Saturday, 24 March 2012

Making your daily writer tasks fun

I mentioned last week that I would tell you about my strategy for getting writer things done and here it is!

I talked about a grab-bag of appropriate freelancer options to help deal with writer despondency.  Half the trouble sometimes is just deciding what to do - when the pressure's weighing down and you're feeling stressed, making choices can be difficult.  There are a lot of things that need doing when you work for yourself and some are things you could certainly do on any given day.

I spent some time reading my favourite resources - Carol Tices' Making A Living Writing, Problogger, FreelanceFolder, FreelanceSwitch, and Remarkable Communication amongst others  - and compiled a list of suggestions that would be definitely useful to do.  I took this list and printed out some sheets that I was then able to cut up and fold to put in a nearby paper bag.

Not only was it fun, it got me excited about getting things done and even encouraged me to bump a few things of my general to-do list so that options from the paper bag would be more effective.  For instance, making sure every single freelancer and social profile I had was search engine optimised for my career and location.  A couple of days later, someone contacted me directly after seeing me on  I can't say for sure if my rewriting and SEO work had anything directly to do with that but it certainly can't have not helped!

So, let's show you the paper bag method.  Pretend you're me and you're sitting down to get some stuff done - what are you going to do?


- Find a relevant and successful site on Technorati/Alexa and prospect/comment/study it.
- Generate more options for sales packages.
- Make sure my website shows how my work will make my prospect's life easier.

Nice, eh?  Let's do it again.


- Look at people who looked at me on LinkedIn and contact them offering my services  [I actually did do this today.].
- Find some industry-relevant B2B businesses to prospect.
- Pitch for a technical writing job.

When I started this technique, it was before my time really became consumed with work.  It was designed to stop me feeling demoralised and procrastinating.  Now that I have plenty of work, I use it as a Saturday task.  For me, Monday-Friday is paid work time; Saturday is market-yourself day.  However, it can work as a daily thing too or just when you have an hour or so spare and you need a break from creating!

Please note that this is not designed to replace your to-do list.  Not even a little bit. You need the structure of your to-do list as your tasks grow.

But the paper bag method makes the rest of it fun.  When I'm not working for myself, I run a board-games group.  I likes games.   This makes work more like play without losing the focus needed for good self-employment.

What do you think?  How do you decide how your work will flow?  Tell me below or tweet me on @marmaladecopy.

No comments:

Post a Comment