Today, professional writing is as challenging as it’s always been. In the past, writers spent hours each week sending out proposals and queries to find writing gigs.
Today, they don’t need to do that. Writing jobs are plentiful, and not only on the freelance marketplaces. Once your website is established, you’ll soon have more gigs than you can handle.
Better yet, self-publishing authors create their own “jobs.” They can write as much as they like.
This freedom presents a big new challenge.
Professional writing: getting it done
The big challenge: how do you get it all done?
Last week a writer (let’s call her Maria) contacted me, saying that she was overwhelmed. She had too many writing gigs. Not only was she missing deadlines, but her constant stress and anxiety had caused writer’s block.
She wanted some tips on how to overcome her feeling of being overwhelmed, so that she could stop procrastinating.
I gave her one simple tip.
Set a word count goal, and meet it
Yep… Set a daily word count goal — and ensure that you achieve it.
No matter what kind of writing you do, whether you’re a freelance writer hunting for gigs like Maria, a blogger, or a self-publishing author — you need to produce the words to meet your deadlines. That applies even if your deadlines are self-imposed.
It’s not a time management issue. Believe me, I’ve tried every time management process available, but if you don’t write enough each day “managing time” is irrelevant. You can be “busy” and still get nothing useful done.
Big rocks first: write your essential words first each day
As far as I know, Franklin Covey came up with the “big rocks” strategy:
The Big Rocks are your most important priorities, so put them into your schedule first! That way, you make the less important things (gravel) fight their way into your calendar, not the important things.
Professional writing: your simple process
Think of the number of words you can write on a good day, without breaking a sweat.
Then, triple the number. Yes, I said TRIPLE IT.
Next, work out how many words in each of your current and future projects. Add up the words, and divide them by the number of words that you’ll write each day.
You now have a good idea of how much you can get done, and when.
Maria found that as soon as she’d worked out how long her current projects would take, her writer’s block vanished instantly, and she got back to work. Doubt and uncertainty cause stress; if you can eliminate stress, you’ll get your words done each day.
Got deadlines? Grab a large monthly calendar. You can do this on your computer. However, the benefit of using paper is that you can pin your calendar onto the wall, where you can see where you are at a glance. I prefer a paper calendar, and I write with pencils, or erasable pens.
Add all your projects to the calendar.
Now call your clients, and let them know the new dates for delivery if you need to adjust your deadlines.
Then you can start writing.
Try this simple process if you’re struggling with professional writing. Focus on your daily word count, and manage everything else around that.
Why write serial fiction?
Everyone's busy today. A serial is by its nature, faster to write, and publish, than a novel.
It's a quicker read too, and many readers appreciate this. While a reader may hesitate before committing hours to a novel, he can read an episode of your serial in minutes.More info →
In this book we'll aim to increase your creativity to unlock your imagination and build the writing career of your dreams.More info →
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