Since I’ve taken on this new project, I’ve realized that now more than ever I need to make myself a schedule. I talked a bit about the balance in my Balancing Multiple Hats post. This contact position is more content and social media heavy than I have taken on prior, but I’m ready for the challenge and I think that the key to success is how I schedule my time.
While the time I have to write varies daily, I’ve sat down and made myself tangible goals to ensure I complete my tasks and that I’ve made the progress I need to stay on track.
- Writing Sprints: The best thing about Twitter is having a strong community of writers on my side. I completed my first of what will probably many more with the help of Jeanne (@jeannevb). Tuning out of social networks for a while and keeping the TV turned off resulted in a quite productive hour.
- Google Calendar: I am a huge fan of my tiny little pocket purse planner. I’ve decided to move into the technical age and input all of my meetings into the Google calendar that syncs with my Android. The automatic reminders of meetings are helpful.
- A Blank Journal: I love having one of these with me to write down my notes about a project, keep track of information and have with me at all times to write outlines and ideas on for pieces. It’s a great compact item to have with me during my commute because it fits in my bag. It enables me to utilize available time during a commute.
What are your favorite tools and tips that you use when you are working on a project? Give me some ideas in the comments!
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about my writing career. I’ve been starting to formulate a plan for the direction I’d like to take next year. But a lot of it involves taking risks.
I’ve been toying about working for myself or working contract projects and then moving on. The idea of working for myself and controlling what kind of writing I do is an appealing idea. I’d be working more, but heck, it would be for something I 100% enjoy doing.
I would love to write a children’s book and I’d love to do NaNoWriMo. Those things involve time that I haven’t figured out how to incorporate into my schedule.
There is not enough time in the day to pursue the writing I’d like to do and that’s why working for myself seems like a great option.
But then my rational side kicks in. Why would I not want to have full-time job that provides some sort of security? What if I go out on my own and something happens and I can’t pay my bills?
I know a lot of people who are working for themselves and there’s a divide. Have any of you taken the risk and gone out on your own? What were your experiences? Were they worth it?
Every freelance writer has struggled at one point or another with getting an editor to read their query. I’m consistenly tweaking with my query style and content to make it stand out amongst the competition in the freelance markeplace.
My eyes perked when I saw Spot.Us, Byliner, Atavist Are Showing Freelance Writers the Money come into my Twitter timeline via Shayla Thiel-Stern (@ProfessorShayla). The idea of having someone help me get my ideas into the hands of an editor at a large publication (I’m dying to see my name in print at Real Simple) sounded great. But then I read on.
While I agree that the face of freelancing is changing and that journalists need to adapt their networking processes to the Internet, I don’t feel that these sites are going to show me the money. How do you guarantee that once you put a story up on a site, say Spot.Us, that it isn’t stolen and written by another writer or a mainstream institution?
David Cohen writes: “And I think gigs or “gigging” will be the way freelancers turn their practice into a career in the future. Instead of pitching story to story, you’ll be working project to project or gig to gig.”
If this is true, and freelancers start working project to project, how many ideas will be lost because journalists will be signing on to already created projects? Yes, this is a way to make money and a way to have a successful career, but what happens to the gratification of seeing your idea come to life on paper?
I will admit that The Avatist did catch my eye. I think it is an ideal site for a journalist looking to publish a longer piece, but doesn’t quite have enough to create a book. If I had an idea I thought I could take to the next level, yes, this would be a site I would use.
Fellow writers, what do you think about this article and the idea of finding your next writing assignment through sites like Spot.Us, Byliner and The Avatist? Please leave your thoughts and ideas in the comments section.