If you want to be a successful freelance writer today, you've got to write a lot. This is not only because the competition for freelancers is intense, but it's also because much of the writing that you do every day won't be writing that you can sell -- it's extra promotional writing that every writer needs to do.
Here's an unpleasant freelance writing truth: if you don't promote your work, you don't sell.
Therefore, you can look on your freelancing career as having two parts: creation, and promotion. You promotional writing includes building a name for yourself, by creating a Web site, or a blog, which gives you visibility. When an editor or publisher types your name into Google, he or she will be looking for some examples of your writing. Building this visibility takes time, however it's essential. No one is going to hire you if they have no idea of what you can do.
Here are five tips to help you to write faster and write more so you can achieve the freelance writing success that you want:
Tip 1. Plan your writing day
Whether you're writing "day" is a couple of hours you spend writing after you've put the kids to bed at night, or it's a real eight to ten hour day, you have to make the most of each minute.
On Sunday evening, take ten minutes to plan what you want to achieve in the coming week. Make a list of what you must do. However, you should have no more than five items on this list, because a lengthy "must do" list is intimidating and breeds procrastination. Your weekly list is not a catch-all list, it's highly selective. Keep your list small, so that no matter what happens, you know you can easily complete these items.
Then, before you begin writing for the day, make another, short list of items to do.
I like to create all my lists by hand, because it helps me focus, and there's something satisfying about striking an item off the list.
Tip 2. Have multiple projects in various stages of development
At any one time, I may have ten or a dozen projects in development. Half of these are client and editorial projects, the others are my own. The benefit of having multiple projects is that it helps to eliminate boredom. You'll have to decide for yourself whether this works for you: experiment.
I also have five or six promotional projects going on at the same time. The big benefit of all this work is that it keeps me writing -- I have to find ways to write more, because I need to write more. The key to achieving this level of activity is to make all your writing fun -- see Tip 5.
Tip 3. Use affirmations to kickstart your subconscious mind
Writing is a process of discovery. You can't know what you're going to write before you write it, and often what you write is a complete surprise. This is because you're mining your subconscious mind, which makes connections for you.
You can boost this natural process to help your subconscious mind to do its work by using affirmations. These are positive statements of what you want to achieve.
Tip 4. Eliminate perfectionism: it doesn't have to be perfect, it just has to be done
Perfectionism is a curse. If you want to write faster and write more, you'll have to take steps to remove your perfectionist tendencies. My favorite mantra is DDT: Do, Don't Think. Whatever you write can be edited and fixed. However, if you don't write, you have nothing to edit.
Tip 5. Make peace with your writing self
Your writing self is child-like. In essence, it's you, at around six to eight years of age, with experiences added. Your writing self loves fun, and it loves to play. This means that you've got to build plenty of fun and "play" activities into your writing, no matter how much you have to write, otherwise your creativity will dry up, and you'll get no writing done at all.
I've learned this from personal experience. I know that if I put too much pressure on my writing self, and insist that I focus only on serious projects, I'm headed for writer's block.
Make a list of fun activities. Mine include: doing crossword puzzles, playing computer games, reading historical novels, going to the movies, and many more. Then have fun!
Angela Booth may be contacted at http://angelabooth.com/ firstname.lastname@example.org
Author of many books, including Making the Internet Work for Your Business, copywriter and journalist Angela Booth also writes copy for businesses large and small, and consults on search engine marketing. Angela has written copy for companies in many industries, ranging from technology and real estate to the jewellery trade. Her clients include major corporations like hp (Hewlett Packard), WestPac Bank, and Acer Computer. For copywriting services and marketing advice contact Angela at http://angelabooth.com/