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Ten Tips for (More) Productive Freelance Writing | Freelance Sprout | Find, Start, and Grow Your Dream Freelance Business
Read the six part series on creating a freelance business plan
 

Ten Tips for (More) Productive Freelance Writing

Date March 11, 2008


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People are turning to freelance writing as a viable part-time and full-time business—and it can be. But, as a beginning writer—as in any business—it’s hard to know how long a project will take. Writing, especially if you’ve done very little, is hard.

Does that mean you can’t be successful? No, it just means you need practice. Like any new situation, you’ll feel awkward at first but, with time, you’ll learn what works best. The only way to overcome fear is to work through it.

Thankfully, there are a few tips you can put in place to ensure that your productivity keeps pace with your work load.

The following 10 tips will help you focus on increasing your writing output.

1. Beat Boredom
Sometimes you just plain get stuck. I’m not talking about writer’s block. I’m talking about the times when you can’t get an idea from your brain to paper. So, naturally, you tend to get discouraged, which leads to boredom.

You’re in a rut. How do you beat it? By doing something else. Work on your marketing or accounting for a day. It’s amazing how engaging in other activites can re-charge your writing output.

2. Get Structured
One good method to help you structure your writing is to use bullet lists. Start all your new writing projects with bullet statements. Don’t edit or critique. This method helps you break down the psychological barriers that keep you from writing.

3. Break it up
Keep your writing sessions shorter by breaking your writing into managable time periods. If you don’t like to watch the clock, set an alarm or timer. Of course, if you like to write in long winded session, go for it (see tip #6)

4. Write when it strikes
You’re on your way home from work. Or you just finished loading groceries in the back of your car. All the sudden, it hits you. Words fill your head. Drop the ice cream, grab a pen and start writing. Keep writing materials near your front door and bedside for these quick writing occasions.

5. Get Quiet
Find a way to quiet your “inner voices” by performing a non-writing, quiet in between writing sessions. If you plan for it, you won’t think of it as a distraction but more like a welcome break.

6. Practice your rituals
Do you like to get up early and write for 30 minutes before the house gets filled with tiny voices? Barring any major schedule conflicts, try to stick close to your mental and physical cues.

The idea behind this technique is to stay with what you already know works for your physically and mentally. Don’t write late at night because you think that’s what professional writers do.

7. Lose the perfectionism
The fear of being imperfect keeps many would be writers from starting much less ever completing any work. Even the best writers go through numerous drafts and toss out page after page of inferior work.

When you do remove paragraphs or sentences from your work, save them in a file. You’ll never know when they might come in handy on another project.

8. Invest in your passion
All first time entrepreneurs fall into the trap of doing whatever it takes to make money. Even if it falls out of their interest “radar”. But, when you’re excited or genuinely enthused about what you’re writing, your attention will naturally be more focused.

9. Be noisy, or quiet
Some writers prefer absolute silence while others can work amid the spouting of a coffee shop. Play several types of music and see if one tune is more conducive to your writing focus.

10. Don’t try to please everyone
You aren’t trying to please everyone. So, the next time you’re tempted to think that mom or grandma might not like what you’re writing, don’t worry. Mom and grandma might offer moral support but they won’t be buying your product—that’s what your clients are for.

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2 Responses to “Ten Tips for (More) Productive Freelance Writing”

  1. Stacey Derbinshire said:

    I found your blog on google and read a few of your other posts. I just added you to my Google News Reader. Keep up the good work. Look forward to reading more from you in the future.

    Stacey Derbinshire

  2. Jerret said:

    Thanks, Stacey. I appreciate your kind words. I would like to thank all my readers. Excellent conversations have been started on this blog and I couldn’t be more thankful!

    -Jerret

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