How to Slay the 1,000-Word Dragon

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Sweet! 😀

You found an incredible writing gig based on your favorite niche paying $250 per post!

Balls! 😣

They want you to write 1,000-word articles three times a week! You can barely write one 500-word post without screaming.

Have you ever been in this situation before? It’s heart-wrenching, isn’t it?

Writing 1,000-word articles intimidate you. You’re not used to writing such long-form content.

Fear not, I’ve been through this battle before.

I was introduced to so many awesome writing gigs when I’ve begun my freelance writing journey. However, I shied away from many opportunities as soon as the jobs required writers to write 1,000-word articles. I thought I could never write those.

Write a ten-page screenplay in a day (even if it’s a total clusterfudge), sure! Writing long-form non-fiction articles online? No, sir. 😬

I realized if I wanted to live the freelance writer life, I better master the writing habits.

If the thought of writing more than 1,000 words makes your fingers tremble over the keyboard, let me tell you how you can slay the 1,000-word dragon.

1. Start Small

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If you’re starting a new video game, you fight the small bosses before you take on the big bosses (unless you’re playing Dark Souls or Bloodborne). The same path applies to writing.

Are you good at writing 300-word posts? 600? Good.

All of it is better than starting from absolute zero.

Keep at it but challenge yourself to write more on a weekly or biweekly basis.

At week one, you can write two or three 500-word articles. Next week, start writing content over 550 words. The week after, go for 600.

Continue until you can write 1,000 words as quickly as making peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. They always say practice makes perfect. 😉

2. Write a Meaty Outline

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The more fleshed out your outline, the longer your article will be.

Outlines are my BFFs. If you’ve never written one, you should start writing them now.

Itty-bitty, one-page outlines are not going to cut it. You can fill your outline with case studies, examples, anecdotes, comparisons, quotes, and whatever else is needed for your article.

Last month, I wrote a massive 3,000-word article about the haunted places ghost lovers can explore in the spirit of Independence Day.

I added a bit of American Revolution history with each city listed, ghost tours, books, and a personal story. Honestly, I wasn’t expecting it to be a 3,000-word behemoth, but there it was.

People come to the internet for information. It’s okay to add details in your post. People will love it if it helps them get out of the couch and do something with it.

You wouldn’t create a post about the digital nomad life if the outline looks like this:

Outline: How to Become a Digital Nomad 💻 😎🌴

1. Move into a shack in the Philippines

2. Open your laptop

3. Begin your online writing career

4. The end

No, my dude. You must add more details to that puny outline! 😂

3. Write Listicles

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Whether you love them or hate them, listicles work. They’re great writing practice if you’re starting as a freelance writer (at least for me).

You can break down the subjects in your listicle into mini 100-word articles.

Example:

“10 Best Australian Cities to Visit” ✈️

1. Sydney (100 words)

2. Melbourne (100 words)

3. Adelaide (100 words)

4. Perth (100 words)

5. Brisbane (100 words)

6. Cairns (100 words)

7. Canberra (100 words)

8. Alice Springs (100 words)

9. Gold Coast (100 words)

10. Wollongong (100 words)

There you go, 1,000 words on the spot!

Note: Don’t limit yourself to listicles 24/7. Eventually, you’ll have to branch out to different writing styles.

4. Take Breaks Between Writing

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Set up breaks throughout the day if you’re planning on writing a major article with your fully developed outline.

You can take breaks every 250 words you write or every 500 words. The Pomodoro Technique is an excellent productivity method to help you reach the 1,000-word finish line too.

5. Write About Your Interests

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As a paranormal fan, I can go on about the most haunted places across America. Give me the assignment to write about the creepiest castles in England, and I’ll take it! 🌙🏰👻

Write about blockchain? Eh, not so much (no offense to crypto fans). ❌

Which hot topics (niches) do you love to talk about? Start writing about those and see where they take you.

If you can start an evening conversation with your best friend lasting until 3 am, you can write it all down on paper.

Topics you can write include:

  • Productivity ⏱
  • Writing 📑
  • Life Lessons 💔
  • Gaming 🎮
  • Health 🏋
  • Politics 🌎
  • Travel ✈️
  • Food 🍱
  • Lifestyle 🛌
  • Technology 📲
  • Career Life 📈

I’ve created a huge list of niches you can write right here:

6. Start Creative Writing

Maybe you’re not used to writing non-fiction articles. One of the most helpful tricks I’ve discovered to get out of the writer’s muck was creative writing, specifically scriptwriting and fanfiction.

It takes me around a good 90 minutes to write a 2,000-word fanfic starring a dreamy video game character and the reader. I don’t know why I could easily capture the writing flow this way, but it worked. My writing speed increased as soon as I returned to non-fiction blogging.

Do a little creative writing and see how it works out for you. 👍

7. Write in a Journal

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One of the first rituals I perform in the morning is journal writing. It could be about a crazy dream I had, upsetting events from yesterday, a new story idea, where I see my career life in the next six months, anything to get me to start writing.

Whatever’s buzzing in your mind, put it on paper. You’ll never know which journal entries could later turn into an idea for a future blog post or a magazine article.

Take your journal wherever you go. New places may give you tons of ideas, especially if you’re a travel writer.

Inspiration is everywhere.

Writing, Gaming, Books, Strange Stuff, and more. (writerduck.wixsite.com/alexandriaducksworth)

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