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Go on that Adventure

You’ve got writer’s block. It happens. Sitting at a desk or table for hours and staring at a blank page on a screen or in your lap doesn’t help create anything but frustration, just like pushing your creativity up against a brick wall won’t get you anything more than bruised creator’s ego. Sit back, take a moment, and think: when is the last time you’ve gone on an adventure?

Writers require stimulation to create, be it a fresh book or new life experiences. When the writer’s block is extreme, sometimes the solution needs to be just as out there. Give yourself permission to explore the world for just a moment. Your mind will thank you with renewed vigor.

A Different World at Night

White noise works to filter out intrusive and distracting sounds, building a buffer between you and the outside world. For some, this might take the form of listening to quiet music, static, or rainfall. Just as relaxation sound engineers use natural ambiance to bring the wind, rain, and waves to your home, you can just as easily go out into the world and find them for yourself.

Make a game plan. Pack food to match your adventure. Going overnight? Make sure you have a great dinner and breakfast as well. Just heading out for the evening? Pack a few light snacks, but nothing too heavy. Your blood needs to keep your brain firing, not getting distracted by digestion. Grab an old blanket as well. Bring bottled water, a sweatshirt just in case, and yes, your phone and charger.

Bring Your Phone

Why bring your phone? Because you’re a writer, not a hermit. Writers research, read, and jot notes at random intervals, whenever a good thought strikes. Don’t hamper yourself by shutting out all technology, but have the strength of will to put it down when the research is over. Download a note-taking app so those lighting-bolt thoughts don’t escape. Research the places you’re exploring and find inspiration in their histories. Bring along a paperback, or download one to your phone on a whim, just because.

The world is incredibly interconnected now, and mobile devices are plentiful and cheap. If you work best on a computer rather than pen or pencil and paper, you don’t need to sacrifice your methods. Toss a fully-charged laptop into your bag and head for the hills. With your phone and laptop, you can still reach the rest of the world for research. All you need is the wherewithal to set it aside and not let it distract you.

Get Out There

No matter where you live, there’s somewhere you haven’t explored, especially at night. Find a public overlook and take advantage of the soaring vista. Discover a comfortable park and spread out for a picnic and recharge. Explore a local wildlife preserve and settle down in a campground for a night under the stars. Don’t be afraid to put a few miles between you and home, just for a weekend, or even just a day.

Drive Safe

If you’re worried about nighttime driving safety, especially on unfamiliar roads or trails, the reviewers over at Lightbar Liaison have you covered with reviews of really good value. A dramatic shift in environment isn’t for everyone, but it’s an experience that you can prepare for and explore. Changing your environment is changing your viewpoint. Even if you’re not a naturalist or outdoorsy writer, embrace the perspective that distance can offer.

Conclusion

The idea behind this nighttime exploration is a reshaping of how your mind works. There are a million other ways to break writer’s block, but if this one sounds good to you and the others haven’t worked out, you should try it. If you’re not a driver or an explorer, that’s fine! Every writer should find what’s perfect for them, or maybe just perfect for now.

5 Problems You’ll Know If You’re a Writer

The world of a writer isn’t all total glitz and glam. In fact, it’s often the complete opposite. There’s loads of stresses, strains and glitches that take you by surprise on an almost hourly basis! Take a look at our list of 5 problems every writer can associate with.

Ideas, What Ideas?

 

One day you’ll have some awesome ideas, the next – blank. It can be so frustrating, too, to have your mind go completely blank. Especially if you have a deadline or piece of work you need finishing. See; Friday afternoons, Monday mornings or days when you’re stuck in the house. You won’t be the first and you won’t be the last person to have this happen, so make sure you’re ready to spend some painful days and some sleepless nights frustrated out of your mind!

Want to Sleep? That’s When the Ideas Flow

If you haven’t been laid up in bed after a long day in the office or found your next mind-blowing idea fire into your head just as you’re about to doze off, then you’re one in a million. Ideas are attracted to whenever you’re about to go to bed, and they’ll keep you up at night, whether you want it or not. You’re best to just write the idea down and try and forget about it. Which is something that is a lot harder said than done.

Days and Days of Back Pain

By the time you’ve been writing for a few months, your posture will be completely and utterly ruined. Slumping, slouching and laying on your bed will become the downfall of your back. And it will really hurt. A few ideas: make sure you’re taking breaks, stand up straight, or even get a brace for your back. This will pull your back into a decent position and help improve both strength and posture.

Last Minute Change of Plans

This is so common in our profession, but making sure your plans are flexible and can change is such an important part of writing. Your clients may change work around, cancel it or ask you to do extra. This is a must for new writers or old, and will make you so much more attractive a partner than anyone who doesn’t. So, make sure you’re ready and available at all times, it will help improve your chances or more work and better jobs!

Laptop Problems

Laptop computers are such fantastic machines, but when they go down and you’ve got nothing to replace it, it’s time to panic. It’s always best to have a spare laptop available at all times, and while this needs to function as your main one does, it doesn’t need to cost a fortune. So, invest in something quick, cheap and handy. Because you will need it when you least expect it.

Each and every writer will have experienced some of these problems, but they also need to be ready to adapt in an attempt to grow as an attractive client and good writer, so make sure you’re aware of these pitfalls!

How to Make It as a Freelance Writer

Freelance writing can be one of the most difficult yet rewarding career paths out there. On the positive side, as a freelancer, you are your own boss. There is no one breathing down your neck or barking commands. You have absolute freedom to work for whom, when and where you want to. That’s something people in other fields of work envy the most about those of us who freelance. However, as your own boss, you have to do all the brute work that usually happens behind the scenes. That means generating your own leads, negotiating prices with clients, and delivering high quality content on time. It’s certainly no walk in the park, but very rewarding if you are persistent. I love freelancing and its a dream I want to help all of you achieve. With that being said, here are a few tips to help you make it as a freelance writer.

1.Write, write and write some more.

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As a freelance writer, you can’t really expect clients to be interested in you when you have no work to show them. Even if you haven’t established yourself enough to have published or paid content, you can still write either on a personal blog or other platform. This essentially kills two birds with one stone. You begin establishing a portfolio to show interested clients and you refine your skills as a writer. The more you write, the more you will improve and the greater chances clients will consider you for work.

2. Contact clients…a lot of clients.

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Whether you have to cold call, send shameless, self-promoting emails or talk to companies face-to-face, being active about finding clients is an indispensable part of the process. If you don’t have any interested clients, then you don’t have any income. Even the most talented writer in the world won’t succeed in freelance if they don’t reach out to clients for work. It’s the very nature of freelancing that we are at the bottom when we begin. The whole process is about establishing contacts and creating a network that provides you with enough work to sustain the kind of life you desire through freelancing. You have to be bold, consistent and a good salesperson. Make the clients think that you have something to offer them that no one else does, because you do. Your unique writing style can’t be copied or reproduced. Be proud of that.

3. Choose your environment wisely.

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Being a freelancer essentially means you are without a fixed work environment. This can be amazing and was one of the main motivating factors which drove me to pursue this career almost 10 years ago. However, with no established working space, it is very easy to become distracted and unproductive. A healthy separation between you work life and social life needs to be established in order to ensure productivity and efficiency. The freedom that comes with being your own boss can quickly lead to laziness if not balanced with the proper responsibilities. Find a work environment that can help facilitate your work flow and make it a habit to do your writing exclusively in that space.

Unfreeze this Writer’s Block

To break down the barriers of writer’s block, first identify and acknowledge the specific obstacle, is the deadline of an article causing anxiety, are creative ideas tapped out, or are you unable to move past the climax of a story. There are many reasons people’s brains are paralyzed by the inability to formulate words on paper. The key is to find the best technique to overcome it. It may take multiple outlets or different methods to unlock this cage, but know many writers face this setback.

Keep A Dream Journal

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What did you dream about last night? The moment you wake up, jot down images, conversations, and emotions experienced in your dream. The next time you are struggling for ideas or need creative inspiration, scroll through your journal of dreams to help generate new ideas. Since dreams are truly unique to you, why not utilize your subconscious mind for your day job. If it does not work for one project, it may, in turn, lead to something else.

Get up and get out

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Staring at your vacant computer screen will most likely add to the frustration. Why not use the time to get some fresh air, look at nature, and pump up the heart rate. Rest your mind by changing your environment and gain a new perspective that will help unleash the block.

Play Hooky

Instead of stressing over your lack of accomplishment, dive into something stress free. Start a new show, go to the local theater and indulge in some popcorn, makes plans with a friend you haven’t seen in awhile. Accept the challenge you are facing and give your mind a break.

Stimulate the mind in other ways

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If you have hobbies or creative outlets, start a project. Again, any new activity will stimulate the brain and allow you to see things through a different lens. Paint, work on a home improvement project, or take photographs. Visually stimulating the mind by visiting a museum or art gallery can also be beneficial to gain inspiration.

Write Anything

When you unable to focus on the project at hand, let your mind wander and write anything that comes to mind. Free writing is only seen by your eyes, so see where it leads you and set aside a few minutes to write in this style.

Reach out to others

Reaching out to close friends and family for feedback on your subject is another great tip. Marketing companies use focus groups to gather research for example, why not apply the same approach when you are stuck on words and ideas.

Health

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This may seem obvious but practice healthy habits. Since writer’s block causes stress, ensure you are taking proper steps to stay healthy. Keep a water bottle, energy bars, vitamins and nutritious snacks in the house or office. Sufficient sleep is crucial for body and brain function so try to get at least 7 or 8 hours.

The next time you are in a bind, try a couple of these tips, keep stress levels down and don’t lose hope!

Resources:

http://www.newyorker.com/science/maria-konnikova/how-to-beat-writers-block

25 Ways to Overcome Writer’s Block

7 Ways to Overcome Writer’s Block

Three Tips to Help You Become a Contributor for High-Readership Sites

As a writer, the most important thing is to get your writing out there where the largest amount of people can read it. This applies no matter what style of writing you do, from reporting news to following up on the latest fashion trends. Of course, there is as much competition in the field of writing as there is in any other, so it is important to know how to best introduce yourself to these sites and what can help make you stand out from all of the other applicants who may want to write for them as well. We have three tips that can make all the difference.

Build a Platform

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In this day and age, everyone has a blog or website. If you are looking to get your writings into high-readership sites, you need to have one, as well. It is important that you begin building a platform in the field you have chosen. This is not as easy as it sounds. You need to provide quality blog posts or articles in a consistent manner so that you begin to have traffic to your site. This is something that these high-readership sites will check before deciding to hire you as a freelancer. If you write about fashion, for example, you need to constantly be up to date with the latest trends. Although building a readership can take time, it is worth the effort.

Be Entertaining

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It does not matter how many credentials you have or what kind of experience you have if what you write cannot hold people’s interest. Most of these sites do not want highly technical writing because they want to attract as many clicks as possible from people in all walks of life. Keep your writing sharp and fun so that people will want to read it and will want to see what you write next. For websites that have high amounts of traffic, this is a must.

It is Who You Know

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One important part of becoming a writer for these kinds of sites is to start making connections in the field. If there are conferences in which writers for the site you are interested in will be appearing, be sure to attend. Do your best to reach out and start making your name known. Most people will want to hire someone they already know to a complete stranger. The more contacts you have, the easier it will be to break into this competitive field.

Writing for popular sites is not as difficult as it may appear. It does take patience, however, as you start building your platform and getting to know people in the industry. The best thing you can do for yourself is to always provide quality work, no matter what you are writing about. If you can show that you can consistently write interesting and well-researched articles or blog posts, you will have a much better chance of being considered for these high=readership sites.