If you’re going to be a successful freelance writer you’ve got to find a way to keep yourself on track. This is true if you’re writing for clients or if you’re blogging or writing books for yourself.
I’ll admit, however, it can be tough. There are plenty of distractions to move you away from the computer and your writing. Here are some of the tricks I have used and still use to keep my writing on track:
- I have written goals for my writing business and written goals for each client. I use GoalPro and have for years. It has both a calendar and effective goal setting and tracking features.
- I know I write more easily in the morning than in the afternoon so schedule my writing then.
- I break large projects down into smaller pieces – chapter by chapter if it’s a book, number of posts if it’s a blog, etc. Each gets a deadline.
- I check my calendar every morning. Seriously, I use many of the features of the software so I know where I am on any given project.
- When I’m writing or editing I turn off the radio. Sometimes I’ll listen to music, but mostly I seem to work best in silence. (Yes, when I was a teen I could work with both television and radio going and yes, I’ve worked on a newspaper surrounded by noisy journalists and the press running in the background. Things change.)
- I bookend projects and parts of projects if I’ve got any resistance to doing them at all.
- If I see I’m going to miss a deadline I let the client know at once. I don’t do this often.
- I take time off. I rarely work weekends and I often do no writing on Wednesday. That keeps me fresh.
- I keep track of my income and expenses on a weekly basis.
- I have an accountability partner I talk with every week. The short form is we tell each other our goals for the week and check in on the goals we either accomplish or don’t the past week.
- I have a monthly mastermind meeting with two other writers. We talk with each other about our writing wins and plans and problems.
You may also want to read Discipline and Persistence = Freelance Writing Success.
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