Writing Style: Trying to Catch the Beat

It’s a question that I get asked from time to time: how do you write so much on such a consistent basis? Do you ever get writer’s block?

As a professional freelance writer who works primarily on the web, it’s just the nature of the business that I’m constantly writing new content each and every day. A big part of it has to do with practice, but I absolutely still get more than a few spells of writer’s block. There are ways to beat it, but when you consider the process of writing quality content, it’s not unlike what you get with a rap battle: you need flow.

Enter the Rap Battle Arena

No, I’m not at all comparing myself to the lyrical artists who participate in rap battles. I don’t foresee myself ever participating in one. That said, I have a lot of respect for the guys (and gals) who are good at it, because a true rap battle artist comes up with the slams on the spot. It’s improvised. That takes a lot of talent to find the right words, get the right rhymes, and drop the right bombs.

So, going back to professional blogging and such, what does this have to do with my everyday life? It’s all about flow. If the words aren’t flowing out of my fingers at least a couple of sentences at a time, I know that the article isn’t going to be very good.

It may sound a little counterproductive, but I’ll oftentimes write a sentence, erase it, re-write the exact same sentence, erase it, and re-write and exact same sentence again. Why? Because I’m trying to catch the beat. I’m trying to get a rhythm. I’m trying to develop that flow.

Writers Need Rhythm Too

If you’ve ever watched a rap battle, you’ll see many of the artists do something almost similar, though it’s mostly in their heads. What comes out, before they really bust the rhymes, is something like, “Uh, check it. Check it. Yeah. Uh, check it. Yo…”

What are they doing there? They’re trying to catch the beat. Without that internal sense of rhythm and flow, your words — whether they be insults as part of a rap battle or an extensive product review — could come out sounding choppy and disjointed. Your work needs a natural flow.

And just like rapping, your writing skills and style can improve with practice. You just have to catch the beat.