time management

Kids Driving You Crazy? One Writer’s Family-Friendly Productivity Plan

The productivity plan for freelancers with kids. Makealivingwriting.com

Are your kids driving you crazy? If you don’t have a productivity plan as a stay-at-home freelancer, getting work done can be hard.

It’s something I know a lot about.

I’m a stay-at-home mom. I have eight kids. I home-school. And I have a thriving freelance writing business.

It’s kind of crazy. And I struggled to figure out how to make it work.

When you’re trying to land client work or complete an assignment, with kids begging for your attention, you might think the last thing you want to spend time on is a productivity plan.

But you actually need that in place first.

Why? Let’s just say kids make the work at home experience more interesting.

I get more work done now in less time than I used to. And then there’s the added benefit of maintaining my sanity with such a busy household.

Want to know how I do it? Here’s my productivity plan for freelance writers with kids:

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Now Boarding: The Year-End ‘Ugly Barge’ of Productivity for Writers

Board the 'Ugly Barge' of Productivity for Writers. Makealivingwriting.com

Productivity for writers has a way of going down the drain during the holidays.

It’s all too easy to get sucked into the vortex of dinner parties, gift shopping, time off, and binge-watching a new season of your favorite TV show.

Your usual schedule for freelance writing and marketing gets squeezed by other things.

Sound familiar?

Fortunately, there’s plenty of time to get stuff done, complete assignments, land new clients, and still enjoy the holidays.

But to get from here to there, you’ll want to get on board the Ugly Barge of Productivity for Writers, says business consultant and former U.S. Army officer Charlie Gilkey.

In a recent Freelance Writers Den podcast, we talked with Gilkey and freelance writer Frances Booth about:

  • Productivity
  • Systems
  • Procrastination
  • Writer’s block
  • Goal-setting
  • And other topics

The goal: Help you make the most of the 71 days, 1,704 hours, and 102,240 minutes left in 2017.

Want to know the secret to year-end success as a freelance writer? Get on board.

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4 Reasons Freelance Writers Shouldn’t Be Grammar Police

Why Grammar Police Make Terrible Writers. Makealivingwriting.com

Note: Are you part of the grammar police? Or do you despise well-meaning writers who can’t overlook an errant punctuation mark or typo? In this post, originally written by Linda Formichelli, she serves up four in-your-face reasons grammar police make terrible freelance writers. Enjoy! —Carol.

The other day I received this email in response to a marketing message I sent out to my subscription list:

Basic grammar forbids the use of double negatives, “…using the wrong
set of skills for the wrong job”. An authority on writing must master
the rules of writing before they can be taken seriously.

(I so wanted to let this guy know that “the wrong skills for the wrong job” is hardly a double negative, and that some of the greatest writers of all times used double negatives for emphasis — Shakespeare, anyone? But I took my own advice and hit Delete.)

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Q&A: Pajamas, Dog Poop and Being a Productive Writer

Q&A with Rachel Toor on Pajamas, Poop, and Being a Productive Writer. Makealivingwriting.com

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How to Rev Up Your Income as a Part-Time Freelancer

Tips to Drive Up Income as a Part-Time Freelancer. Makealivingwriting.com

I wasn’t planning on being a part-time freelancer. Six years ago I made the move to full-time freelancing after my third career layoff. I knew financial potholes existed. I also swore I’d avoid the worst ones. I wasn’t planning to blow through emergency funds and my family’s patience or stiff-arm friends asking for updates.

Fast-forward five years. I was stuck in a major client drought and bottomed out financially. I realized I had to find a part-time job FAST and settle for being a part-time freelancer. Like it or not. And I didn’t.

It felt like failure — you thought you could do this and couldn’t, dumb bunny. But monthly expenses had become monthly drama, plus some ugly debt was staring at me.

Ever find yourself wondering if you can make a living as a writer and do work you love? I did.

I wasn’t thrilled about the idea of becoming a part-time freelancer just so I could collect a paycheck from a J-O-B. When I made the switch, it had a big impact on my money situation. But there were also some positive and unexpected benefits to being a part-time freelancer.

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7 Essential Productivity Habits of Successful Freelance Writers

7 Essential Productivity Habits of Successful Freelance Writers. Makealivingwriting.com

Stepped into my Wayback Machine and found this post from 2010 on productivity habits. And you know what? It’s still current. These habits have helped me and many other freelancers move up and earn more. Enjoy!–Carol

Time. We’ve only got so much of it each day. For freelance writers who are also parents, we’ve certainly never got enough of it. Or if you’re working a day job and freelancing on the side, you know you’ve got to use your time wisely.

Whether you have a wide-open schedule or just a few hours a day for freelancing, your productivity habits can have a huge impact on your writing career.

What’s the best way to spend your precious work hours? I’m often asked this question by writers during coaching calls. I had one say, “I wish I could follow you around all day and see how you do it!”

While I don’t think that would be pleasant for either of us (and might reveal an embarrassing amount of screwing off and/or snacking on my part!)…I realized that after a decade of freelancing, I have developed some strong opinions on productivity habits for freelance writers.

Here are what I consider to be the seven most important productivity habits a freelancer should spend their time on, in order of importance:

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