In a regular "work week" for me, I usually write anywhere from 5,000-10,000 words for all sorts of projects. That's a lot of writing, if you ask me.
Remember how intimidating a 500-word essay sounded when you were in school? Yeah. I write that much about 15-20x a week.
But the more I got the hang of it, writing became easier and easier for me (thank God!), and I started writing more efficiently. Now those 10,000 word weeks are a piece of cake. Which is great for me because, well, as a freelancer writer, time is money. The more time you have, the money more there is to be made.
So, what are some things that I do to help save me more time (and make me more money) as a freelancer? Here's exactly how I bang out various assignments in a week, without wanting to throw in the towel.
An Outline is Going to Be Your New BFF
Ever stop to think how much easier things would be if you had a more defined sense of direction for your writing?
An outline will give you just that, my friend.
Sure, creating an outline might seem unnecessary and more of a burden more than anything--but trust me when I say that it's going to save you so much freaking time in the long-run.
Trying to get through a writing assignment without an outline is like going in to play a game of football without a game plan--things are going to feel so unorganized (because they are) and you're basically going to be winging it all the way, hoping everything ends up making sense in the end...and you'll probably end up crying.
It's a nasty, sticky little mess. So, why put yourself through that?
Write That Embarrassingly Ugly First Draft
Who cares if you don't like it right now? It's supposed to be ugly. You're supposed to hate it. That's why they call it a "first draft".
But I'll tell you this right now: An embarrassingly ugly first draft is a heck of a lot better than a giant blank page staring you in the face.
That's just awkward.
Your embarrassingly ugly first draft is going to help you craft your content into something that's gorgeous--something you can be proud of.
So, go on with your bad self and you write that ugly first draft without editing along the way. I promise you'll find yourself breezing through your second round; but right now, just focus on getting that ugly thing out there.
Get Off Your Phone. Get Off of Facebook. Get Rid of Distractions.
Scary, I know. But ridding yourself of any distractions that could interfere with your writing productivity is something you need to do. There's just no way around it.
Turn off your phone (or silence it, at least), "x" yourself out of Twitter and Facebook, and for goodness sake, close that YouTube tab. Videos of cute cats doing cute things are very entertaining--but those videos are not going to get your work done. So stop that.
Instead, turn on some classical music to help clear your mind. Music without words is much better than listening to music with words, because you're not distracted with the lyrics of a song. Instead, you're inspired.
Would You Believe Me if I Told You That Was It?
Because that really is it. Super easy, right? I guarantee you'll start noticing a difference in your productivity if you use these techniques. Now get on out there and start banging out some content!