3 Ways Freelance Writers Can Get Unstuck & Take Action

by LoriAnne

how to get unstuckIn our forum someone who is working to be a better freelance writer asked how they could get unstuck and really take action on their writing careers. It was clear this person had plenty of great ideas for landing more gigs and better paying writing jobs, but they felt stuck.

I know the feeling! In fact, I’m sure every writer, even the most successful feels stuck from time-to-time. If you don’t believe me, read some writer’s biographies. You’ll soon discover you are not alone.

Here are three ways I find I can unstick myself:

Chunk down the project

Often, when I’m feeling stuck it’s because the writing project feels too big. This is certainly true for, say, ghostwriting a whole book. If I didn’t first break it into chapters and even subheads within a chapters I’d quickly go into overwhelm

This same approach works on smaller projects too. Marketing myself can also seem overwhelming. But if I break the marketing down into smaller bits, like send 1 magazine query a week, or call 5 prospects a day, or figure out what words I want on my website – then figure out the design, etc. The smaller chunks you can list, the easier they get to do. I can write a magazine query in a week without much problem. I can decide what I want on my About Me page pretty easily. I can write a draft of a blog post of 500 words or so more easily than I can a final version.

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You get the idea.

Bookend

Bookending is one of my favorite productivity tools, particularly when I’m feeling stuck. It’s simple. Just call a supportive friend, tell them how many minutes or hours you plan to work on the project, then, when you’ve done that amount, call back and report your success. If it happens you didn’t do it after all, call and report that!

There’s something about being accountable that works – which is why we have a whole accountability thread in our forum. Every week I post what I hope to get done and every day I mark off what I’ve achieved. I know folks are reading it because they often make supportive comments – just as I do with the other people who are using that thread. It works… I want to show off for my friends.

Promise yourself a reward

Rewarding yourself when you accomplish something is a great idea anyway. I also use this when there’s some writing project I don’t really want to do. Often I’ll say something like “when I get 1,000 words written I’ll reward myself with a trip to the library for a new mystery.” Since I love a cup of coffee mid-afternoon, I’ll sometimes use that as my reward – as in “when I finish this article draft, then I’ll make my coffee.

I use naps, a cup of coffee, a short walk, reading something non-business like, even reading and posting in our forum, etc. as rewards.

How do you get unstuck? We’d like to know. Share in comments or join the forum now and share there.

Write well and often,

Anne Wayman

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