productivity

Are You Looking for More Writing Motivation?

Writing motivation: Do you really want to be a freelance writer? Makealivingwriting.com

If you find it tough to get psyched up to write, this post is for you. I recently received a letter from a new writer hoping I could help her find more writing motivation:

I’m Sherin from Indonesia, it’s such a pleasure to find you as someone I can look up to. I’ve been saying to myself that, I really want to be a writer. And I’m very passionate about being a freelance writer, especially in content writing and maybe in proofreading. I know I need to plan how am I going to do that, but I feel lack of confidence and I don’t really know where to start.

I think this will be a good opportunity to make my own income too. I’m still a student supported by my parents. But I just love the image of standing independently. Anyway, I am so sorry to bother you. I know that I need to have some good skill to become a freelance writer, and to become skilled, I need to learn and practice. And I don’t know how to do that.

Can you give me some tips or maybe some motivation?

Letters like this make me want to cry. Because I’m dedicated to helping freelance writers earn more!

I want to have tips and useful info for you. (And ESL writer or not, writers write in every language and there are clients all over the world, so any grammar errors you spot above are not important here.)

What’s the trouble then? When you ask me to give you some motivation, I’ve got nothing.

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Self-Help for Writers: Make This One Powerful Change

Self-Care for Writers: One Big Tip. Makealivingwriting.com

Freelance writers spend a lot of time reading posts, taking courses, and otherwise seeking information on how to build their careers. But what about self-help for writers?

Working on self-care can build your self-esteem up and make you far more productive and creative. And when I say self-care, I don’t mean bubble-baths and walks in the woods, either.

What I have in mind goes much deeper than catching a little ‘me’ time.

Recently, I took a training on one powerful self-help technique that every insecure writer could benefit from. This approach can help you get more and better writing done, put yourself out there more, and gain the confidence to pitch better clients.

Ready to take your writing — and your life — to a whole new level? Read on…

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10 Life-Changing Books for Writers (Hint: They’re Not About Craft)

10 Life-Changing Books for Writers (Hint: They're Not About Craft). Makealivingwriting.com.

What happens when freelance writers want to build their careers? Well, since we’re ‘word’ people, we tend to ask our friends, “What good books for writers should I read?”

Lengthy chats erupt on Facebook in response, about the most inspiring and useful books on writing craft. Books such as Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg, Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott, and Stephen King’s On Writing are enthusiastically discussed and endorsed.

I’ve read and loved these books, too. But I don’t think they’re the ideal books for writers, especially if your focus is making a reliable living at your craft.

My experience is writers read these books, think, “Aaah, wonderful! Terrific insights.” Then, they go straight back to starving.

Also, most writers I know don’t need to improve their craft. They write just fine.

The books for writers that will make a bigger impact are the ones about how to make a business from writing. How to freelance successfully. How to finally find the confidence to put your writing out there.

Those are the books for writers that can really change your life. The books that show you how to feed your family, on a regular basis, with your craft.

If that’s the sort of help you need, here’s a list of practical books on the business of being a writer that I frequently recommend.

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Get Stuff Done – A Busy Freelance Writing Ultramarathoner’s Productivity Rules

Get stuff done. A busy freelance writing ultramarathoner's productivity rules. Makealivingwriting.com

Want to know what a crazy writer schedule looks like? I’ve got three little kids. I have a day job as a health and wellness writer. I’ve got a solid line-up of freelance clients in the same niche and a bunch of looming blog post deadlines. Sometimes, it’s tough to get stuff done.

It’s always busy. There are a million things demanding my attention. And that doesn’t even include TV, movies, hours on social media, video games, hanging out with the guys, or sleeping in. Do people really do that anymore?

The hot 40-something woman I’ve been married to for 18 years is in grad school (future teacher). She volunteers where our kids go to school. She works part-time at a gym. And the kids have dance, Cub Scouts, homework, and probably some other activities going on that she-who-will-not-be-named will be texting me about shortly.

Then there’s my passion (some call it a sickness) for running. And I’m not talking about a 30-minute jog around the block. I ran a 100-mile race at the end of September. When the heck is there time to train for that?

Crazy. Every. Damn. Day.

How do I get it all done, and keep my freelance writing career moving forward? I don’t use any complicated planning tools to get stuff done (maybe I should), but I do follow a few basic rules to stay productive.

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Freelance Writing Improvement Lab: 7 Productivity Hacks to Write Faster

Freelance Writing Improvement Lab: Productivity Hacks. Makealivingwriting.com

Do you get jealous when other freelance writers talk about how they knock out a simple blog post in under an hour — because it takes you half a day? If so, it’s time to attack this problem and get it solved. To earn a good hourly rate from freelance writing (and end up with a decent income), you’ve got to be able to write assignments in a time-efficient way.

This is especially true if you’re looking to get into content marketing, where you might develop a dozen blog posts or other pieces of content a month for each of multiple different clients. I speak as someone who at one point was writing 72 posts a month, between client blogs and my own blog.

Your success in blogging for clients is highly dependent on your speed. If you’re slow, you won’t be able to juggle multiple content marketing clients and book enough revenue — and you may even be in trouble in terms of meeting your deadlines.

Fortunately, learning to get the writing done faster has been a longtime hobby of mine. My drive to speed up was forged during 12 years as a staff writer, the last five of which required filing a story for our online edition, five days a week by 10 am (in addition to the 3-4 articles a week we had to write).

How did I learn to cut my writing time down? Here are my seven top tips:

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How to Overcome Abuse and Become a Full-Time Writer

How to Overcome Abuse and Become a Full-Time Writer. Makealivingwriting.com

Do you ever let your personal “issues” hold you back when it comes to your writing career?

I have – after going through some very toxic relationships – and it nearly ruined both my career and my life. But I managed to come out on top – and I was able to become the well-paid writer I was meant to be. So, how’d I manage to overcome a legacy of toxic abuse and build a thriving writing career?

Would you be shocked if I told you that my “issues”  literally became my content niche? They did – these days, I’m also a certified life coach who specializes in narcissistic abuse recovery.

So why am I writing about abuse? Why do I keep talking about it? Because I am a survivor myself – and because, quite honestly, the universe planted this particular niche in my front yard for a reason. These days, I make a pretty healthy living from my work – and yes, I’m writing every single day now. Here’s how it happened…

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