Category: productivity

Digital Nomad Lifestyle Tips: A Mobile Writer’s Productivity Hacks

Digital Nomad Lifestyle Tips: A Mobile Writer’s Productivity Hacks

Digital Nomad Lifestyle Tips: A Mobile Writer's Productivity Hacks.

Are you a writer who dreams of living the digital nomad lifestyle?

You know–flitting around the globe indulging your travel lust, seeing amazing vistas or visiting the trendiest cities. While also writing your assignments wherever/whenever you want, working remotely, and still earning what you need to cover the cost of your adventures.

I feel like we’ve all been heavily sold the digital nomad dream. How many pictures have you seen on social media of someone with a laptop, blissfully writing on the beach in a hammock? Maybe you’ve wondered whether this is a pipe dream, or if you could really make it as a digital nomad.

Well, I bring you a real-life report from the field. After a decade helping other writers live wherever they wanted, I’ve finally become a digital nomad myself! My husband and I graduated the last kid from high school, bought the RV, and took off to travel in a COVID-safe way. We’ve done several short trips, and are now traveling for at least three months, nonstop.

To be clear, this is not a post about how to squeeze in a little writing time during your vacation–or how to work ahead so you can leave the laptop home and really enjoy your time off. (Got tips for you on those subjects here.)

Digital nomads adopt a lifestyle of fairly constant travel, while we work. In our case, in the first month of our trip alone, we stayed in 19 different places. All while I continued meeting deadlines for four different writing clients. As I write this, we’re riding out a snowy Seattle winter in sunny Santa Barbara, and loving every minute of it. Here’s an SB sunrise I shot, to give you an idea (all shots in this post by me):

Lack Writing Motivation? Try This Powerful Switch-Up

Lack Writing Motivation? Try This Powerful Switch-Up

Writing motivation: Do you really want to be a freelance writer?

If you find it tough to get psyched up to write, this post is for you. I recently received a letter from a new writer hoping I could help her find more writing motivation:

I’m Sherin from Indonesia, it’s such a pleasure to find you as someone I can look up to. I’ve been saying to myself that, I really want to be a writer. And I’m very passionate about being a freelance writer, especially in content writing and maybe in proofreading. I know I need to plan how am I going to do that, but I feel lack of confidence and I don’t really know where to start.

I think this will be a good opportunity to make my own income too. I’m still a student supported by my parents. But I just love the image of standing independently. Anyway, I am so sorry to bother you. I know that I need to have some good skill to become a freelance writer, and to become skilled, I need to learn and practice. And I don’t know how to do that.

Can you give me some tips or maybe some motivation?

Letters like this make me want to cry. Because I’m dedicated to helping freelance writers earn more!

I want to have tips and useful info for you. (And ESL writer or not, writers write in every language and there are clients all over the world, so any grammar errors you spot above are not important here.)

What’s the trouble then? When you ask me to give you some motivation, I’ve got nothing.

Blogger Burnout? 8 Expert Strategies Help You to Stay Fired Up

Blogger Burnout? 8 Expert Strategies Help You to Stay Fired Up

8 Strategies to Avoid Freelance Blogger Burnout.

Are you suffering from blogger burnout?

Although blogging for clients can help you make a living writing, it can also be time-consuming and sometimes tedious work.

This is true whether you blog for yourself or you write blog posts for freelance clients.

The process of blogging also comes with a few hazards. Some are easy to get over, such as the occasional writer’s block.

But others, like blogger burnout, can be enough to kill your blog or your writing career.

  • Ever felt like quitting your blog?
  • Or maybe you’ve stumbled across an abandoned blog that hasn’t been updated in months or years?

Chances are pretty good blogger burnout is to blame.

This is certainly not surprising when you consider that over 75% of people have gone through burnout at work.

You know…where you hate your job, roll around on the floor all day, and feel like you can’t muster a single brain cell to write another word.

Sound familiar? That’s blogger burnout.

Whether you write for your own blog, or blog for clients, here are 8 ways to avoid and overcome blogger burnout.

Productivity Tips for Writers: Change These 3 Mind-Mush Habits

Productivity Tips for Writers: Change These 3 Mind-Mush Habits

Productivity Tips for Writers to Prevent Mind Mush.

Looking for productivity tips to be a better writer?

Maybe you’ve got a looming deadline.

You just landed a brand new client.

Or you’re finally ready to start reaching out to potential freelance writing prospects.

And you think some productivity tips or time-management secrets might help you get more work done.

But instead, your brain keeps churning some kind of mind-mush stew of:

  • Ideas
  • Deadlines
  • What-ifs
  • Self-doubts
  • Your attempt to balance work, family and maybe even a social life

That ever happen?

When you’re a serious freelance writer, it’s hardly the sip-tea-and-stare-out-the-window kind of experience a lot of non-writers think it is.

There’s a lot of work to do. And you can work yourself into a frenzy with freelancing and everything else going on in your life.

But that’s not a smart way to work. Believe me, as a freelance writer, entrepreneur, and mom with kids, I know what it’s like.

If you want to move up and earn more, you may need to change the way you think.

Check out these productivity tips to clear your mind and be a better freelancer.

Writing Habits: 9 No-Burnout Practices During a Recession

Writing Habits: 9 No-Burnout Practices During a Recession

No-Burnout Writing Habits for Stressed Freelancers.

Man, what a year. A deadly pandemic, an explosive election, fires, floods: a pervasive sense of anxiety. It’s the kind of thing that can unravel all your good writing habits.

What are the writing habits that have carried you through this year?

Wait…are you just winging it? Hustling every day trying to keep up?

It’s understandable that you might want to withdraw from commitment, slip into bad writing habits, let your goals slide.

Understandable…but not useful.

Crappy times do carry psychological—and practical—weight. I write for many different publications, and regularly send out queries. It’s one of the essential writing habits to build your freelance career:

But over the last several months, more and more I’ve been getting responses like this:

  • We no longer have a freelance budget.
  • We’ve cut staff and might be a while getting back to you.
  • We are ceasing publication.
  • Or more often yet, no reply at all.

Sound familiar?

I’m no therapist, but I know some writing habits and approaches to avoid burnout.

Things may stay rotten for a while, but there are some coping mechanisms that can keep you afloat. And they don’t have to involve vodka and bon-bons for breakfast.

Looking for some writing habits to help you stay sane and be a productive freelancer?

Here are some often-overlooked methods to help you stay on track:

Write Faster With This Productivity Checklist for Freelancers

Write Faster With This Productivity Checklist for Freelancers

The Productivity Checklist to Write Faster.

Want to know how to write faster and get more work done?

You know…so you can have a life, spend time with family and friends.

Maybe take a vacation, carve out some time for hobbies, and actually enjoy the freedom and flexibility of being a freelance writer.

Sure, improving your typing speed can help you write faster.

But that’s really not what keeps you from getting work done, checking projects off your to-do list, and making more money as a freelancer.

Chances are pretty good it’s your environment…

  • A desk or computer cluttered with papers or digital files.
  • A million random projects in the works with notes and ideas scattered all over the place.
  • Your phone and computer buzzing with an endless stream of notifications and reminders.
  • A random always-working schedule mixed with other activities and obligations

When you’re always in Hair-On-Fire mode as a freelance writer, productivity suffers, you miss deadlines, you forget about marketing. Creativity suffers, and it’s hard to write faster.

Sound familiar?

Tired of feeling like an overwhelmed and stressed out freelance writer? Use this checklist to get organized, create a plan for freelance success, and write faster.

Writing at Home? 7 Time-Saving Tips from a Productivity Expert

Writing at Home? 7 Time-Saving Tips from a Productivity Expert

Expert Productivity Tips for Writing at Home.

Let’s face it. When you’re writing at home, there’s potential for distractions, time wasters, and lost productivity.

Kids, laundry, dirty dishes. Without a boss looking over your shoulder, there’s potential for getting sucked into a digital diet of social media when you’re supposed to be writing at home.

And then there’s days spent rolling around on the floor, doubting your skills, wasting valuable time you could spend on writing and marketing.

Sound familiar?

Even the most successful freelance writers have their own stories to tell about writer’s block, self-doubt, and time-wasting activities that get in the way of writing at home and making money.

Are you programmed to fail? Are you better off working a 9-to-5 where someone tells you what to do every minute of the day? Or are there some things you can do to boost productivity and be more creative to make a living writing?

Ready to take a closer look at what’s going on inside your head? Check out these time-saving tips from the guy who wrote the book Productivity for Creative People.

Productivity Tips: How One Pro Cranks Out 2 Novels a Year

Productivity Tips: How One Pro Cranks Out 2 Novels a Year

Productivity Tips for Writers From a Pro Novelist.

Ever wonder what productivity tips help some writers crank out a ton of content?

You know…maybe it seems like it takes you forever to write a blog post, an article, or a letter of introduction.

And while you’re struggling, there seems to be other writers who keep churning out great content…and making more money. Yes?

So what’s the secret? Is there some mysterious book of productivity tips you haven’t heard about? Or some sinister plot to keep those secrets hidden from freelancers trying to move up and earn more?

If the thought has crossed your mind, you’re not alone.

So what if you could peek inside the mind of a highly-productive writer and learn their productivity tips for success?

You might see your own journey as a freelancer a little differently. Maybe even shed some old habits, change the story you’re telling yourself, and get more work done.

Looking for productivity tips? Here’s how one freelance writer cranks out two novels a year, publishes a weekly newsletter, and inspires hope for freelance writers everywhere…

Freelance Writing Funk? 3 Mindless Productivity Hacks from a Pro

Freelance Writing Funk? 3 Mindless Productivity Hacks from a Pro

Mindless Productivity Hacks for Freelance Writing.

In a freelance writing funk? When your blank screen looks like a yawning abyss, it’s a telltale sign.

You don’t even want to approach the edge of that first line. All that emptiness reminds you of how far you have to go to get to the other side.

Despair sets in. Your mind reels. Productivity tanks. And your freelance writing well goes dry.

Sound familiar? It doesn’t have to be like that.

There’s a way to get any freelance writing project to go from bud to blossom to bouquet.

For years, I’ve used three unique productivity hacks to blunt the fangs of writer’s block, get more work done, and make a living writing.

It’s how I’ve published a novel and landed assignments for magazines like Forbes, the Los Angeles Times, Vox, Popular Mechanics, WIRED, and many others.

If you’re in a freelance writing funk, feel like you don’t have any good ideas, or it’s taking you eons to write content, it’s time to let your mind go.

Here are three ways to become a more productive writer.

Positive Thoughts for Writers: 10 Powerful Ways to End the Hurt

Positive Thoughts for Writers: 10 Powerful Ways to End the Hurt

Positive Thoughts for Freelance Writers.

Got a question for you: When’s the last time you cut yourself a break, as a freelance writer? If you’re all smack-talk and no compliments when you look in the mirror, I have some positive thoughts I’d like you to adopt.

It’s time to give yourself the same level of loving care you’d give any struggling stranger on the street.

That’s right — it’s time to practice self-compassion.

It’s a classic paradox that writers are commonly sensitive people, yet we’re also often very hard on ourselves.

Sound familiar?

If that’s you, it’s time to change course and practice self-compassion. Honestly, stop torturing yourself! #justwhy

Life’s too short to spend your precious moments beating up on yourself. Too short to dwell on negative thoughts about what you haven’t done, or how much you need to improve your speed or your craft.

Consider self-compassion a productivity shortcut. When you feel better about yourself, it’s easier to sit down and get the writing done.

How can you practice self-compassion and get the positive thoughts flowing? I’ve boiled down my top 10 self-care tips into a handy infographic you can download and keep:

Writing Skills: Steal My Efficiency Hacks to Hit Your Target Word Count

Writing Skills: Steal My Efficiency Hacks to Hit Your Target Word Count

Steal These Writing Skills to Hit Your Word Count.

Are you tired of trying to draft a 1,000-word article, only to find your first draft clocks in at 3,000 words? Then it’s time to gain some new writing skills and learn how to write to length.

A reader recently asked me if I had a resource on how to hit your word count, and I realized I didn’t.

Which is silly, because I had to write to assigned length on 3-4 print stories a week for 12 years, as a staff writer. Not to mention the hundreds of short blog posts I’ve written for clients since I got back into freelancing in 2005.

And then there was that one hard-ass editor at Entrepreneur who would refuse to read my draft if it was more than 10% over assigned length. Period. THAT schooled me, for sure!

Got some writing tips to share with you on how to avoid time-wasting and overwriting in your writing process.

Ready for a simple system to avoid overwriting? Let’s go! Here are 10 key steps to cut the blather and make sure your first draft is close to target length.

Fire Up Your First Draft: 10 Time-Saving Ways to Boost Writing Speed

Fire Up Your First Draft: 10 Time-Saving Ways to Boost Writing Speed

The Blazing-Fast Way to Boost Writing Speed.

Are you struggling to boost your writing speed?

You’re not alone. Cranking out a first draft is agony for many freelance writers. It can kill your productivity and suck the joy out of your work. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

I used to hate first drafts, too. I could sweat for hours over one paragraph. Hours! My writing speed was so terrible, I even quit freelance writing for a while. Don’t do that, OK?

When I came back to freelance writing after a long break, I had a new attitude—and a new skill set. I learned how to triple my writing speed. I’m happier, I’m a better writer, and I make more money in less time.

No matter how slow, scared, and perfectionistic you are, you can light up your first-draft writing speed.

It’s not a mysterious, magical gift. It’s a skill, just like knowing where to put the commas or how to pitch an editor. And the better you get at it, the more you can earn.

Ready to fire up your first-draft writing speed? Check out these ten tips to write faster.

Looking for writing courses & community support?

Our online community, Freelance Writers Den, was founded in 2011. Since then, we’ve helped 14,000+ writers connect with peers, improve their skills, and grow their freelance writing income.

Our lively community is stuffed with useful tools and career-building resources. Use our 24/7 forums to get your questions answered by pros. Tap our 300+ hours of self-study trainings to learn new skills.

The Den has live events and multi-week bootcamps where you can tap experts’ knowledge, an exclusive job board, accountability buddies, live chats, and more. Also, if you want feedback on your writer website, LinkedIn profile, or article draft, we’ve got you.

Visit the Freelance Writers Den site to see if we’re open for new members right now. Sign up on the waiting list if we’re not, and you’ll be first to join when we reopen (plus, you’ll get useful free resources in the meanwhile).