How to Build a Writing Portfolio

And Have Fun Doing It

Have you ever read The Dice Man by Luke Rhinehart?

If you haven’t then please do because it’s a cult classic. A darkly humorous, intelligent, jarring, and sometimes downright frightening. The protagonist is a world-weary psychologist who decides to spice up his life by basing all his decisions on the throw of a dice.

And this, my friends, is my top tip for creating a brilliant portfolio of writing samples.

Not only will you be building a great writing portfolio but you will, at the same time, be emulating some of the processes of getting work as a new freelance writer, like a practice run. This method will improve your writing skills and versatility and allows for more objective self-critiquing. It’s also pretty good fun.

Helping You Create an Awesome Writing Portfolio and Improve Your Freelance Writing Skills

I am not always great a making decisions for myself. I can see the way clear enough to tell others what they should do. Just ask my clients or my long-suffering family! But when it comes to decisions for myself big or small I really struggle.

This is one reason why I loved The Dice Man so much and how I came up with my excellent method of creating writing samples which improves your writing and prepares you for working as a freelance writer.

How To Dice Up Your Writing

  • Give yourself 6 topics assign one to each number on your dice. I use a standard 6 sider but if you are a D&D or similar player then feel free to go for a 12 sided one! Here are some ideas, but if you can choose your own that fit with your niche/s then that’s even better:
  1. A book review of the last book you read
  2. A product review of the last thing you bought
  3. A white paper on your local leisure centre – for the small word counts you will have to write this like it’s a pitch or summary
  4. A blog post on an aspect of fashion
  5. Website content – an About Me page for yourself or someone you know
  6. Magazine article on relationship advice
  • Assign a word count to each side of your die
  1. 150
  2. 300
  3. 600
  4. 1000
  5. 2000
  6. 2500
  • Give yourself a deadline and stick to it!
  1. 3 hours
  2. 8 hours
  3. 24 hours
  4. 48 hours
  5. 60 hours
  6. 72 hours
  • Set an amount of time you will leave this piece of work for before you look at it again. This gives you differing levels of objectivity to help you improve and to build on your confidence. The aim is to give you distance from your writing so that when you do come back to it you notice typos etc but more importantly you should be pleasantly surprised by how good your writing actually is!
  1. 24 hours
  2. 3 days
  3. 7 days
  4. 2 weeks
  5. 1 month
  6. 3 months – yes seriously! A long time ago I found some ghostwritten work I had done while researching something else. It had been about three months since I’d written it and I was half way through and really liking it before I realised it was my own work! It was a huge confidence boost.
  • Roll to see what your visual content will be
  1. 1 image, captioned
  2. 3 images, credited
  3. 1 gif
  4. 1 image per paragraph
  5. No images (you will see how important they are)
  6. 1 edited/adjusted image
It’s a Great Way to Get Writing and Push Yourself

Good luck, enjoy the process and let me know how you get on.

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