Freelance writing is a job unlike any other. You’re your own boss – you set your hours, your clients, what you want to write about, how much you charge and how you get paid. Of course, it’s not that easy. After all, if it was, everyone would be doing it. So what makes freelance writing such a difficult job? Some may say that clients and inconsistent pay make the job hard. Others even admit that freelancing wasn’t everything they thought it would be. But what is the hardest aspect of freelancing?
The hardest part of successful freelance writing is staying disciplined – and unfortunately for most, they don’t have what it takes. It isn’t easy to sit down at your desk and make yourself work when your friends are out for the evening or you want to watch an episode of your favorite television show.
If you’re a struggling freelance writer that has trouble working when you don’t feel like it, don’t throw in the towel just yet. Here are a few tips and techniques that are sure to help you put that pen to the paper, so to speak.
The easiest way to keep writing is to take things in small chunks. Do you have 10 articles you need to write in a day? Do your research and write one article, then reward yourself with a timed break. After your break is up, start writing the next article. It’s a good way to refresh yourself, have a little fun, and stay productive.
Need to write a longer work but can’t seem to stay focused? A great technique is to give yourself an hour to write a certain amount of words – for example, 500. If you finished your 500 words in 45 minutes, you have 15 minutes to relax before you need to write the next 500. Finish them in 30 minutes? Enjoy your half hour break. These two techniques work by rewarding your work with a break, which is essential in this line of work, but don’t let the thought of a break leave you with hasty and badly written work.
Another great way to stay motivated is to set a strict schedule. Many budding freelancers think they’ll be able to work whenever they want for however long they want – and to a certain degree, this is true. However, a set schedule works wonders for keeping you motivated even when you feel like quitting for the day. Treat freelancing like a job – because it is.
If you still find yourself discouraged, think about your long term goal. Maybe your freelance money is going towards a vacation, or you’re buying your significant other a nice present. Imagining what it’s all for helps keep you going even when you don’t want to.
One final advice is, try to write mainly on topics you are passionate about or that are very interesting to you. Writing about these topics will be much easier and fun for you and will deliver the best results for your clients.
All of these techniques won’t work for all freelancers – but they’re great to keep yourself motivated. Remember, freelancing is a job like any other – and if you’re determined, you’ll excel where so many others fail.