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Tips On Being A Successful Freelance Writer
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Working freelance and being the boss is probably most people's idea of the perfect job. They have this idea that you sit around on the sofa in your pyjamas, drinking mugs of tea and doing a little bit of writing. (Yes, drinking limitless mugs of tea is wonderful, but it's also challenging being a freelance writer if there is no solid organisation to your working day.) Here are some tips for combining the flexibility and freedom of freelance work at home with self-motivation and high productivity.
Don't work in your pyjamas and/or underwear - I know it's comfortable; I know you're not going to the office. However, wearing casual clothes will fool you into thinking you're not actually about to start work. Try to imagine that you're heading to the office and get dressed for a proper day at work. It will get you in the right mindset for the day ahead.
Structure your working day - If you worked in an office or other work-place your work day would be highly structured and you would have specific productivity goals to meet. Working freelance shouldn't be any different. You should get up (quite) early, have a shower, get dressed (properly), have a good breakfast, and then begin work. Similarly, you should work in a lunch break and ensure you stop working at a normal time. When you work from home it can be difficult to switch off from work when you know it's always there within reach. But you need to relax like any other type of employee.
Try to avoid distractions - It's best not to have the TV or radio on in the background when you're writing or working from home. I find having Facebook open on my browser a terrible distraction. I just remember that if I were going to an office or factory or shop to work, I wouldn't be able to access things like Facebook, Twitter or news sites so I shouldn't do it just because I'm able to.
Compile a list of all the day's jobs - Write a list of what you want to achieve or finish by the end of that working day. Write a list of when you want to finish each section and tick off the sections you complete as you do them. Ensure you place urgent jobs at the top of the list, or jobs that require lots of research or initial planning. There's nothing worse than feeling rushed, as the quality of your work will suffer, as will your sanity!
Don't Burn out- Try not to take on more than you can handle at one time. Pace yourself, give yourself doable deadlines, and stop when you feel groggy. If you burn out, it will seriously affect your health and well-being, and cause work to pile up.
Don't accept less money than you think you deserve - Working for free may be necessary when you first start out as a freelancer to build up a profile and a name for yourself. However, after a short starter period you must ensure you are being paid appropriately. Nobody should work for free if they think they're offering a high quality service to someone who has asked for said service. Writing good copy and content takes substantial time, creative energy and skill, so you definitely shouldn't sell yourself short.
Proofread - My last tip is quite simple: proofread, proofread, proofread.
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