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.
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.