Pre-what? That’s what first came to mind when I read the word “precrastinator”, but my brain quickly took it in, knowing full well how procrastinating is a big issue for many freelance writers. There have been quite a lot of studies focusing on procrastination – why it happens, what it does to productivity, and even how it affects the health of individuals because of stress. Source Blog posts and online how-tos dealing with procrastination can easily be found, but it is not common to come across something dealing with the opposite: being a precrastinator. What exactly is a precrastinator? A [Read more…]
I’m not a morning person. I never was, and I don’t think I’ll ever be. I do realize, however, that I need to work on creating – and maintaining – habits that will help me make the most of my day. While it used to be that I could work till the wee hours of the morning, it’s simply not possible for me these days. As such, I need to turn in earlier at night and try to make as early a start as possible and hit the ground running. I need to start my day on a strong note so [Read more…]
“Make up your mind, woman!” I don’t blame you if that came to mind as you read the title of this post. How is it possible to embrace and let go of something at the same time? Well, folks, I think I have found that thin line between multitasking and focusing on the work at hand. Source It’s a very thin line that, I admit, I sometimes stray from. Letting go of multitasking While I was thinking about how to structure this post – and even as I write – I got rid of the usual online distractions. My Twitter [Read more…]
A day before New Year’s Eve, I find myself getting some work done. I know it’s supposed to be a break, but there are some things I need to finish and some things I need to prepare for. I wouldn’t be surprised if there are more than a couple of you who are in the same boat. And while I do believe that change does not have to happen only when a new year comes in, it does have a nice symbolic ring to it. So, as I sit here going through a partially mental, partially written out list, I [Read more…]
One of the most difficult aspects of making money from home is the “from home” part. Although this is appealing to most, writers quickly learn that working from home is no easy task. There are many tips available to help a writer stay focused, but the biggest distraction usually isn’t the food in the kitchen or the soap opera that comes on at noon. The biggest distraction is, of course, the computer. The particularly tricky part of this truth is the idea that writers have to work on the computer. In other words, writers need to somehow figure out a [Read more…]
Managing your time effectively is very individual and so it’s impossible to tell a person which days and times they will be able to work most effectively. However, there are patterns that you can look at and see if you’re the same as most other people when it comes to working. If you’re trying to work out a timetable in order to help yourself work as efficiently as possible, there are several things you should take into consideration and think about first of all.
We all have trouble focusing from time to time. With the massive time waster that is the Internet tempting us with endless pages of Lolcats, YouTube videos, social-networking sites and Netflix, it is practically turning us all into creatures with the attention span of a goldfish. When was the last time you actually got through a task without checking Facebook? Or sending a text? I bet you can’t even remember. It is no surprise that an avalanche of free applications has been released by developers for the Mac that helps to combat the lack of productivity that sometimes occurs in our everyday [Read more…]
Missed email phobia strikes when writers hear that little ding, chime or chirp letting them know an email has arrived in their Inbox. Most people can hear their alert and keep plugging away, staying on task. Others argue with their innerselves. The smart, rationale side says most things coming in via email can wait until break time. The emotional/slightly obessed side goes through every worst case scenario with the same ending: if you had checked your email, you would have won the money, earned the gig or saved Trinity. Email obsession or missed email phobia took over my life for [Read more…]
As much as I love old school – old school hip-hop, pen and paper interviewing, in-person interviewing, library research, etc., I have to admit, the new school is pretty darn fun too. Everyday there’s a new blog on how writers/freelancers can maximize their efforts to get work, get noticed and build a reputation through social media. AND everyday there’s another writer who is quick to say, “Bah! I don’t use all that stuff. I’ve got a website, a solid client list and I’m good.” Those poor souls are wrong. They are also likely the same people who wanted to hang [Read more…]
When I started out freelancing, I had a Word document that held all the details for my projects, like due dates. I’ve seen plenty of other freelancers working with system they’ve created to keep track of client details that range from paper files to complex spreadsheets. But there are project management tools out there that make creative projects much easier and, since I’ve been using them, my productivity has gone up. There’s an instinctive reaction from some freelance writers that project management tools simply aren’t necessary — it’s just one person working on a few writing projects, after all. Why [Read more…]
When a client signs a contract with you, as a freelance writer, he’s paying for your writing ability. Without prior permission from your clients, you should never hand off any of the writing involved in a project to someone else. But that doesn’t mean that there’s nothing in your work flow that you can outsource. You can speed up projects and free up time for new clients with some careful outsourcing. What Do You Wish You Didn’t Have to Do? One of my pet peeves is conducting interviews over the phone or in person, simply because I can’t write fast [Read more…]
We’ve all had those days where all we want to do is work on our own projects. Maybe there are deadlines piling up, but there’s nothing in our stack of paying work that appeals — and there is something very interesting happening with a project that we don’t actually stand to make money on anytime soon. Those days leave us with a dilemma. Do we force ourselves to buckle down and get to work on something that we really don’t care for or do we spend time on something much more fun, but that won’t pay the bills? No Right [Read more…]
Without further ado, here’s an overall look at what folks around here had to say about getting things done more efficiently.
Thanks again to everyone who commented. My apologies if I somehow forgot to reference your particular remarks in this post. Every shred of advice provided had real value.
As freelancers, the number of words we can write in a given hour can directly determine our income. On the surface, it makes sense to say that, if we can write faster, we’ll earn more money. At the same time, though, even if you can type 120 words per minute, that doesn’t necessarily translate into the pay rates we’d all like to see. Most writers hit an upper limit of good words they can write in a given day and while we can all bang away at the keyboard for hours after we’ve reached that limit, it’s usually pretty obvious [Read more…]
Whether you freelance full-time or you take on projects as a day job allows, you probably think of yourself as a freelancer. That’s true, but that’s not the only title you qualify for. You’re also a small business owner. Thinking in terms of that job title can open up some interesting avenues. How often have you taken a look at a tool or a resource meant specifically for small business owners and thought, ‘Oh, I don’t qualify for that’? When I started out as a freelancer, I skipped out on a free class for small business owners on how to [Read more…]
Carson, one of our newest bloggers at FWJ had a great post today: Writing Talent and Success as a Freelancer. Carson discussed how writing talent will only get you so far and your ability to master the business end of freelance writing is what is going to make the difference between eating steak or bologna. I added the bologna part, but it’s an important point to consider. Writers define their success in different ways – first when they get published, then when they can live off their earnings. The question is what are you eating steak or bologna? There are [Read more…]
Advice is a good thing, helpful advice is even better and advice that you can use and implement over a period of time is the best. I love gathering helpful writing tips and tricks from others in the field, however, if you’re like me you’ll come across a list that has several great things you want to start doing or using and in the end you find yourself on new method overload. So over the next five days I’m going to ease you into five ways to shine up your writing skills. Today’s tip: Editorial Calendar If you’ve been in [Read more…]
By Terreece M. Clarke Productivity is the name of the game when it comes to freelancing. We are always looking for a way to shave a significant amount of time off any project or task. Sometimes, in our haste to do it faster, we forget to do it better. We make boneheaded mistakes. We make mistakes in our blogs, articles, social networking posts, at-home tasks, etc., that we’d normally never make if we weren’t in such a hurry. My productivity equation is equal parts time + efficiency + effectiveness. It is completely unproductive to get it done quick, but have [Read more…]
By Terreece M. Clarke If you have not voted yet do not start reading this column. You are to immediately get yourself to a polling location. Tension, excitement and curiosity is high around the country today as Americans vote and wait to hear the news of who will be the next president of the United States. Some of you are trying in vain to stay on task, but your finger keeps taking you to news sites to get updates and you’re having a hard time not following the updates on Twitter. There’s two ways to get past this time until [Read more…]