Are you a freelance writing professional who wants to improve your writing skills this year? Read this blog post for freelance writing tips, to review the stages of the writing process, and find some of the best freelance writing resources available online!
Whatever your chosen genre, we all have our own unique writing style. Some of us are early risers and can only write in the wee hours of the morning when the world is still. Others prefer to write in the middle of the day while bright sunlight streams across their desks. While it’s true that we have our own writing styles, some writing basics in the writing process remain universal.
Below, we summarize the five basic stages included in the writing process.
Five Stages of The Writing Process
Stage #1. – Prewriting Stage
During the prewriting stage of the writing process, writers are gathering ideas, brainstorming and deciding what angle to take in their writing. The goal of professional writing is to answer a specific question or provide a solution to a specific problem. This is the stage of the writing process where we decide on our topic or are assigned a topic to write about. If an instructor or client assigns you a topic, they will probably provide their preferred writers guidelines for writers to follow.
Professional and student writers who aren’t assigned a style often go by the APStylebook guidelines for writing. The APStylebook is a popular writing reference tool that provides annual and real-time updates on grammar, punctuation, and usage for professional writers. Visit the APStylebook website to learn more about this invaluable writing tool.
What question(s) am I trying to answer?
What problem(s) am I trying to solve?
Who are my readers (audience)?
Where can I learn more about this topic?
What resources will I use in my writing?
Where will this content be published?
Stage #2. – Drafting Stage
The drafting stage of the writing process is where the real writing begins. Some writers use a pen, paper and notebook for writing a draft. Other authors “write” by using word processing programs and computers. I like to use a combination of both. Overthinking can cause some freelance writers to get stuck in the drafting stage. This can happen when writers try to proofread and edit their work as they write. Avoid this writing trap! This stage of writing is only for getting your ideas down on paper and organizing your thoughts around the topic. Allow your writing to flow freely during the drafting stage without worrying about errors, spelling, or punctuation. Once you’ve finished writing and organizing your thoughts around your topic — you’ll have your first draft and you’re ready to move on to the next stage!
Stage #3. – Revising Stage
After you finish writing your rough draft, you’ve reached the revising stage of the writing process. When you’ve reached the revising stage, you’re halfway through the basic stages of the writing process and one step closer to publishing your content. In this stage, excitement often builds as you’re almost ready to share your content with the world. During the revising stage, writers review what they’ve written and make changes to improve the readability of shared content. The revising stage is where professional writers add, take away, and change words and sentence structure to enhance readability. Read your updated content after changing it to make sure it’s clear and concise. The next step is to move on to the editing stage of the writing process.
Stage #4. – Editing Stage
The editing stage of the writing process is where writers and editors check the submitted draft for grammar, usage, style, sentence structure, capitalization, and punctuation. This stage is like putting the icing on the cake of your writing before serving it up to your readers. Some writers submit their content to a team of editors or other third-party editors for review. Freelance writers can use popular editing tools and software like Grammarly and ProWritingAid to complete the editing stage of the writing process. These free tools have freemium options to add features that include more in-depth editing and sophisticated editing tools.