Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Sunny Days

Speaking of procrastination; it's been a while since I got onto any of my blogs. Of course, I could justify it by saying that I do wake at 5am to work, pretty much 7 days of the week. Or that now school has started for both the kids, it's harder to get chunks of free time given the extra activities that parents are roped into. My daughter's doing a Terry Fox run this coming Friday (she's just 5) and my son is going apple picking with his preschool; parent participation required. And I've launched my new Article Writing And Selling 101, course online ( All in all, it's been busy and blogging has taken a backseat.

But today is too perfect a day to resist. The second day of autumn and it's 27C. The kids are cycling in the front of the house and I'm enjoying what may well prove to be the last intense day of sunshine; netbook on my lap. Finding pockets of time to do anything lengthy is really hard; but with writing exercises, blogging and online social networking, days like today are a perfect Godsend.

So I shall forget about pending projects, unwritten assignments and payment collection and enjoy instead an evening with children's chatter, long glasses of lemonade and warm, sunny weather!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Stop Procrastinating! Start Writing!

Ask any freelance writer what one of the top challenges he faces is, and chances are he’ll talk about procrastination. Delaying or putting off writing by coming up with a number of excuses is something we all excel at, and dare I say it, can get very creative about! For me at times, an untidy desk or surroundings act as a perfect reason to put off editing or blogging.

If you find procrastination is becoming more than an occasional excuse to delay writing, the following may help:

1. Jot down a to-do list of your writing projects. Next, create a to-do list for your other tasks, such as sending out invoices, preparing media briefs etc. Once you have it down on paper, it’s easy to see just how much needs to get done.

2. Set a timer for 15 minutes. Then begin to freewrite. Freewriting is a great exercise to get the creative juices flowing. And once you begin, you’ll be surprised when the timer goes off to see just how much fun it can be!

3. Complete other tasks before you begin to write. If your desk needs to be cleared, shirts need to be ironed or the hockey game taped, get them done before you sit down at your desk. A mind which is full of incomplete tasks is never going to let you write.

4. Learn relaxation techniques to help you focus. The better your focus, the more work gets done. If you find yourself daydreaming or losing your creative focus, gently bring your mind back to the matter on hand. If you still find yourself getting restless, it may be time to take a break. By practising focusing techniques, you’ll find you are able to concentrate and get more work done in shorter periods of time.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Analyze Your Writing Process

Have you ever felt like you’ve spent a lot of time in front of the computer, but your word output has declined? And while online poker games and chat sites may be partly the culprit, a lot has to do with your writing process.

Your what?

Your writing process is the one that’s unique to you and which you use to create everything from business letters, sales pages, ezine articles and blog posts. However, most of us are so busy job hunting and once we have a job, then meeting deadlines, that we fail to think about our actual process. But each of us will write with an actual structure, even if we do so unconsciously. And certain components on this structure will exist, not matter the order in which we choose to do so.

• Generating an idea
• Creating a draft
• Conducting research and interviewing experts
• Revising
• Editing
• Submitting a completed piece.

How to draft, revise and edit a piece; in fact, how you create it from scratch, may differ vastly from how another writer in your same area of expertise does so. In fact, it’s this diversity which comes through in your article and makes it unique and a pleasure to read. However, it is understanding the process you use, and then streamlining it to make it work effectively, which will allow you to write with abandon, yet achieve the maximum through your efforts.

Once you recognize your writing process you will also learn to recognize which tasks take up time and which tasks you can breeze through effortlessly. I for example, love to write motivational pieces and ideas come to mind constantly on topics I can write about. On the other hand, give me a sales page to create and I will spend a lot of time on my draft. By knowing your limitations and strengths, you will learn how to juggle your schedule and work your limited hours to your maximum benefit.

So, spend some time analyzing your writing process. In the long run, it’ll be well worth the time and effort your put in to do so!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Word Play Of The Day

No matter how much you push the envelope, it'll still be stationery