- Don’t even think about trying to start your day without coffee… Yes, it’s cliché, expensive, and addictive, but trust me: if you want to get started on something creative anytime before 1pm, caffeine is always the answer. Just make sure you don’t make the mistake of combining it with intense stress or cardio, if you want to avoid paralyzing anxiety or a pre-geriatric heart attack. (Yes, I’ve been there… It’s not pretty.) (courtesy of the Oatmeal)
- Make deadlines, even if your editor doesn’t. Accountability is crucial in staying motivated, so email your editor, a friend, or your peer mentor to let them know when you’ll be finished with each draft so you feel a sense of urgency… even if its completely illusionary.
- Get OUT OF THE HOUSE. I can’t stress this enough. Coffee shop, coworking space, friend’s living room… plan to write from anywhere but your own bed! No matter how tempting, writing from home will only lead to extreme feelings of isolation, laziness, and unending marathons of your latest guilty pleasure. (once again, the Oatmeal says it best.)
- Balance client work with your own pet projects. Obviously we freelancers need to rely on paid gigs to make a living, but it can get old really quickly if you start to associate your laptop with “work.” Instead, think of your laptop as your best friend, with whom you can spend special time sharing secrets 😉 If you’re like me, the reason you went into freelancing to begin with was so that you’d have an excuse to make time for preaching your truth and telling your own stories.
- Don’t be Shy! Whether it’s posting your work on facebook or twitter, or sending out writing samples to your professional network, you never know who might like what they read and offer you a paid gig! While it’s counterintuitive to be self-promoting, if you want to keep up the freelance lifestyle and avoid that ever-lurking boring office assistant job, you’re gonna have to pay the bills somehow– and people can’t hire you if they can’t find you!
Thanks for reading, and feel free to leave your comments below. It still feels odd to call myself a writer, but as I read recently… if you write, you ARE a writer! 🙂
(photo courtesy of my inspiringly-hilarious friend and mentor, Nicola Plowman)