Weekly Writing Challenge: Mix it Up

It's easy to get stuck in a certain way of working. Sometimes our methods can become stale and negatively affect our productivity as writers. So this week's challenge is about scheduling, and how mixing it up once in a while can keep your work fresh.

If you think you're already working as productively as you possibly can, there's no need to take part in this week's challenge. But if you feel like you should be able to get more done in a day, try some of these things:

  1. If you're normally a "free spirited" writer who simply starts work with a general idea of the day's tasks, try working with a strict schedule for a day. Make a list of all of your writing projects (could be anything from chapters or sections in your book to individual client projects or blog posts - be as specific as possible). Then schedule each task into your day by the hour or half-hour depending on the length of the projects. While I don't usually work this way anymore personally, when I feel like I'm in a slump I go back to it and it always makes me enormously more productive (it's a great tactic for when you feel overwhelmed with too many projects... people often work much more efficiently when they have a deadline; even if it's self-imposed).
  2. If you're normally the type of writer who does already schedule their day, try a more relaxed approach. Make a more general to-do list and just go through things as you get to them, crossing them off the list. Over-scheduling your time regularly may be causing you more stress than you realize, and a day or two "off" from your typical style might just be enough to refresh you.
  3. Try writing at a different time of the day if your deadlines would allow for it. If you're normally a morning person, try writing late at night and see how it affects your productivity, quality, and style. If you're normally a night owl, try the early bird approach once in a while.

Nothing's worse than being a bored freelancer, because procrastinating is just too easy without a boss looking over your shoulder.  If you're feeling less than enthused about your writing at any point, make the effort to mix things up and do things in a different way. You may be surprised to find that other methods, styles, and times actually work better for you.

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Jennifer Mattern is a professional blogger, freelance business writer, consultant, and indie author. She runs numerous websites & blogs including All Freelance Writing, Freelance Writing Pros, NakedPR, and Kiss My Biz.

Jenn has 25 years' experience as a professional writer and editor and over 20 years' experience in marketing and PR (working heavily in digital PR, online marketing, social media, SEO, new media, and thought leadership publication). She also has 19 years' professional blogging and web publishing experience (including web development) and around 18 years of experience as an indie author / publisher.

Jenn also writes fiction under multiple pen names and is an Active member of the Horror Writers Association.

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