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cycling taught writing

What Cycling Across Canada Taught Me About Writing

I biked across Canada in the summer of 2017.

I had just finished my master’s degree, which was a very challenging experience—and not in a good way. 

As I was finishing my thesis, I decided I needed to do something to recover. I wanted to do something difficult, but not in an intellectual or academic way. I didn’t want to rely on other people for my success. I wanted to get out of my head and into my body.

So I bought a bike and started pedaling.

Between June and September, I cycled 7,400 kilometers (about 4,600 miles) from Victoria, British Columbia to St. John’s, Newfoundland.

Then, about a year ago, I started a freelance writing business. Riding 7,400 kilometers across the country seems like a very different endeavor than creating a sustainable freelance writing business, but a lot of the things I learned from my journey have helped me with my writing business.

I hope these lessons can help you, too.

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improve knowledge writer

6 Ways To Gain More Knowledge as a Professional Writer

If you’ve made up your mind to push all forms of learning to a very distant future because you’re too busy growing your business as a professional writer, you need to quickly have a rethink.

Because the world we live in moves fast and changes rapidly, your current skills and knowledge can become obsolete and irrelevant at any time, and that can happen sooner than you’d expect. 

And if you’re caught unaware, making a living from your writing can become impossible, since you won’t be able to provide value or meet the needs of your target audience with obsolete knowledge and information.

But guess what?

To avoid this big mistake, you don’t have to go back to school for years at a time or take a whole week or even a day away from your business.

Instead, you can take deliberate steps to gain more knowledge and improve yourself on a regular basis while still growing your business.

Eager to find out how to do this successfully?

Then keep reading to discover six ways you can gain more knowledge daily as a professional writer.

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6 Organizational Habits That Also Benefit Writers

Writing means freedom to many people, especially individuals transitioning from the corporate environment to freelance writing.

It’s freedom from all the corporate policies that come with an organization—don’t forget customer complaints and pressure from top executives.

That is what I thought after I was given the ax by my former employer and jumped into freelance writing full-time. Instead of feeling anger and disillusionment, I felt a sigh of relief.

Finally, I would be away from all the corporate impositions that governed my day-to-day activities, such as hard-to-hit targets, several admin tools to use, and even training days that required me to be away from home.

So the first thing I did when I got laid off was to exit chat rooms and work-related messaging apps and flew into freelance writing.

But as I got deeper into writing and freelancing, I came to realize that the organizational practices that I despised and trampled weren’t all that bad. In fact, they help maintain sanity in the workplace and in an individual.

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writing contests 2019

How Writing Practice Can Improve Mental Health

There are a lot of benefits associated with writing, such as improving productivity, communication, and so on. However, research carried out by Dr. James W. Pennebaker, an American social psychologist, found that students who wrote about traumatic events in their life used pain relievers less often and visited the health center in the campus less often.

Writing in detail about your emotions has proven to be a great way to relieve stress, manage anxiety, and cope with certain mental health issues. Expressive writing is an excellent channel through which the writer can purge out your thoughts, sort out emotions with some clarity, and bring peace to your mind.

Although the benefits of writing are numerous, it requires practice in order for you to express your emotions in writing clearly. You might be confused about what to write, when you should write, how you should write, and even where you should write.

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