How to create a freelance writing schedule that boosts your productivity

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As a freelance writer, it’s easy to start the day with lofty goals, only to find that by dinnertime all you’ve done is catch up with fifth-grade BFFs on Facebook, play with your cat and write a half-baked outline of a piece you were hoping to finish.

That’s where a schedule comes into play.

As much as freelance writing is about freedom and writing award-winning articles in your pajamas, it’s also about discipline and structure. And it all begins with your schedule.

Having a daily schedule that outlines what you’re supposed to do at specific times — and sticking to it — is how you become a productive, powerful freelance force to be reckoned with. So here are some tips for creating a freelance writing schedule that will help to boost your productivity:
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10 ways to overcome doubt, insecurity and fear as a freelance writer

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Being a freelance writer is like having to ask someone out every day for the rest of your life. Not only do you face rejection on a regular basis, but you face rejection of the most personal aspects of yourself — your words and ideas. It’s the emotional equivalent of standing naked in front of the world and saying, “So, what do you think?”

Clearly, a little doubt, insecurity and fear in this scenario is only natural. But letting those negative feelings control you and crush your goals and plans is not an option. So here are 10 strategies to overcome doubt, fear and insecurity and get into action as a freelance writer:

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7 more tips for success as a freelance writer

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While there’s no magic formula for success as a freelance writer, there are specific things you need to do to succeed. Here are the key actions that have helped me to advance in my career, and should help you do the same:

1) Build relationships: Nearly every opportunity I’ve had came about because I knew someone who helped me get my foot in the door at publication X. From that point on it was up to me to prove myself, but a relationship helped me get that first shot.

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Tips for getting published as a freelance writer

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So you’re ready to make the leap and get published in something besides your blog or church newsletter. You’re probably excited, anxious and slightly confused at the same time, overwhelmed by all of the possibilities and wondering where to begin. Having been one of those excited, anxious and slightly confused writers, I have lots of advice to offer. While I’ll save the mechanics of writing a pitch for another post, I do want to give you some general advice on getting published and building a thriving freelance writing career.

For starters, I’d suggest you buy Jenna Glatzer’s book “Make a Real Living as a Freelance Writer.” It covers all the basics of building a freelance writing business and has some excellent info on pitching.

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Where to find freelance writing work: Websites, job boards and newsletters

If you’re a freelance writer in search of work — and really, what freelance writer isn’t? — try these options:

Craigslist – The obvious source for freelance writing work, and just about anything else you can think of. Remember that when searching for writing/editing jobs in the city of your choice, also check out “Writing” under the “gigs” section for more writing work.

My experience: I’ve scored lots of paid writing gigs on Craiglist, from magazine work to writing press releases. My secret to success lies in following the following tips.

 

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9 things you need to succeed as a freelance writer

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To make a successful living as a freelance writer, you’ll need some key basics in your arsenal. Some of them are tangible and others, not so much, but they’re all necessary to making a steady living in the independent, creative, and sometimes unpredictable world of freelance writing.

In no particular order, here’s what I’ve found you need to succeed as a freelance writer:

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