The freelance writing business isn’t always full of sparkle. Your family might think you are living a groovy lifestyle, sitting in cafes and writing amazing content while you sip your favorite latte. While this is true sometimes, the simple truth is that you spend plenty of time in your pajamas trying to crank out content before your timer runs out. When you want to stay motivated and live the bohemian lifestyle of a freelance writer, you need to learn a few tricks to keep going. Here’s how to build your freelance writer support team:
Look for Shared Work Space
Your support team doesn’t have to be other writers. Anywhere you can work around other people who are also working will help keep you motivated. It can get lonely sitting at your kitchen table with your cat, writing a riveting piece on local real estate options. Consider a shared office space, or a work share environment. You might be able to rent out office space cheap and have others around you to keep you going. When you pay into a work share situation, you’ll be motivated to use your time constructively. If nothing else, you’ll have a strong internet connection and access to coffee.
Stay Connected With Friends and Family
When you work from home, you gain a lot of control over your schedule and environment. It’s an excellent opportunity for many people, but this means you have to find other ways beyond work to stay connected with others. If possible, plan a lunch date with a friend once a week, or schedule a dinner with your extended family. Connection is important for any work life balance and it is even more important for people who work at home alone.
Use Online Forums to Share Ideas
Online forums are an excellent way to connect with other writers who are also trying to make it in the freelance world. You may be surprised to hear the useful advice many writers will share. While it can be competitive to try to snag some of the most profitable orders, the freelancers in the writing world tend to be very supportive of one another. You may find your next writing gig in an online forum or learn how to deal with a difficult client with some advice from another writer. Follow the expectations set by the forum administrator and don’t be afraid to try out the suggestions you get from other writers.
Open Up Your Options
To stay motivated while you work, it helps to have a variety of work available to you. This means you have to open up your options. You might hear the phrase, “don’t put all your eggs in one basket”, which just means to try not to rely on one client for all of your work. Cultivate relationships with customers and always look for ways to get added to love lists on WriterAccess to keep your options open. The more clients you make happy, the more work you will have over time. Quality work generally leads to more work, and you can have a full time career if you keep your mind open to new opportunities.
Find Ways to Motivate Yourself
Remember the old sticker star charts your teacher would use to get you to learn your multiplication tables? Think of what motivates you and what your sticker star chart is today. Maybe you’ll work two hours and reward yourself with a fresh latte, or maybe you reach your monthly goal and go out to a new movie. Find what motivates you and give yourself a reward when you meet your goals. Whether you have hourly, daily or weekly goals, set your goals and treat yourself when you meet these goals.
Freelance writing is a great career for those who want a flexible schedule and the ability to enjoy some coffee at a moment’s notice. Find ways to engage with others and try to avoid isolation. Understand that some days you might be writing about topics simply to pay the bills, while other days you’ll get to write fun, exciting content. Learn how to get support from other writers, and ask for ideas when you are falling flat. Writing is an art that takes time, perseverance, and a tolerance for the unknown.
Melissa N has been working as a freelance writer since graduating from college with a BA in English in 1994. She has written many investigations for the juvenile court system, taking complex information and breaking it down into comprehensive reports. Further, Melissa has written on topics such as real estate, gardening, parenting, divorce, personal injury law and fundraising. She has written for Garden Guides, Ehow, Reuters, Find Law and Livestrong. She has written a number of published articles that are now used on legal research sites for attorneys and paralegals.