Write Little and Often – Even if You Have to Nail Yourself to the Chair

make yourself writeby Annette Young

Nailing yourself to the chair is a kind of extreme way of making yourself write, although there have been times when I would have almost considered anything to try to make myself get into the writing mood. I do know how important it is to keep the flow of words coming even on those off -days when a writing task that might take one hour usually could easily treble to three. Without doubt, there will be times when the last thing you want to do is to be creative, you are tempted with a million reasons to do anything but write and yet, you can’t give into this mental lethargy. You have to do something to get those words out of your head and onto paper .

I got up this morning, went into my office, took one look at the ever rising pile of paperwork and almost walked straight back out. My brain felt muddled, I couldn’t think about the workload and the deadlines, in fact, they were probably the reason why my brain said no -not happening today. If I had forced myself into the chair and started working, progress would have been very slow. Instead, trying to look marginally awake, I headed straight out in the hopes that it would spark up some sort of creative thinking.

It worked. Scurrying clouds lined in silver gave way to glorious sunshine and a golden glow to everything, the flowers, the blossom,even the grass developed a more vibrant shade of green. Instead of thinking, I just allowed myself to become a part of the scene. I took the pressure off myself to perform and instead, just inwardly absorbed.  I carried on walking for a bit and cleared my mind,  mentally dusting off cobwebs from my brain.

I watched a plane fly overhead cutting a trail through the clouds and imagined just for a moment where those people might be going, then, giggles broke the silence, and I watched a young girl chasing after her dog as it scurried down a quiet lane enjoying the game. As I turned I saw an old man, his face lined, eyes kind, sitting quietly, contemplating life and observing. He seemed comfortable in his spot, relaxed.

This is what we have to do sometimes as writers.

Sure there is a time to sit yourself down and go through the pain of writing when the words won’t come, but at other times, escape, just for a little bit. Tell yourself that this is part of the writing process. We may live in our imaginations but sometimes, we have to take a deep breath and touch base with all that is around us.  Then when recharged, we go back to our writing space and we sit and let words flow, even if the words mean very little and are disjointed. We have to write little and often and then we can usually beat the creative slump, and the words flow suddenly thick and fast. But on the days where it is impossible, go outside, and take ten minutes to connect with the world, take a few deep breaths and remember that as writers we capture the essence of all that is around us. When those all important minutes are up, we get back on the creative track and we let the words out.

Why ‘Quitting’ Is Not a Dirty Word for Freelance Writers

By Greg C Walker

The word ‘quitter’ has such negative connotations. No one likes to be a quitter. It’s an insult to be called one. Quitting is weak, foolhardy, never in your best interests, something to avoid at all costs, blah, blah, blah…

And yet, for freelance writers, quitting can be a very liberating experience. I’d recommend trying it sometime.

I don’t mean you should quit writing. This job is too darn good for that. What I mean is that you should quit a client project every once in a while IF there is no point in you carrying on with it.

An Irrational Fear

I suffered from the irrational fear of quitting when I first started writing. I genuinely believed that I could never quit a job once I’d started work on it.

So when I was on my fourth rewrite for a client whose sole mission in life seemed to be to make my every waking hour a misery, I still could not do the gutsy thing and say, ‘Hey, you know what, this is just not worth my time’.

Don’t fall for it. Quit, and quit proudly. This is your life, your job, and you have to do what is right for you.

Here are four of the situations when you should not feel guilty about quitting a project right in the middle.

One: When You’re Dealing with a ‘Perfectionist’

If there is ever a client to avoid surely it is the ‘perfectionist’. Actually, they are not perfectionists at all, they just don’t know what it is they want, and they project their uncertainty onto you to make your life miserable.

Some clients will NEVER be happy. Learn that right now. Sometimes you will wonder whether they have ever got anything finished in their entire lives.

But don’t pity them. These people are playing with your time and your livelihood. They make you rewrite, then rewrite again, until you’ve rewritten it so many times you don’t know what you are trying to say any more.

They want this, they want that, then they change their mind and want something different.

Help!

Believe me, right now there is a fire taking hold three stories below you. You can jump out of the window now or wait until the fire is tickling your ankles.

My advice is to… well, you know what it is.

Get out while you can.

Yes, you’ll lose some money. But how many more hours will you have to work until the project is ‘just right’? What if they tell you after another week that they still don’t like it?

It’s better to cut your losses early on than to keep on working and losing even more hours of your time.

Two: When You’re Starting to Doubt the Depths of Their Pockets

This is the sort of project where everything is looking hunky-dory, things are going well, and you’re about halfway through when… suddenly you get an inkling that all is not well in your client’s account books.

Perhaps you have done a job for them before, invoiced them, but have yet to receive a payment. Maybe they have still not paid the 50% deposit you billed them for a few weeks ago and are continuing to come up with ever more elaborate excuses.

You finally ask yourself the big question: ‘Are they actually going to pay me?’

If it is a large project which you are going to have to spend many more on, you are perfectly entitled to hold off if you have serious doubts. If the payment you’re expecting fails to materialize, then don’t spend a second more of your time on the project.

You’re not writing as a hobby after all.

Three: When Your Client Reveals Their Dark Side

It’s sometimes hard to know exactly what sort of a person your client is, even when you meet them in person.

So when halfway through a project they ask you to do something that you are not happy about, it could be time to jump ship.

Maybe they want you to alter a product review so that it is saying something that is simply not true. Perhaps they want you to rewrite someone else’s content to make it ‘original’ (also known as ‘plagiarism’, ‘theft’, and a few other things).

Of course, they’ve conveniently left it to halfway through the project to tell you, hoping that you’re one of those writers who will feel pressurized to go on with the job because you’ve started.

My advice? Tell them that you do actually have standards, and that you’re not in the habit of breaking the law. Then quit.

Four: When a Job is Making You Miserable

For me, this one is key. To your overall health, happiness, and your reasons for becoming a freelance writer in the first place.

If you are really miserable in a project, for whatever reason, then you have to ask yourself why you are bothering with it.

You’re doing this job because you want to enjoy it, and although not every job is going to be great fun, ask yourself why it is making you miserable.

It’s likely that you’ve bitten off more than you can chew and you are concerned that you will not be able to do the job to a high standard, or maybe you have badly misjudged how long it will take you.

In this case, talk to your client. Tell them what’s wrong, and offer them a few alternatives, (such as paying you more to complete the project). But don’t feel bad about letting it go if you feel that it’s your only option.

You learn through your mistakes, and in time you will find it easier to pick your projects based on your capabilities.

Get Back the Power to Say ‘No’

There is too much fear out there that if you quit a job you are somehow a failure. But don’t worry about it. Always look at the circumstances of the project and consider the ramifications.

But if it looks like it makes better sense to quit, then that’s exactly what you should do.

Greg Walker is a freelance content writer who runs [http://prowebwriting.com]http://prowebwriting.com, a website providing in-depth advice on how to start up a profitable freelance writing business from home, find more and better clients and live the life you’ve always wanted.

Article Source: [http://EzineArticles.com/?Why-Quitting-Is-Not-a-Dirty-Word-for-Freelance-Writers&id=6681590] Why ‘Quitting’ Is Not a Dirty Word for Freelance Writers

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The Traveling Freelance Writer: How to Create a Productive Morning in Paradise

By James Druman

Due to the nature of the freelance writing business, a savvy writer can enjoy complete freedom of location. Since writing requires no strings remain attached, they can work from anywhere in the world as long as they have a reliable laptop and an internet connection. Of course, what a writer chooses to do with this freedom depends on their personal goals.

Some people, for instance, just want to cut the cord between them and the boss, allowing them to stay home with their families (without making income sacrifices) and choose their own hours. Certainly a dream worth fulfilling.

For me, a young (somewhat) bachelor – and perhaps you as well – freedom means something else entirely.

To me, freedom means stuffing my laptop into a backpack with a choice few items of clothing and heading off in search of adventure. It means spending my days scuba diving in the tropics or touring foreign coasts on motorbikes – learning new languages and eating bizarre foods on a daily basis.

But traveling with a business in your backpack means having priorities other travelers don’t. You can’t just party and soak in the experiences 24/7 – you have work to do. You need to keep bidding on jobs, juggling emails, and writing the premium content your clients pay for.

To stay productive on the traveling circuit, start off with a productive morning and set the stage for entire day.

First off, get up early every morning, or at least a little bit early…

Freedom from the rat race, most people assume, includes the choice to get up at any time you choose. Sure it does. But trust me when I say that if you still need to earn a living, sleeping in too late ruins your days.

So set your alarm clock and get a proper head-start.

In my own case, I don’t force myself out of bed at the crack of dawn by any means. I’m not enlisted in the army, after all, so I allow myself that extra bit of sleep I deserve (so I’ve decided) without sleeping in so much I become a hermit at night.

Getting up early also forces you to hit the hay earlier; when living in the world’s tourist destinations, such daytime obligations save your sanity. Without them, you will surely party the year away – I should know.

But what should you do with that head-start? I highly suggest sitting down right now with a pen and paper and planning a morning routine, down to the last detail.

Developing the habit of jumping right into a hyper-productive non-work morning routine as soon as you wake up will do wonders for your life and work. For example, my routine includes hydrating myself, picking up my room, a good swimming workout (more on this later), meditation, showering & grooming, a healthy breakfast, and then 20-30 minutes of business-related reading.

Look, I know you didn’t plan on such a regimented schedule when imagining your future as a traveling writer… but hear me out.

“Routines” were never my thing either. I prefer spontaneity and always imagined doing the same thing every day must be as miserable a life one could live.

But since implementing the aforementioned routine into my mornings, my productivity has tripled. Before, I would open my eyes in the morning, jump directly to my computer, get right to work, and then grind away at my keyboard late into the night.

Sure, I lived in paradise, but I felt like a slave to my work. Miserable.

After implementing my routine, taking the time to wind down (or up) in the morning, my life and my work transformed – and that’s no hyperbole. Starting the day in this fashion gets me off on the right foot from the very get-go. I feel replenished, clear-headed, and ready to face the day.

100% centered.

And interestingly enough, by adding all these other things to my morning, I gained a ton of free time and get loads more work done.

I’m still spontaneous and loopy as ever, but I’ve fashioned my routine so I can do it no matter where I wake up. And now I strongly believe just a little bit of structure can do even the most footloose of us a lot of good.

Now, I especially want to stress the working out aspect of your morning ritual – don’t just get up, down a cup of coffee, watch some news, and call it good.

Every day, as part of my routine, I get a good, brisk workout in, and for good reason. Surely I don’t need to preach the importance of maintaining your health. And not only does regular exercise preserve your health but it serves as a great outlet for stress, which can murder your business when your work depends on your mind.

Working out is twice as important for a freelance writer than for most other people. We spend hours upon hours sitting in front of a computer, typing away, while others get at least some exercise just moving through their day.

Many writers I know, including myself, put on a lot of weight when they first got started.

Don’t let your health get away from you while trying to make a buck. I know you want to make this work, but without good health, what do you have? And a solid morning workout gets it out of the way right off the bat every day, keeping your health in check.

And the emotional release from pushing yourself physically will super-accelerate your productivity.

So, what kind of workout should you do?

Well, you don’t need to jump into a savage workout that leaves you crying for your mother. Start out light. Do a mere 10 push-ups a day and then add 5-10 reps to your exercise routine every week – this will add up quickly without shredding your muscles too much in the beginning, and then momentum will build from there.

Keep adding to your workout and expanding it in a similar fashion as you go along. Work in some swimming, if there is a pool nearby – I personally like swimming because it is not only meditative but does wonders for my back. And it’s not hard to find a hotel that will let you use their pool for a fee when traveling.

Sit-ups, pull-ups, yoga, jogging… it’s really up to you.

Note: A traveling writer should design a workout plan that doesn’t depend on having a gym around. Make mobility your main focus when implementing new components to your workout if you want to live this lifestyle.

By implementing these simple lifestyle adjustments into your life, you can enjoy the freedom of a traveling writer without giving up your peace of mind and health, and the productivity gains produced by these simple tips alone will radically transform your life.

 

By leveraging current trends and tools, the productivity “problems” of the [http://writeyourpathtofreedom.com]professional freelancer lie within within your reach too. James Druman writes articles about how to become a writer and achieve complete location independence at http://WriteYourPathtoFreedom.com.

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