June 11, 2019
Note From Rochelle
If you’re struggling with any part of the writing process or simply having trouble getting work done, consider joining my summer accountability group. We’ll be meeting six times this summer, starting next Monday. I’m offering this class at a special introductory price of just $100 through Wednesday. Then the price goes up to $180. Here’s the link to learn more: Write Now! Accountability Group.
Today’s tip reveals three practices of successful freelance writers.
Three Practices of Successful Freelance Writers
by Rochelle Melander
They Keep an Idea File
My clients often say, “I’d blog more, but I don’t have any ideas.” Or, “I know it’s time to write my book, but I don’t know if I have enough material.”
Many professional freelance writers find work by pitching ideas to editors. It’s truly a numbers game—the more you pitch, the more likely you’ll hit on something that an editor will like. But first you have to find, gather, and shape your ideas. When I’m especially hungry for freelance work or drafting a nonfiction book, I tend to look at everything I encounter with this question: how can I use this in my work? I keep an idea file, noting everything that comes up. I regularly take a look at that file and consider which ideas might work as an article.
Your turn: Schedule time each week to work on your idea file. You can use the time to record ideas you’ve bumped into, scan the web for new ideas, or imagine ways to use your ideas in a blog post or book.
They Show Up
Clients often come to me because they are having trouble finding time to write. Or, when they do have time, they can’t get themselves to focus and write.
As a freelancer, I’ve learned that I get paid only if I do the work. Professional writers show up and work, whether they feel like it or not. We scribble down words. Sometimes we get lucky, and while we’re wading through the muck, inspiration hits and sets our imagination on fire.
Your turn: For the next week, schedule a short amount of time to write each day. Then practice showing up and writing.
They Know that Drafted is Better than Perfect
Many of my clients struggle with perfectionism. Their ideas and stories sit in their heads while they work to figure out the perfect way to express them.
Freelancers know the tyranny of perfection. We’ve all landed that amazing assignment and then wondered, “Can I pull it off?” But we also know the secret to writing great copy: finishing the first draft and editing it. For that reason, we get down the words, not worrying about whether we have the perfect lede or the ideal closing line. We know that we can fix a draft.
Your turn: Set a timer and write. Don’t worry about getting it right. Just get it written. Once you have a draft of your chapter or blog post, you can fix it.