Every now and then, someone I don’t know (and you don’t know either) comes along and pitches me a guest post. Thomas was one of those people, and he wanted to write for the introverts amongst you. The result was some pretty good advice. Enjoy!
Freelance writing requires you to take responsibility for yourself in a way that other jobs don’t. Sure, it’s great to hit the snooze button and give yourself an extra hour of R&R once in awhile, but before you know it, you’re getting up at noon and puttering around before you answer your customer emails.
It’s all too easy to fall into bad habits, starting with procrastination. For starters, institute a schedule and stick to it. This means getting up at a decent hour, working for a set amount of time, and taking breaks. You have the option of flexibility, but don’t push it until you settle into a rhythm with your work day.
Once you’ve got that under control, arrange outings. It’s easy to get wrapped up in what you’re doing and lose track of time. Before you know it, Friday arrives and you’re still wearing the same pair of pajamas you put on Monday morning. And you went the whole week without an ounce of inspiration to fuel your writing. Ouch.
Getting out of the house can be a big help. Your mind isn’t a computer, and treating it like it can process data endlessly is a great way to ensure brain drain. Just like your body needs to rest after exercise, your mind needs frequent breaks from the rigorous mental gymnastics you put it through on a daily basis. A change of scenery can do the trick, and a little variety helps you avoid stagnation.
By the way, you’re not a lone wolf. You need to meet up with the pack once in awhile. People who spend excessive amounts of time alone tend to suffer from anxiety, stress, and even memory loss. Although writing is more or less a solitary act, isolation can cause many problems that hinder your ability to perform.
Don’t underestimate the effect of socialization on your psyche, and the subsequent effect of your attitude and mental state on your writing. At the very least, have someone to bounce ideas off, and set up some time with friends throughout the week. You are, after all, one of the lucky few who have the flexibility to rearrange your schedule – take advantage of it!
Your mind, like your body, must be trained to perform in certain ways, and a regimented schedule is a necessity when it comes to earning a living as a freelance writer. But you can’t chain yourself to your computer so get out of your stuffy office and allow your brain a breather once in awhile. With balance between schedule and outside time, you’ll find your work comes faster and easier, and your efforts produce better results.
How about you? Are you an introvert writer? Do you make time for getting out? How do you feel after you do?
Thomas Warren is a content writer for Go College, one of the oldest and most trusted resources to guide students on how to finance and succeed in college.