This is a guest post by Ian Greaves.
If you dream of working for yourself and being able to generate an income from your writing, you will need to learn how to make the most of the time and resources at your disposal.
Achieving consistency in the quality and content of your writing will be your priority; however, there are a number of practical aspects, concerning the approach to writing and its positive impact on your productivity, that you shouldn’t overlook.
1. Write, don’t procrastinate!
I know I’m stating the obvious here, but it had to be first on the list, and I speak from experience! Even the master storyteller, Stephen King, in his 2000 memoir “On Writing” admitted “The scariest moment is always just before you start.”
This is not to say that you shouldn’t plan your piece, far from it, but despite ongoing technological advancements in almost every industry, writing still requires a writer, so write.
Edit, re-write, discard, re-invent, even all of the above, but you need to have written something first.
Whether you produce a single sentence or twenty pages, the feeling of achievement will be tangible, as Henry Ford once observed “There is no happiness except in the realisation that we have accomplished something”.
2. Recognise that all feedback is good feedback
We all feel protective about our written output, and it’s our prerogative, because we’ve toiled and sweated over it. But being a freelance writer is about producing work that will meet the needs of a specific market or audience and any feedback that helps in achieving that goal can only be good, however hard it might be to read and digest.
3. Broaden your horizons
Having an appetite to learn and undertake new experiences, not only keeps life interesting, but also ensures we maintain a healthy stock of subjects to write about . “Write what you know” is advice frequently given to writers, so expanding what you know can only broaden your writing horizons.
4. Believe in yourself
Although an overused phrase, this really is sound advice. Writers will endure many knockbacks and rejections throughout their careers, and it takes a lot of self belief to persevere and keep submitting work.
The self help author Dr. Robert Anthony’s view was “You can have anything you want if you will give up the belief that you can’t have it.”
5. Have a Goal
It doesn’t matter whether it is big or small, but by setting a goal and working towards it, statistics show that you will be one of only 3% of individuals who actually do this.
Philanthropist Hannah More wrote “Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goals”
A goal gives meaning to what you are doing, it adds perspective, and some days, it will be the prospect of achieving that goal that compels you to return to that project you’ve not been able to finish or even start.
One final piece of advice, when you achieve that goal, win that commission or succeed in getting published, share your success. Whether it be on your favourite writers forum, with your family, friends or colleagues, or on your blog or website, not only will it feel good, you might even inspire others to try and emulate your success.
About the Author: Ian Greaves is a freelance writer, on his blog, Write Away, he discusses self employment and looks at resources available to anyone interested in working for themselves.