7 Daily Productivity Hacks for Freelance Writers

As a freelance writer, your day is a busy one. You have to write articles for your blog (If you have one), you need to deliver clients’ work on time, social media campaign is also on the standby, you need to guest post, improve your social proof, and so on.

But the truth is that, you have just 24 hours to take these actions. You’re overwhelmed, you complain, in fact you regret the day you joined the freelance writing world. Today, that is over. With these daily productivity hacks, your day as a freelance writer will never be the same again.

Let’s go:

  1. The earlier the better:

    You need to start writing early as a freelance writer. Writing earlier in the day gives you the best output always. Research has shown that, creativity peaks in the morning, as the creative connections in our brains are most active then. The early morning is the ideal time for you to generate new thoughts and ideas. If you wish to be more creative daily as a freelance writer, you need to consider this. Wake up early, and start writing

  2. Set out a roadmap:

    A roadmap gives you a breakdown of what to write in an article. This could be breaking your write-up, into the drafting, first, second and the redrafting stages. Without a roadmap, your writing will not flow, thus slowing down your productivity. In fact, you tend to be doing everything at a time. You’re writing, jotting down points, editing (All at the same time!). With a clear writing roadmap, you know what to write, how to write, where and when to write. Remember, he who fails to plan, plans to fail.

  3. Just write:

    As easy as this seems, it is the most difficult task for freelance writers (Yours sincerely, inclusive). Admit it, it is difficult for you to write, and just focus on writing alone. You want to multitask (Social media campaigns, Research, and pitching clients etc.) at the same time. A 2009 Unanimous Stanford University research found out that people who chronically multitask show an enormous range of deficits. They’re basically terrible at all sorts of cognitive tasks. If you want to surcharge your daily productivity as a freelance writer, ditch other activities when writing, and just write.

  4. You’re good, be better:

    Have you noticed that your writing speed determines the number of words you write daily? As a freelance writer, you need to up your typing skills, if you want a productive day. While you might have all the great ideas in your head, if you suck at typing, it will affect your output. You need consistent practice using the right tools to become better at this. If your typing is approximately 30 words per minute presently, you need to work harder on it to boost your productivity. Typing improves your productivity, be better at it.

  5. Take breaks:

    Writing is a lonely and arduous task. Imagine yourself sitting down all day in front of the computer, and doing nothing but writing/typing. In some hours, you will be worked out, and might be experiencing eye strains. When this happens, the best thing to do is to take breaks. Walk away from your computer, go play with your buddies around, your kids/wife (if you do have), take snacks to freshen up and go back to work. According to Fast Company, breaks must be prioritised at work because it keep us from getting bored, help us retain information and re-evaluate our goals. Take a break while writing, it aids productivity.

  6. Adequate sleep aids a lot:

    Sleep deprivation is something you need to look into if you want to remain productive as a freelance writer. The National Sleep Foundation in 2015, recommends an average of 7-8 hours of sleep per day for an adult. You need to ask yourself, how much sleep do I take daily? Arianna Huffington in her book, The Sleep Revolution opines that we are in the midst of a sleep deprivation crisis, which has profound consequences – on our health, job performance, relationships and happiness. Sleep adequately and you will transform your freelance writing career one night at a time.

  7. Prayer:

    Prayer, it is said is the key. It helps create a focus in you for the day, and aids your productivity a lot. While this depends on your religion, do not forget to pray before you get your day started. With prayer, you are able to overcome mental blocks that could hinder your progress during the day. The grace of God cannot be over-emphasised too. So pray, and figure out how it will aid your productivity.

There you have it

Your daily productivity matters a lot as a freelance writer. When you fail in this, your freelance writing career is adversely affected. With these hacks, you will see how your productivity as a freelance writer will increase too. Don’t just go through them, take actions and quadruple your productivity.

Over to You

Which of these productivity hacks, do you use the most, and what experience do you have with them? Do make your submissions in the comment box below.

Revealed: The Best and only Way to learn Writing

Everybody wants to be a writer. I have seen no one who isn’t interested in writing. Because everyone wants to write, many are bemused about where to start. They want to know the best way to learn writing. Few days ago, I met someone who read some of the posts on my blog. He was so enthusiastic and told me: “Shehu, what are the secrets to writing.” To him, there are secrets writers hide from their audience.

Likewise, two days ago, a high school friend of mine called after a long time. At the end of our discussion he said: “Shehu, I visited your blog days ago, and I am impressed by what you do. Though I find it easy to express myself in speech, it’s always difficult for me to write.” He confessed.

This is happening  within a week. These and many more are questions I get from friends, family members, colleagues and readers of my blog.

Writing is both difficult and easy. Your perception to it matters and goes a long way in shaping you.

Today, I am revealing the best and only one way to learn writing.Before that, let me make three shocking revelations:

 

  1. You have no excuses for not writing:

    Most at times, whenever you are asked about writing and why you have not started writing. It’s easy to bring up one thousand and one excuses. These excuses may include: Lack of talent, No adequate writing resources, Lack of mentors, Writing is difficult, There’s no time to write etc. While most of these excuses are true, it’s true that even with all these, you will still make excuses.

Peter elbow, while making his submission on this in his book, Writing without Teachers, aptly puts it thus:

People without education say, “If only I had education I could write.” People with education say, “If only I had talent, I could write.” People with education and talent say, “If only I had self-discipline I could write.” People with education, talent and self-discipline – and there are plenty of them who can’t write – say, “If only …” and don’t know what to say next. Of course, you can make excuses for not writing but there are none actually.

  1. Writing is your right:

    Yes, you heard me right. It’s your right to write, and it’s only when you write that you can claim your right. Without writing, you’ll lose your right to be right, but when you write you’ll become right.

Abdullahi Muhammed in his book, Your right to write puts it this way:

A lot of people are so scared to assert their right to write. I was scared too. Very much frightened. How could I call myself a writer? I had no Degree or certificate to show for it. I feared I could be challenged. That I was only pretending. That I was a serial impostor. Maybe you are, too. But in actual fact, you need no certification to write. It’s a right you’ve always had …your birth right. If you write, you’ll be right. Go a step further and author… that’s how to become an authority. Whatever you conceive, and solemnly believe, you can achieve.

  1. No barriers to Writing:

    If there is any profession that gives everybody the freewill to do whatever they want to do, in the best way they can do it, irrespective of their backgrounds, then writing comes first. There is no barrier to becoming a writer irrespective of your discipline. What matters most is your ability to learn how to write and writing always. Many great writers today, never studied Arts or Humanities in College or University. Though studying these related courses is good, but not studying them isn’t a barrier. I love the way Seth Godin puts it: “The biggest challenge is that there are no barriers. If you want to do it, go do it. Ideas worth spreading, spread.” And I say: “If you want to write, just write. Ideas worth writing, write”

Now, you know that:

  • No barriers to writing
  • Writing is your right
  • You have no excuses for not writing.

 

Then, what’s the best and only way to learn writing.

If I may ask you:

What’s the best way to learn how to walk? Walking, isn’t it?

What’s the best way to learn how to speak? Speaking, right?

What’s the best way to learn how to cook? Cooking, am I correct?

So, the best and only way to learn writing is:

Writing

Writing, and

Writing.

There are no two ways about it.

It is only when you write that you can master the art of writing.

Hear this:

If you read the best of books on writing

Possess the best resources that can aid your writing career

Subscribe to blogs that can make you a better write

Attend writing conferences to equip you better.

Does these actions make you a writer?
Definitely not.

The truth about writing is that, if you don’t write, you are not a writer.

So, if you want to learn writing, you need to write.

Stop procrastination. Pick up your pen right now and write.

The first draft might look messy and frightening, but that’s the best way to go. When you write, you learn and master it. But if you fail to write, you can never learn writing. Proficiency isn’t what you need now. You need to start. When you start, you learn and become better.

On a Final Note

Writing is a daunting, time-consuming and lonely task I admit. But if you wish to learn it, you need to start writing. It’s only when you write, that you can be called a writer. When you write, you claim your right. When you author, you become an authority.

Over to you:

What are the fears you have about writing? How has writing made you a better writer? Make your submissions in the comment box.

So you want to write? 10 Ways to get started

Hey Shehu, I want to be a Writer. I love writing but it’s difficult for me to start, what can I do?

Whenever I write, I feel my writing is not fascinating enough, do you face that too?

I have written many articles in the past, but I am afraid to share it with the public, what’s your advice on this? And the list is endless.

These are some of the questions I get from readers of my blog, friends and colleagues. Though they are passionate about writing, but don’t know how to start.

get started writing
get started writing

Let me tell you this: “While some believe that writers are born, others believe that they are made”. Irrespective of your belief, writing is an art that can be learnt and improved upon when you follow the right guides and learn from great writers.

So Today, I will share a 10 step guide, that can ease your writing career, and make it easier for you to write despite the challenges you face.

  1. The hard part is beginning: Writing is a herculean task I admit. It’s always difficult to write and even more difficult to continue writing. But the hard part of writing is writing. You should write regardless of whatever you’re facing or the content you churn out at first. The most important thing is to write. “Good writers write regardless of the content”. As soon as you begin your writing, everything will fall in place.

  2. Follow your writing process: Every writer has a process he or she follows. This is a routine that comes naturally, and not a step-by-step guide. The processes you follow while writing include the following
  • Pre-writing (Where you find your idea, build on it, plan and structure it)
  • Writing (In this stage, you write, concentrate more and avoid distractions)
  • Revision (At this stage you add, remove, rearrange and replace). Then, the editing and the publishing processes. When you follow these processes, writing becomes much easier and your contents are of more quality. You can read more about these processes here and here.
  1. Reading: Reading is important for writers. Good writers are avid readers. When you read, you equip yourself with the right words, vocabularies etc. you need to find time to read always as a writer, and it’s not limited to particular topics. You not only read, but read wide too. When you inculcate the habit of reading as a writer, you’ll see yourself becoming better at it.
  2. Learning: While it’s necessary to read always as a writer. That does not suffice only, as you need to learn too. As a writer, you need to learn about the usage of grammar, how to write compelling sentences, punctuation, spelling, etc. When you read, and complement it with learning, you are sure to super-charge your write-ups quality always.
  3. Researching: As a writer, you should be able to make lots of research always. Researches help your writing by making it more apt, qualitative, informative and factual. As a writer, you should research always even on topics you can write about. This helps you to improve the quality of your contents, and shows how deep your understanding of the topic is. So whenever you want to write, research first.
  4. Time: If you seriously want to increase the quality of your write-up, then you should dedicate time to it. Without dedicating time to writing, it will be difficult to produce quality contents always. Writing is time-consuming, and the more time you spend on it the better. Many wannabe writers are not one today, because they find it difficult to find time to write. Find a time to write always.Motivation photo
  5. Start small: One thing you must know is that, when you write you shouldn’t be keen on doing everything at once. Do not think you can start today, and be able to churn out Thousands of words within a few hours. As a beginner, you need to start from somewhere depending on what works best for you. Start small and move up the ladder.
  6. Practice: Practice makes perfection, they say. As a writer, you should practise always to become better. Never assume you can become a better writer without practicing. Yes, you become better by writing, and you write by practicing. Practice daily with few words, and see how far it’ll go in improving you. Write 300, 500, 750 words at least daily. Resources like 750 words, Twords and Daily Page are good for this purpose.
  7. Motivation: When you motivate yourself, it helps you to write better. Lack of motivation is something that can hunt you as a writer. Because when you are not motivated, you’re not spurred to write. As a Writer, the first step to motivating yourself is by sharing your writing with your readers, for appraisal and comments. When they do this, it helps you since you are sure someone is reading what you write. Likewise, you can motivate yourself in a negative way too. Whenever you write have it in mind that, someone will learn and be motivated by what you do. But if you don’t, your ideas will perish with you. Motivate yourself always.
  8. Discipline: As a writer, you need to be disciplined to succeed. Without discipline you will find out that, you’ll not achieve your goals. With a lot of distractions on the social media these days, you must be disciplined to follow your routines and schedules. It’s discipline that makes you to write when you have an interesting movie to watch, or an online hangout with your friends. When you are disciplined, you’ll improve your writing.

On a Final Note

As I addressed in this post, writing is something you cannot do without in the world today. There is no alternative to it. Since it is a necessity, you not only need to learn how to do it, but doing it well matters most. As it is said: “What is worth doing, is worth doing well”. With these guides, be sure to see yourself writing quality content always.

Over to you

Which of these guides, do you practise the most, and how has it helped your writing career. Make your submissions in the comment box.

Sidestep your fears: Why You should start Writing Today

“If you don’t want to be forgotten as soon as you are dead and rotten in the grave, either write something worth reading or do something worth Writing.”- Benjamin Franklin

It’s common to see wannabe writers, afraid of starting a writing career. While many are afraid because of the notion that writing is hard. Others think that they do not have the requisite skills to command a clout of active followers. Not only that, many others do not know why they should start writing.

Today, I want you to sidestep your fears and do nothing but writing. I am revealing in this post, reasons why you should pick up your pen, switch on your computer, and start writing.

Sidestep your fears and start writing today

But before that; let me tell you this:

“Without a good writing skill, you’ll be doing yourself more harm than good.”

Reference.com puts it this way: “Writing is an important part of life, whether in the workplace or school, as a hobby or in personal communication. This skill helps the writer express feelings and thoughts to other people in a relatively permanent form”

Likewise Skillsyouneed describes writing thus: “Writing skills are an important part of communication.  Good writing skills allow you to communicate your message with clarity and ease to a far larger audience than through face-to-face or telephone conversations.”

As you can see, Writing is an essential part of our daily life, there’s hardly a day whereby you’ll not meet writing.  Be it in College, University, Workplace, and Conversation via Social Media and the list is endless.

Still thinking of writing? Here are 7 reasons why you should:

  1. It expresses your personality: In writing, you express your thoughts and personal convictions. So when you write, it demonstrates who you are as a person. Writing is a personality booster and shows your audience what/how/why you think/believe in whatever you write. As a reader of this post, you should decipher that I believe you need not only acquire a writing skill but do nothing today, than to start writing.
  2. It gives you credibility: Writing makes it easy for your audience to believe in you and want to relate with you. When you are a writer, you automatically express your thoughts which makes your audience see you as someone who is credible. It makes them see you as someone who is intelligent and can be trusted. Even in colleges, universities and schools writers tend to get higher grades and seen as more intelligent than their less literary counterparts.
  3. It aids Networking: Writing travels farther than you, and makes it easy for those who won’t have heard of you, revere and want to associate with you. With a good writing skill, you will meet new people, go places, and have memorable experiences. Many popular writers in the world today, have only gotten that privilege because they write. If you want to network with the right people today, start writing.
  4. It’s an essential job skill: Employers place a high value on sharp writing skills. There is hardly any job today that doesn’t need you to write. You need to write a report, grant application or press release, exchange e-mails with your colleagues, etc. So, you need a good writing skill to enable you do that. Without one, you might not be able to get a job. It might even be difficult to get along with your colleagues (if you have one). According to Grammarly, major companies spend upwards of US$3 billion (£1.8bn) per year training their employees to bring their writing abilities up to scratch.
  5. It’s a profession: Writing is a profession. If you are a Journalist, public relations professional etc., you need to start writing because it’s your profession. For these professions, you need to write because that is what you do. Apart from these professions that traditionally need writing, other professions do too. Thus, if you dream to work as a professional in these fields, you need to write.
  6. Means of communication: Before the advent of the internet, many people communicate via the telephones. We can say then that it is easy to defy writing. But today, writing has become the major means of communication between persons, businesses and organisations. With emails, notes, tweets, texts and so on. It’s hard for you to communicate without writing. Communicating via this platform can hinder or boost your career, relationship, networking etc. Remember, good writing leads to good communication.
  7. You can make a living: Of course, you can make a living writing, and affecting others’ lives positively. Many writers, bloggers, freelancers and so on are earning a decent living just by writing. Some writers and bloggers make six figures and more monthly writing Of course it’s not a day’s job but with efforts, perseverance and persistence you’ll join them. And the most interesting part is that, making a living from your writing not only gives you freedom, you can continue earning forever.
Start writing today
Start writing today

Why not sidestep your fears?

“It always seems impossible until it’s done.” says Nelson Mandela. It’s always difficult to start, easy to procrastinate, and easier to dream of becoming a writer. Why not sidestep your fears today, ignite your passion and follow it up with actions. Definitely you will become a writer who will enjoy these benefits and more.

Over to you:

What other reasons do you have, for choosing to become a writer? And what are your fears of not yet becoming one? Make your submissions in the comment box.