Living the life of a freelance writer sounds pretty cool. You don’t have to get up at an ungodly hour to go to work. You don’t have to spend hours commuting. Heck, you don’t even have to get dressed!
That being said, freelance life comes with it’s own unique set of challenges. Here are some things that have helped me transition to from a desk job to freelance life…while staying organized, healthy and inspired!
Keep a Calendar
Although this seems obvious and maybe even trivial, this is hugely helpful. I use an old school planner, plus I input important events into my phone’s calendar. The “ting ting” reminder sound on my phone always gets my attention. Being able to visualize my week helps me manage my time and stay on track for deadlines.
OneNote is a project manager’s best friend and I thought that it belonged in the corporate world. That is until I read this great blog post about writers using OneNote. Boom! I was hooked.
Whatever method you chose, keeping your thoughts organized helps put structure around the chaos of freelance life.
Being creative people, I think we tend to drift off on tangents and sometimes lose focus. Building habits helps me stay on task and get things done. My daily routine? I get up, make coffee, shower, get dressed and eat breakfast. Once I do all those things, then my mind and body are ready to work.
Get Your Heart Rate Up
There are so many studies and articles that support the positive effects of exercise. Not only is exercise good for your overall health, it can also boost creativity and productivity. Whether you go to a yoga studio or gym, run, or work out at home, exercise is an important part of being a healthy freelance writer.
Eat Good Food
No, I don’t mean comfort food. I mean healthy food! Just like fuel grade effects engine performance, the food you put into your body affects how well you work. Sticking to a clean diet helps retain the energy and focus that is needed to be successful. It’s science.
Don’t Become a Hermit
Although it’s nice to work from home, sometimes I spend too much time at home. It’s easy to do, believe me. Take my advice…Go out. Work at a coffee shop. Take a yoga class (yay exercise!). Even better, go to a critique group and discuss writing with your peers.
Watch Great Movies
OK, this may sound contrary to “don’t become a hermit,” but I find watching movies to be very influential on my work. Whether you’re writing marketing copy or working on a novel, great films inspire great storytelling.
A Note on Staying Productive: Just like fear is the mind killer, Facebook is the productivity killer. When you need to buckle down and meet a deadline, turn off social media sites and stop yourself from aimlessly browsing online.
How do YOU stay organized, healthy and inspired? I would love to hear how other freelance writers are doing.