Are You Working the Wrong Freelance Writing Schedule?

Do you ever look at your fellow freelance writers and wonder how they seem to fit so much into their days? Do you struggle to get through your daily to-do lists? Have you felt forced to work more than 40 hours per week to take care of projects you’ve gotten behind on? If you answered “yes” to any of those questions, you might be working the

How Writers Can Prepare Early for a Productive New Year

I don’t know about you, but I am so done with 2016. One more week of work for me, and then I’m off until January. When I come back from my holiday vacation, I like to hit the ground running with my work. Everything is planned, organized and ready to go before that clock strikes twelve on New Year’s Eve. Because of that early planning and prep

Falling Behind During NaNoWriMo? 3 Tips to Get You Back on Track

NaNoWriMo has barely started, and I’m already behind this year. I changed my novel idea at the last minute (I believe around 10:00 p.m. the night before). I still haven’t finished the scene-by-scene outline, though I hope to by tomorrow morning. And it’s now November 3rd and I haven’t even begun drafting my novel yet. That seems like a cause for concern, right? But I’m

A Writer’s Guide to Pulling a Successful All-Nighter

Ah, the dreaded all-nighter. They’re gobs of fun, aren’t they? When you work as a freelance writer, they’re occasionally a necessary evil if you get behind on a project and you’re on a deadline. Thankfully I haven’t had one of those kinds of all-nighters in quite some time. In my case it’s usually somewhere between insomnia (due to stress or evil kitties conspiring against me)

Dreams, Ambitions, and Finding Balance in Your Business

Do you ever feel like you aren’t living the life you really want to live? That your dreams and ambitions are going unfulfilled? That you’ve lost sight of things you’re passionate about, and you’re not quite sure when you got off-track? I do sometimes. Actually, these days, make that a lot. Maybe your dreams involve publishing your first novel. Maybe you dream of running a successful

How You Can be a More Prolific Writer – No Superpowers Needed

A friend and member of the All Freelance Writing community contacted me recently with a question about being a more prolific writer and balancing multiple writing ambitions. She asked to remain anonymous but agreed to let me share her question here in the hopes my answer might help someone else in a similar predicament. Here’s the gist: This is a writer in a similar position

3 Things Writers Should Rethink in the New Year

Happy New Year! I hope 2016 is off to a great start for all of you. I’m excited to be back to work. There’s something about the fresh slate of a new year that ignites a fire under me to tackle big things. Even if you don’t have big projects planned, now is a great time to make other tweaks to your business. If you’re

3 Tools for More Productive and Organized Writing

Today marks the start of my usual year-end vacation, meaning I won’t be around much until the New Year (January 4th in this case). Before taking these yearly breaks I spend a lot of time evaluating my previous year. It’s how I set goals for the next year, but it’s also when I look at the tools and processes I’ve been using to decide what

Mindly: A Simple, Beautiful Mind Mapping App

I’ve always loved the concept of mind mapping, but it’s not something I’ve done regularly. It’s something I’d prefer to use software for rather than one of my white boards but, quite frankly, I found every solution I came across to be ugly. Petty, I know, but if I’ll be looking at an organizational tool a lot, I prefer it to be clean and visually

Free Goal & Task Tracker Worksheet

It’s August. Seriously. When did that happen? Normally by now I’ve completed a detailed mid-year evaluation and posted my quarterly check-in on the blog. Whoops! Actually, it was less a simple oversight and more an issue of reorganization. By mid-July, I knew a few things weren’t working out as planned, so I decided to make some changes. The usual mid-year check-in was scrapped. It was a dud

Keep Your Inbox Cleaner with This Quick Tip

Do you ever start work on Monday mornings feeling suffocated by your email inbox? That’s how I felt yesterday morning. I receive a lot of email every day, including on the weekends. But this weekend I received a couple thousand extras beyond my norm, and I never poked my head in to stay on top of it (not that I should on my days off). While

A Simple To Do List Tweak for More Productive Writing

When you work as a writer — especially a freelance writer — your schedule can feel a bit scattered. You don’t have one job that you go to, where you follow a basic plan under one boss. You instead have to balance (or is that juggle?) multiple projects and multiple clients. Bouncing around from one project to another isn’t the most efficient use of your

Revenue Streams for Writers: Blogs and E-books (Podcast)

Today I released the first podcast episode for 2015 (and sixth overall). In this episode I mostly deal with the topic of revenue streams for writers. First, I run through eleven blog revenue streams you can use to monetize blogs of your own. Then I tackle a question about e-book revenue (and share a story about my own first e-book, which is scheduled to be

Getting Back Into Writing After a Break

Before the holidays we talked about preparing to take time away from writing or blogging and how you can set yourself up for success on your return to work. Well, today is that day for me — my first work day of 2015. And getting back into the swing of things has been both exciting and challenging I had a rougher start than I’d like

Quick Tip: Customize Your Browser Start Page for Increased Productivity

As writers we frequently rely on the web in our work. We manage our own websites and blogs. We visit others to stay connected with colleagues and stay on top of industry news. We use social media tools in networking and marketing. And sometimes the sheer number of websites we need to visit on a regular basis can get overwhelming. Fortunately there’s a simple trick

7 Time Management Tools for Freelance Writers

As a freelance writer do you ever feel like you aren’t working to your full potential — that you could get more work done if you could just eliminate some distractions and improve your productivity a bit? Fortunately there are plenty of time management tools that can help you do that. Today I’d like to share some of my favorite types of time management tools

Gamification: Make Freelance Writing More Fun

In the comments on a previous post about loving your work, Anne Wayman mentioned that she wanted to try to turn some of her marketing into a game. That’s something I try to do with my daily work as much as possible too. So I thought it might be fun to look at gamification and how you can gamify your freelance writing work. Gamification doesn’t have to

Pros and Cons of Multitasking for Freelancers

Multitasking. It’s awesome. It’s evil. It will make you more productive. It will make you less productive. It will make you more successful. It will destroy your business. What’s the truth when it comes to multitasking in your freelance writing business? The truth is, it depends. Should You Multitask? It depends on what kinds of tasks you’re talking about. For example, it would probably be

What Gets You Through a Long Day of Writing?

There are some days when I really don’t feel like writing. But the work has to be finished anyway. Sometimes I plug away and get through the day on sheer will. Sometimes it’s more of a struggle and all I can think about is making it to quitting time. Fortunately these long, exhausting days aren’t the norm. Maybe I committed to too much because a

How Freelance Writers Can Be Productive With Finances

Writing is actually one of the easier parts of freelancing writing. Maybe it’s like that with all craft-turned-businesses. The tougher parts of being a professional freelance writer can be things like finding clients, having a steady stream of ideas, and managing the finances. Because I’m no fan of mulling over finances for hours, there are some things I do to make this area of freelancing

How Word Count Trackers Can Make You More Productive

I’m a big fan of any tool that can help me get more work finished in less time. One tool freelance writers might not think to use is a word count tracker. But word count trackers are more for authors, right? Sure. They’re great for tracking your progress on a book. But there are also plenty of ways you can use them with typical freelance

Weekend Reading: Productivity

Each week we look at a specific issue facing freelance writers. This week let’s look at productivity — how you can improve yours, get more work done each day, have more time for yourself, and make more money in the process. I make it no secret that productivity plays a big role in my own freelance writing business. Focusing on a “work smarter” strategy to

5 Tips for Becoming a Happier and More Productive Freelance Writer

It’s one thing to enjoy the freedom freelance writing offers. But sometimes we still get overwhelmed. Deadlines loom, payments might seem to take forever, and our to-do lists could occupy a mile-long scroll. Fortunately there are some things you can do to make yourself more productive than ever, and even happier in your freelance writing work. Here are five tips to help you become a

Get Productive and Increase Your Writing Income

The freelance life is complicated. You can get to the end of what seemed like a productive day, and realize that you achieved nothing of major importance. Deadlines are looming, you’re not making as much money as you feel you should be making, and you wonder what you’re doing wrong. Professional writing used to be much simpler. You got clients, completed projects, and collected the

7 Ways to Double What You Get Done Each Day

Very little hurts a freelance writing business as much as poor productivity. For example, if you feel too overwhelmed with client work, you might run out of time to seek out new clients (leading to a later lack of work). Or you might get so caught up in writing that you neglect important administrative duties. Or you might just work so many hours that you

Work Smarter: Do Take it Personally

Some days it seems like everyone has an opinion on how you should work. They tell you – don’t take it personally, but you need to work smarter. Well, do take it personally and they’re right But, ignore them if it doesn’t work for you Only you know what working smarter means for you. Three Smart Steps When I started my own business in 2008, I had

Plan Early for a Productive Holiday Work Schedule

Can you believe it’s already October? That means the holiday season is just around the corner. And holidays can wreak havoc on our freelance work schedules (or at least they do for mine). Don’t let the holiday season get in the way of work, or let work stress keep you from enjoying the holidays. Let’s look at a few ways you can stay productive throughout

Freelancers: Get More Rest, Get More Done

I’ve been a bit of a hypocrite lately, not following my own rules about maintaining a work-life balance. Working late happens more often than it should (including today). And I haven’t felt very rested — which makes me feel mentally drained all day, which hurts my productivity even more and leads to more late nights. It’s a lousy little cycle. Sometimes it’s completely our fault

Optimize Your Email to Become a More Productive Writer

Increasing your productivity can go a long way towards helping you build your freelance writing career in the way you want to. It’s how you work smarter, not harder. You can get more done (and make more money) even though you spend fewer hours working. Or you can open up more billable hours in your existing schedule. What’s not to love? For me, I still

Organized Marketing

I interrupt this scheduled broadcast (a blog post about organized marketing) to bring you an important message from one of the most valuable teachers a freelance writer can ever learn from: experience. As in over the past few weeks I have experienced the loss of two computers and a hard drive and have had to keep business as usual up. This catastrophic situation was made