As a contract author, I do know that maintaining a constant writing output is a key consider my profession.
The character of freelancing makes it very tempting to slack off some days, although I could really feel extraordinarily motivated throughout others.
Over time, I’ve give you a tried-and-tested schedule that I follow just about each week. This schedule has not solely helped me keep motivated extra constantly however has additionally had the welcomed impact of serving to me write 25,000 phrases every month… and typically extra.
And, whether or not you’re a freelancer like me or a full-time copywriter for an organization, there are apparent advantages to having the ability to sustain that sort of output every month.
The advantages of sticking to a writing schedule
Firstly, as I’ve already said, this schedule helped me keep motivated extra constantly, in all probability as a result of I used to be now not writing on a binge-purge cycle. I wasn’t utilizing tons of vitality some days and nil vitality different days. As a substitute, my inventive vitality was evenly distributed all through all the month.
Secondly, this schedule did one thing superb for me — it allowed me to take weekends off! As a result of I used to be forcing myself to be extra productive each weekday, I now use each weekend to calm down and recharge for the subsequent week. No brainstorming, no outlining and no writing. That’s weekday work.
And, lastly, this schedule helped me do one thing I ought to have finished way back: calculate my writing output every month. It’s fairly onerous to measure your success as a contract author while you don’t get issues like efficiency evaluations or annual targets. In case you work as a company author, you in all probability do get these issues, and this schedule will go hand-in-hand with these.
From the freelance aspect of issues, certain, you possibly can measure your success by the varieties of web sites and publications you add to your portfolio. However it’s onerous to determine when you’re enhancing in any manner over time.
Once I began utilizing this schedule and monitoring my writing output, I used to be writing about 20,000 phrases every month. Once I needed to tackle much more writing tasks, I tweaked my schedule to assist me hit 25,000 phrases. As a result of I now have knowledge to confirm that I’ve met this aim, I really feel much more assured that I’m shifting in the suitable route as a author.
Now, say you’re employed as a company author. Perhaps you write web site copy or do content material creation for an organization weblog. Sticking to a schedule just like the one I’m going to explain under has simply as many, if no more, advantages to you. Why? As a result of while you work for an organization, somebody’s normally measuring your efficiency.
Your boss doesn’t need to pay you when you’re not doing all your job, so that you in all probability have conferences and efficiency evaluations to debate your progress or potential for enchancment.
Are you aware what could be superior? Having the ability to step into these sorts of conferences and say, “Right here’s how a lot I wrote final month, and right here’s how a lot I wrote this month.” You may present the way you maintained your schedule, improved your output, and even how different tasks and hold-ups negatively affected you.
Having the information to again these claims up and a schedule to carry you accountable could make a giant distinction to higher-ups.
Prepared to present it a strive? Maintain studying to be taught the particular issues I do every day to drive my writing profession ahead, together with some suggestions that assist me follow the schedule. Right here’s my weekly writing schedule:
Monday: Write two 500-word articles & pitch new concepts to publications
To start out the week on a robust observe, I write two articles at 500 phrases every. Often, they find yourself being extra within the 600 to 700-word vary if my analysis and concepts are actually flowing. The matters for these items have typically already been established with my editors through the earlier week, so all I’ve to do is evaluate the story ideas we mentioned and get to it.
So far as pitching goes, I’ve a aim of spending a minimum of three hours each Monday discovering or interacting with new publications. Which means I’m both researching new locations to pitch, monitoring down editors’ contact information or digging by submission tips. As soon as I discover new web sites or different publications to pitch, I ship off some emails and possibly some preliminary story ideas, relying on the publication.
I break the time I spend pitching into three 60-minute blocks. I’ve discovered that size of time is sufficient to permit me to carry out a super-thorough analysis course of and never rush by a submission.
Tuesday: Write one 1,000-2,000-word article & make edits to articles that want them
As you’ll be able to see, the second day of my week sees me both matching or doubling my output from the day gone by.
Initially, which may appear a bit overwhelming however, when you’re like me, you’ll discover it’s not a lot of a change, particularly when you’re writing a few matter that issues to you.
Generally, although, you’ll in all probability discover it onerous to get within the zone. If the phrases simply aren’t flowing, give your self permission to take a break and work on some smaller tasks, as a substitute.
When the state of affairs requires it, I unfold longer items over a pair days (or typically weeks, relying on the story size). Bear in mind, we’re writers, not machines.
The one factor I be sure I by no means do although is to cease writing altogether once I grow to be pissed off as my output grinds to a halt. Often, it’s sufficient for me to step away from one intensive mission and become involved in one which’s not fairly so demanding. That straightforward, however the efficient method appears to make me really feel refreshed, recharged and able to write.
After I’ve finished some writing for the day, I cut up any modifying duties into six 30-minute segments. The one exception I make is doubtlessly spending extra time modifying one piece if it’s clear that devoting solely a half-hour to it at a time would break my focus. This enables me to make any revisions editors have prompt and get these items despatched again out for publication.
Wednesday: Repeat Monday’s schedule
On Wednesday, I adhere to my Monday schedule once more. My experiences alternating between shorter items and longer ones challenges my mind with out making me really feel swamped. Plus, taking the identical, common steps on Monday and Wednesday actually solidifies the sensation of getting a routine. Many well-known writers have adhered to schedules or do repetitive duties and discover it really works nicely for them.
I additionally like my Monday/Wednesday routine as a result of it makes me show to myself that I can at all times alternate shorter and longer items again to again.
Thursday: repeat Tuesday’s schedule
By this level of the week, I’m normally a minimum of barely bored with writing. Out of all the times of the week, Thursday is without doubt one of the hardest for me to leap in and get began on my tasks for the day.
I discover it helps to consider writing as a sort of psychological train, even when the subject isn’t particularly unique. Medical professionals discover that writing prompts a number of areas of the mind, so even when you’re simply writing about your organization’s newest PR marketing campaign, you’re nonetheless doing one thing good for your self.
Friday: Write one 500-word article & one 1,000-word article
Consider Fridays as a mixture of the opposite alternating brief and lengthy article days. By writing one in every of every, I stroll away from the top of the week feeling like there was some selection to my day, even when I did solely write two new tales.
Because it’s the top of the week, I additionally wish to spend half an hour to an hour simply getting my ideas and tasks to ensure that the week forward. Then it’s time to close down my laptop and get on with the weekend!
So, in case you weren’t counting, right here is my writing output utilizing this schedule:
Complete phrases written per week: 7,500Complete phrases per 30 days: 25,000-30,000
In case you comply with an analogous schedule, you need to have the ability to write a minimal of 25,000 phrases every month. Nevertheless, you possibly can simply hit 30,000, particularly by sharpening your analysis course of, turning into a extra cautious editor and being much more devoted to conserving your motivation ranges excessive.
I’m curious to know if my schedule works as nicely for you because it does for me. Give it a try to inform me what you assume!
I’ve even created an easy-to-use Google Calendar to information you. You may entry it right here.