get rid of emotional barriers on a deeper level. For instance, if you find yourself always upset or annoyed by something, and you intend to figure out what the cause of that annoyance is, free write about it. Set a time limit and just begin writing.
  • Accept yourself just the way you are. If you can learn to accept the topics you write about without judging yourself, you can accept the person behind the story without judgment. 

Psychologically, freewriting is beneficial because:

  • It can be relaxing

It is a form of meditation. While at it, you get to a trance where only your writing matters, and nothing else. Freewriting is all about getting the story out of your body. When psychologists and counselors recommend it, it is done to get rid of emotions that have built-up, such as anger. 

  • It is a good practice

You don’t edit or fix grammatical errors when freewriting. This way, your initial idea is not interrupted, which is the reason behind your writing. Editing is done after the writing is completed.

  • It strengthens muscle memory and good habits

You are inherently creative as a writer. When you free-write for a period of time, you are tapping into your creativity, and flexing your creative muscles. They become stronger, the more you flex them. It is impossible to get good at writing without practice. Same way people lift weights to increase strength; you also write more to become a better writer. 

  • It develops self-confidence and trust.

As you write, you’re ultimately training yourself to have confidence. It is incredible when you learn to trust yourself in that way. And as earlier mentioned, this skill comes with much practice. Writing the first page is the most difficult aspect of writing, but when you decide to write, you’re telling yourself that you have an idea worthy of being written down. This sense of self-confidence will eventually find its way to other parts of your life.

Conclusion

Freewriting is similar to getting into a car and driving, without any destination or goal to attain – It is all about the process. If you have never given freewriting a shot, maybe because you feel intimidated writing for ten minutes or more without stopping, or you think it is a total waste of time, Give freewriting a try and do so without using technology. Get a notepad and a pen, which will change your focus and the way you think and work.

The Best Length For A Children’s Book, By Age Group

Not all children are created equally. As an author targeting your writing to kids doesn’t automatically mean that your book should be 100 pages or less. In fact, children will develop incrementally by age group. Therefore, your writing has to mimic their attention span. It’s important to bear in mind that a three-year-old will need more pictures and visual aids than a 14-year old child.

So, what’s the appropriate length and topic to choose when writing a children’s book? Consider this as a short guide for the best children’s book-length by age.

Babies, Toddlers, And Preschoolers (aged 0-5)

Books for Babies, Toddlers And preschool children, ages 0-5, in most cases, these ages will be guided reads focusing on associating the concept of words to objects through pictures and will be comprised of more pictures and visual aids than they will words and pages.

Books For Babies

For babies, books should be 0-300 words is a guideline. In this age group will be entirely a guided experience and almost entirely visual and auditory.

Books For Toddlers

For toddlers, 1-500 words is a guideline. In this age group will still be mostly a guided experience and still be largely visual and auditory, although these readers

Books For Preschool Children

For preschooler children, a book of up to 1,000 words is appropriate in some cases.  These readers will be steadily becoming come more independent, but may still need or want a guided experience and enjoy pictures which have a meaningful context to the words.

Young Readers (children ages 5 to 7)

The young, or early reader category, will encompass children ages 5 to 7. These books are a notch above the picture book category. Think of this category as a group of children who are just starting to read when creating content to publish.

Short books will contain illustrations. However, authors can delve into the content a little more with word count, as opposed to strictly focusing on the visual aspect. For most books in this category, a range of 3,000 to 5,000 words is appropriate. Sticking closer to the 3,000 to 4,000 range is a good point of reference for writers to focus on. This ensures it won’t exhaust the readers but will still provide sufficient detail in the content to pique their interest and read on.

Book by Chapter ages of 6 to 10

In this category, you’re writing books that are written with multiple chapters. Children who are reading these books typically fall between the ages of 6 to 10. When creating these books, a good word count range is anything below 10,000 words. Most chapter books will fall between 7,000 to 10,000 words.

Tweens and Young Teens Readers

When children reach middle school, they’re more focused and more interested in reading content than simply looking at images. Therefore, writers can focus on creating more in-depth books and a more creative writing style.

For tween readers who fall between the ages of 9 to 12, books can reach a word count of up to 60,000 with some publishers. It’s best to avoid hitting the pinnacle in word count, and instead, focus on the quality of the content being published. A good range for these books is 35,000 to 50,000 for most books.

For the young teen, books can hit a word count of close to 100,000 words. The readers in this age bracket are between 12 to 15 years of age and have a greater attention span and can comprehend more words/ideas they couldn’t at a younger age. Books for young teens will typically fall between 60,000 to 100,000 words on the higher end.

The Young Adult Readers

Sci-fi, supernatural, non-fiction, and other topics might reach a word count of 90,000 to 100,000 words. Readers in this category are aged 15 and up to adults. Depending on the genre of books in this category, the word count can fluctuate greatly, so authors must consider their reader, and the reader’s attention span, in creating books for the young adult reader.

In some cases, publishers may have their rules in place as to the best children’s book-length by age, and this will also dictate the length and material density of a book. If you are working with a publisher. It’s best to check before starting to determine the right length for desire age group before starting the writing process.

The best children’s book-length by page will vary for each author. Furthermore, the genre, the direction the book is taking (educational vs. informational vs. non-fiction, etc.) can also impact the word length for a children’s book. So, before you start writing, make sure you have an idea in place as to who your audience is, what their attention span is, and what will pique their interest for the duration of the book, to ensure they’ll get through it.

There’s no clear-cut guide which dictates just how many words to include when writing a book for children. When in doubt, authors should speak to a publisher to see if there are minimum/maximum counts in place. Better to be cautious and work towards the lower to mid-range, rather than overdo it and fluctuate, word count, which can result in losing the reader’s attention.

Related References

What are the most popular themes and tropes in romance writing?

Romance can be a tricky genre, because it features a lot of double-edged themes. When handled correctly, such themes can create great stories, but when handled poorly, they can lead to poorly written clichés.

If you’re writing a romance novel for the first time, it’s important to be aware of all the major romance writing tropes, so that you can use them correctly. Here are four examples to help you get started.

Youthful Love

Youthful love is more than just about youth and romance. It’s also about innocence, recklessness and in certain cases, first heartaches. This theme usually focuses on the adventures of a bright, young boy looking for his princess, or a young girl looking for her prince charming. They are innocent about the ways of love, and their sense of romance is almost entirely made up by their imagination.

However, the theme of youthful love isn’t always cute or adorable. One of the most famous stories that feature youthful love is Romeo and Juliet, and we all know how that story ended. Other good examples. Whether the story ends in happiness or in tragedy, what’s important to remember about this theme is that it transforms the young characters from innocent and naive children into full-grown adults who understand the real nature of love, including its beauty and pitfalls.

Wounded Heart

This wounded heart theme is more oriented toward older audiences. It usually features characters who have had their hearts broken over and over again, making them cold and cynical in the process. A good example of this theme can be found throughout the classic film, Casa Blanca. Another good example is Fyodor Dostoevsky’s character Prince Myshkin, who became insane later in his story arc.

The wounded heart theme can also act as the background of a particular character. It can be a woman who had her heart broken by her boyfriend/husband or a man who had lost his girlfriend/wife due a tragic accident. Their past experiences will not only help drive the story’s narrative, they can also help set the tone for character interactions.

Tragic Love

Tragic love is one of the most major romance themes. It focuses on characters who love each, but who are doomed to never be together either because of

destiny or a flaw in their character. A good example of the tragic love theme can be found in the TV series Buffy the Vampire Slayer, where the titular character Buffy cannot be with her boyfriend because the latter is a vampire.

Another good example is the love story between Aeneas and Dido from Aeneid, where the former had to leave the latter, so that he could fulfill his destiny to found Rome.

The tragic love theme is the number one theme for people who like to write tragedy. It usually starts with the promise of something beautiful and magnificent romance, only to break that very same promise as the story progresses or when new characters are introduced.

This theme can also be used to create tension between other themes, such as destiny, honor or even family. It forces characters to choose between what their romantic feelings and their other obligations and desires.

The Great Struggle

The Great Struggle is a theme that requires characters to struggle to achieve their romantic aspirations. A good example of this theme can be found in the Great Gatsby, where Jay Gatsby amasses a large fortune just to get the attention of Daisy Buchanan.

What makes this theme so compelling is that it creates stories where the characters must struggle and fight to earn the affections of the person they love. It’s also the kind of theme that often love triangles and social barriers. In rarer cases, these themes may even require writers to challenge social taboos or amassing wealth. If the story is set in a fantasy world, it may even include dragons and monsters.

In any case, the great struggle is an excellent theme for writers who write stories about, well, romantic struggles. One word of caution, though, the great struggle must also create a lot of conflict. It’s not enough that a character fight to win the love of their beloved. He or she must pay a price or get hurt throughout the course of the story.

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Most Popular Themes in Science Fiction Writing

As an aspiring writer in the science fiction genre, you are presented with limitless possibilities. However, while there are so many themes that you could write on, there are some popular themes have repeatedly proven to be the most successful. Given that there are potentially hundreds of themes to choose from, I have compiled ten of the most popular science fiction themes found in modern science fiction.

End of Humanity

Sometimes referred to as post-apocalyptic or apocalyptic fiction, this genre is set in a world in which the technological civilization of the Planet Earth is collapsing either due to manmade or natural phenomenon such as depletion of resources or a nuclear holocaust, fictional happenings such as an alien invasion or zombie apocalypse, or an eschatological happening such as the Second Coming.

Life Extension

The desire to achieve immortality is a popular theme in science fiction. The major themes typically involve aspects of mind uploading where one uploads their consciousness into a computer or digital equivalent; Digital immortality where the person’s personality is uploaded on digital media including their thoughts and memories, which continue to live in perpetuity; and cryonics where a dead person is preserved until human technology develops to the point of bringing them back to life.

Alien Invasion

An Alien invasion is one of the oldest themes that has been a favorite of science fiction fans. Alien invasion typically involves the visit of extraterrestrials to Earth usually in the form of an invasion that is intended to supplant or exterminate human life. This could take the form of stealing of resources, enslavement of the human population, or in some instances the destruction of the planet.

Parallel Universe

One of the most popular sub-genres particularly in literary science fiction. A parallel universe refers to a different world where an alternate reality that may or may not be a variant of the Earth exists. Such universes may have some differences from our current reality such as having different laws of physics or biology. The parallel universe is thus a crossroads between the planet Earth and a fantasy world.

Bodily Transformation

This theme refers to several subgenres that may include genetic engineering, cloning, and biohacking. Genetic engineering themes tend to involve the creation of a super race of humans through technologies such as brain-computer interfacing, nanotechnology, and eugenics. From the opposing direction, is biohacking, in which individual person transform their bodies by introducing chemicals or cybernetic devices. Prosthetics or the use of robotics for enhanced bodily function also falls in this category

Super Powers

While closely related to bodily transformation this is a different subgenre of science fiction. The acquisition of superpowers typically encompasses aspects of teleportation, psychic phenomena, and enhanced mental function. Teleportation is the ability to transport persons or objects from one location to another without necessarily making use of the physical space between them. Psychic phenomena may include persons who have telekinetic, telepathic, precognitive and clairvoyant abilities. An enhanced mental function may include mind uploading, higher memory, mind-swap, and mind control abilities.

Time Travel

Time travel is one of the original and most popular themes popularized by novels such as “The Time Machine” by HG Wells. As a science fiction theme, it involves the movement of persons or objects between two points in space that typically has one going back to an earlier era or going forward to a future era. For instance, one could travel back in time to the Roman first century AD or go forward in time to the technologically driven world of 2100.

Military Conflicts

Military conflict is a common trope in many modern science fiction movies and literature. This will typically involve interstellar travel and combat in space between armies of antagonists from different planets or galaxies. These types of conflicts normally make use of exotic and strange weapons though some weapons used in science fiction have found use in conventional militaries.

Galactic Empires

Ever since science fiction franchise “Star Trek” became a mass phenomenon and gained acceptance even out of the science fiction community, the theme of Galactic Empires in science fiction has grown in leaps and bounds. The writing of this theme is modeled along the lines of the decline or rise of an empire that has significant technological advancement as compared to human civilizations or other civilizations in its vicinity. Given the differences in technology, social and economic advancement, there is tension between empires which usually results in conflict.

As an aspiring writer, you could write in any of the science fiction overarching themes we have discussed and been relatively successful. Nonetheless, you can always dig deeper into the subgenres of science fiction and still find success as long as you can write something that captures the imagination of the reader. This is by no means a complete listing of all the overarching themes, but rather an exposition of the most popular ones that I have found to have a higher probability of success with audiences.

Related References

Amazon Short Reads: How Many Words Equal A Page?

Kindle Short stories are increasingly becoming popular on Amazon. These are stories that range from about 1 to 100 Kindle pages. They can be read in about 15 minutes to 2 hours or more. If you are publishing, you must be wondering how many words exactly are needed to get 10 pages for instance. You may also want to know if the length of the story matters likes it did in print. Here are a few highlights on amazon short reads word count.

Kindle Short-Reads Word Count

There is no definite amount of words that a Kindle short reads should have. Amazon Short Reads word count could be anything between 250 and 25000 words. It depends on the quality of the content, quantity of pictures, genre, and sometimes category. The page counts of the Kindle ebooks can range between 1 and 100 pages. As a writer and/or publisher, you are at liberty to choose how much to write within this range.

Normally, the estimated length is determined based on the page turns on a Kindle. These settings are meant to represent a physical book so that each turn becomes a page. The kindle settings for determining a Kindle page include font size (smallest), condensed typeface, small line spacing and default words per line.

Kindle Short-Reads Words to Pages

If you are planning to publish, say 20 pages, of a Kindle e-book, you must be wondering how many words exactly can fit in a page. Most people that have used this platform will tell you that a Kindle page is about 250 to 300 words. So for a 20-page short story, you may need 5000 to 6000 words.

Another way of looking at it is deciding how much time you intend your target audience to spend on the short story. Here are some tentative time frames that you can use to determine the short read words to pages for your audience on kindle:

  • 15 minutes: 1-11 Kindle pages (approx. 250-2750 words)
  • 30 minutes: 12-21 Kindle pages (2751-5250 words)
  • 45 minutes: 22-32 Kindle pages (5251 -8000 Words)
  • One hour: 33-43 Kindle pages (8001-10,750 words)
  • 90 minutes: 44-64 Kindle pages (10751-16,000 words)
  • Two hours or more: 65-100 kindle pages (16001-25,000 words)

Kindle Short-Read Categories/Ranges

When it comes to guidelines on amazon short reads word count, the category of the story does not matter so much. Whether it is fiction or nonfiction, romance or art & photography, the main idea is to work with the provision of kindle pages as well as timelines.

Depending on the goals of your writing, you can use this e-book segment for different categories topics such as pitches, manual, photography or a short memoir. Remember, do not focus too much on quantity – short read word count – and forget to deliver quality to your readers. Ultimately, with proper marketing, a concise, quality Amazon short read will beat a wordy, low-quality short read, hands down, any day.

Why keep a consistent writing schedule?

A lot of people think that being a writer is such a super easy profession. All you need is a few skills, a good amount of talent and creativity topped up with some inspiration. Easy, right? No, not that easy. You can have all these factors and more but still, fail at attaining success as a writer.

Why? Because without proper organizational and time management you may never be able to meet your goals and complete your book. What you and every writer need is a consistent daily writing schedule. And as you try and think if it is for you or not, here are 5 guaranteed benefits of having a consistent daily writing routine.

1. Productivity Habits

A consistent daily writing schedule means that every day you will be doing some writing. It can be as little as 1 page or as much as 10 pages. But the bottom line is you will be writing, and as you repetitively do this, it will develop into a habit. Writing will become second to nature for you. Meaning writing will become much easier for you and you will do it efficiently. That is the power of habit.

2. No more procrastination.

A proper daily writing routine needs you to set targets and goals for your writing assignments. Therefore, following your routine means, you will do what you are supposed to do, when you should be doing it. You don’t have the option of not doing what is in your schedule for that day. And once it becomes a habit, you can say bye-bye to procrastination.

3. Inspiration every day.

A lot of writers depend on the writing mood or a burst of inspiration to write. If you keep working with such a mentality, success as a writer will be only a dream. Working with a consistent daily writing routine trains your mind to understand that when it is time to work, inspiration is a requirement. And you will find yourself always finding the inspiration to write every single day. This is another power of habit.

4.Organized life.

Writing ca easily turn your life upside down. You may find yourself sometimes locking yourself up to write and completely forgetting about every other aspect of your life. And that is why a consistent daily schedule is important.

Planning ahead of time improves your time management abilities. Having a routine also means that other people get to know when you are free from work and when you’re what. Therefore, they will learn to respect your work time and make plans with you during your free time. A schedule enables you to plan for and fit all other aspects of your life around your writing. It is okay for writing to be your passion but don’t let it make you forget to live.

5. Much more freedom.

You will not believe how much free time you can have in your life as a writer. And that is inclusive of you meeting your goals and succeeding in your writing assignments. The key is proper planning especially by having a consistent daily writing routine. With a daily writing schedule, you plan your work time, set your goals and easily achieve them.

No more guilt when you go for days without writing because that won’t happen or if it does it was already planned for. No more panic attacks or fears that you won’t meet your deadlines. No more overworking yourself and missing out on everything around you. Having a consistent daily writing schedule will enable to develop productivity habits that will propel your success as a writer.

Related References

My Writing Approach

In a recent comment for one of my blogs, I was asked what my writing approach was and I honestly don’t think I had previously described the way I write.  So here goes.

My approach is straightforward and very old school. My biggest problem is time to do the writing.  My three current blogs ( I have had others) are hobbies for me. I have a day (and then some) job as a Tech consultant.

The Steps of My Writing Process

Basically, I follow this pattern when writing blog articles and books:

Capture Writing Ideas

  •  I capture my ideas as I have them and write one or two short line as for a frame of reference.

Organize and Schedule Articles

  • Then, Organize my writing according to when I want to write them, with some lead time, of course.

Outline Article

  • I outline my header levels/titles
  • I never write without an outline, even the small stuff. Outlining has become second-nature for me.

Gather Materials and Research

  • I gather my article research materials and load my project cart shelf with books, printed articles, and USB stick with electric materials
  • Go throw the research material and bookmark any import and relevant information, which I may use.

Note: I don’t always do this step if it is something I know very well or which I have just done.

Draft Article Content

  •  I write without editing or spell checking until I run out of information.
  • Add relevant research, if any is being used.

Edit Article And Proof

  • I edit, spell check, grammar check, and format article content
  • Apply SEO Optimization for Article body
    • Add paragraph headers/titles
    • Reduce or eliminate pronouns (it, they, these, them, etc..)

Add Article Graphics

  • Go get my pictures and graphics to flesh it out. This usually means taking them from my own photo repository, it sometimes means, taking additional pictures.
  • Add and Size graphics
  • Perform SEO optimization on graphics properties and description.

Keyword Optimization

  • I check my base keyword lists
  • Add additional words appropriate to the content
  • Add hashtags
  • Add long-tail keywords

Add Categories

  • I choose my categories; paying attention to the hierarchy, so,  any parent-child relationships are not missed.

Choose Social Network Publication Channels

  • choose the social network site, if any, I think it should be published to.

Add Related References

  • Add internal and, if appropriate, external reference links to other articles

Related References