Action Is Key For A Successful Freelance Writing Business

freelance writers need massive action

Sometimes I think many would-be writers would rather spend time doing almost anything but writing and marketing their writing.

They spend, or so some of them tell me, hours reading blogs about writing and about the writers behind those blogs.

Their book shelves are lined with books on how to write and their Kindles are getting stuffed with more of the same.

They worry about making artistic compromises and are often found on the free writing forums complaining about how hard it is to make a living writing or to get writing published.

It makes me want to tear my hair out!

Here’s why:

As much as I love having readers for this blog and my other writing blogs, if you’re not writing in addition to reading writing blogs, you’re wasting your time – that is, you’re wasting your time if you want to be a successful writer. You’ve got to write – there’s just no way around it.

While reading books and ebooks about writing can often point you in the right direction – I have comments from readers of mine indicating they are valuable and you can get two free one’s by signing up for the Guest Newsletter (look to your right) – collecting books and even reading them won’t help your writing or your writing business if you’re not writing regularly. Not only do you have to write regularly, but you have to run your writing like the business you say you want to have, and that includes the bookkeeping and the marketing.

Worrying about creative compromise probably has its place, but unless you’re writing you’re blowing smoke when you spend time on such issues.

Spending time with others who will support your notion that it’s “impossible to make a living writing these days” is totally wasted time. Obviously, I’m in favor of forums – I started the one right here. It works largely because we support each other toward success. Sure we whine a bit, but that’s not the emphasis.

free content for writersThe emphasis in the 5 Buck Forum is on  learning from each other, and holding each other gently accountable. Which is not only more productive, over the long haul it earns us more money and is a heck of a lot more fun.

Self-help guru Tony Robbins talks about how taking massive action can be an effective tool to success. (Or at least he used to – does he still? It’s been awhile since I’ve heard him.)

What might massive action in writing look like?

Creating a daily writing schedule and sticking to it.

Sending out 10 or 20 queries or letters of introduction every week.

Phoning five or more potential clients each and every day.

Spending 30 minutes to an hour every day really writing that book you’ve always talked about.

Reading Lori’s Marketing 365 and doing one action a day you find there for a year or finding the 10 or 20 techniques that fit you best and doing them to a schedule that will result in more business.

Setting up a way to be accountable with someone else about your writing and sticking with that. (We do have an accountability thread on the 5 Buck Forum – that alone is worth the $5 a month! Just heard an ad by Tony Robbins [another coincidence] who says those who have an accountability system set up experience 400 percent more success than those who don’t. ) You can join or get more information here.

Those are just a few suggestions.

Your turn. What kind of massive action will you take to help your freelance writing career? What gets in your way? Comments are open.

Write well and often,

Anne Wayman

 

 

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Why Saying No is Sometimes Right

 

when to say no to writing clientsDuring my freelance career, I’ve come across an interesting dilemma more times than I’ve ever expected to. I’ve had to turn down a client or a project. It’s a dilemma every writer faces — saying no to a client. Yet there are times when you simply can’t honor the request or do on more thing.

The temptation is to please. We’re freelance — somehow, we get it in our heads that the client in front of us will be our last client. But that’s not the case, is it? Still, we take on too much, take on things that we hate or we don’t believe in, or take on work that pays much less than we’re worth.

Why would we ever say no? Because it’s the smart thing to do. Here are a few reasons why:

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6 Habits of Successful Writers*

writing successIf you look at writers who successful you find that although their writing, their markets, and their whole approach to their career, they have some things in common. What it boils down to is that success in freelance writing is often a matter of choosing the right habits.

Each of these seven items is pretty much of equal importance. They knit together and performed regularly over time will weave together a successful freelance writing career.

You have a writing schedule that you can keep to most days/weeks. A successful writing career begins with writing regularly, whatever that looks like to you. Experiment until you find a writing schedule that works for you, knowing that over time it will change.

You have written goals about how much you want to earn. Study after study proves that people with goals are more successful than those who don’t have them. This is true for writers too. John Soares has outlined the why and the how of goals for writers.

You have a marketing plan that you actually follow that moves you toward your goals. Marketing doesn’t have to be complicated. You don’t need a college degree. It’s a learnable skill as Lori Widmer’s wonderful book shows.  Design a plan and stick with it. If you’re not sticking with it, change it until you figure out what works for you.

free content for writersYou regularly review both your goals and your plans to reach them. Goals and plans probably need reviewing every six months or so. After all, life happens and things change. You want goals and plans you’ll stick with and you want to be flexible enough to recognize when to change them. Those reasons can include everything from major life changes to the simple recognition they aren’t working as well as they once did.

You have keep track of your money and have savings for taxes, business emergencies and growth, and an emergency fund for life. You treat your writing like the business it is. That means keeping track of your money and setting up savings for taxes, including self-employment tax, business equipment and other expenses and in case of emergencies

You regularly take time off. Everyone involved in a creative business – actually everyone working – needs time off. The word, recreation, is just that for writers and artists – time to re-create ourselves. Time off means everything from a nap to a wonderful month long travel adventure. Make sure you take care of yourself so your writing can take care of you.

Your turn: Which of these do you find most difficult? Tell us about it in comments.

Write well and often,

Anne Wayman

 

 

* A nod of thanks to Stephen R. Covey who wrote the original book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.

 

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Should You Have a Writer’s Blog?

journalHave you ever read a blog where the content felt, well, used? As writers, we have plenty of advice being tossed at us by so-called experts. One of the biggest bits of bad advice I’ve seen is that every writer must have a blog.

Nonsense.

Not every writer has something to say, and certainly not every writer has a lesson to teach other writers. And maybe that’s the real issue — not every writer should be writing to a freelance audience. But are you cut out to write a blog for your niche or specialty area?

How do you know if you’re suited to write a freelance writing blog or a specialized blog?

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