I have learned a couple of lessons regarding writing articles on Infobarrel and I would like to share some of it with other writers that might also have been struggling to write.
I don't have a problem with writing; it has been something that I have enjoyed doing my whole life. I also enjoy reading everything from biographies to fiction and anyone who knows me well know that I am a person with a pretty big general knowledge, because of my reading and insatiable wide range of interests.
I had some pretty big goals for the year and I firmly believed that it was possible to write that amount of articles in a year. I still believe it is possible to write in excess of 1000 articles a year, it really is all about your strategy.
Some people find solace in writing and for those people it is very easy to simply get lost in the words that they are typing. The sound of the keyboard can be almost hypnotic as they pump out sentence after sentence. Fingers trying to type as fast as the sub conscious mind thinks.
Anybody who has ever written as though they were only a passenger on a ride, whilst they're sub conscious and fingers danced on the keyboard will tell you that it is one of the most amazing places to be. This is where you want to be when you write consistently, because it allows you to write unhindered and quickly, sharing your thoughts with the screen and at that point with nobody else.
What keeps us from writing?
I think there are a myriad of things that keep us from writing. Even established writers get writers block of some sort from time to time.
For many writers it is important to be alone with their thoughts and have the opportunity or to create the opportunity to write, without being interrupted and have their thoughts taken away from the job at hand.
1. Write alone
Location, they say is the most important part in retail. For most writers the same is true. Not all of us are a budding Stephen King’s who could write in a noisy Laundromat.
Stephen King conditioned himself over many years to be able to write and have nothing interrupt him. Writing was the most important thing in his life.
Schedule a daily time to write on your own. You need to be alone when you write to help your thoughts focus on what you are writing about. When another person or event interrupts you, you will mostly likely lose your train of thought.
This will not only cause you to have to work to get your concentration back but will also have taken some of your energy away. Energy that you have been using to write.
If you are consistently interrupted, you will get to a point were you are spending more time trying to concentrate than writing. This is the point were most people stop writing.
Choose a quite location where you can write whilst at peace with your thoughts.
2. Choose the best time to write
After location, timing is important. It is important to choose a time at said location when you will not be interrupted, but it is also important to choose a time when your mind and body will be at its best.
For me early in the morning before anybody has woken up, I find that it is when I do my best work. Its quiet, dark and the risk of being interrupted is almost zero.
I enjoy writing at these times because the words can very easily flow from my sub conscious onto the computer screen.
It is not always a practical time since work causes a fair amount of stress and when I don't get to bed before 3am I will rarely be able to get up at 5am and have the clarity to write. This is obviously were a routine becomes very important.
My evenings especially late evenings are also sometimes a good time to put fingers to the keyboard.
Decide on a time when you feel your mind is at its clearest or find a way to condition your mind to find the peace you need to write. Writing at the right time and the right place is maybe all you need to write consistently. Maybe not just articles, but a novel might even be in your future.
Every writer needs a healthy measure of support from family and friends. Most never receive any support and that makes it increasingly difficult for them to write.
I had pretty big goals in the beginning of the year and for me to make it work I had to consistently write every day to build towards my goals.
When you are working towards something big you need a lot of motivation and support, I have found that criticism can easily kill your enthusiasm and make you doubt in your abilities. This happens especially when you have not been able to earn from writing, yet.
Whilst family members might be the first to criticise and say a few nasty words, those words stay with you and can cause a lot of damage. They're response will normally be that you must learn to take criticism and that is true. I have no problem with criticism, but it is the negative and vindictive criticism that I do not accept. The type of criticism that stems from jealousy or hatefulness does nothing to build your skills or resolve.
Because of a lot of criticism and specific descriptions to what I was doing, from people who's opinions I held in pretty high regard. I decided to stop writing on my blog and on Infobarrel for a time.
I needed some positive encouragement.
This morning a member of Infobarrel encouraged me to continue and I realised that the members on sites like Infobarrel can offer a lot more support than anybody else and I can lend my support to others like myself.
I have realised that if you want to write on a site like Infobarrel, it is wise to seek the support of fellow members rather than family and friends. Infobarrel members are more objective and have a better idea of what is good writing and what is not.
I decided to start writing again, here and on my blog, but I am keeping it to myself. When I start earning more consistently I might say something.
If I kept to myself initially in the beginning of the year I would have been right on target by know. So bewareto whom you share yourself with and make sure that the people you trust are there to support you and not trying to put you down.
Most people sign up to Infobarrel to start writing for one reason and one reason only, money. It was the reason I signed up to write on Infobarrel. I have made some money with the few articles I have written, but not much. The main reason for this is the amount of articles I have written.
I understand that I can’t expect a regular revenue stream with less than 100 articles to my name. The main motivator will obviously remain to be the money I can earn from my articles, but I need to build other motivators to take me towards my goals. Whilst writing a 1000 articles are a great goal.
Concentrating on smaller goals help you build toward the bigger goal, it also gives you smaller more regular victories. That in itself is very motivating. For example if my goal is to write 100 articles a week and I reach that goal every week. I will remain motivated enough to continue towards my main goal, 1000 articles in total.
Set some reasonable goals, goals that will stretch you but not break you. They need to be attainable even though they might take a year to complete. Then set smaller goals towards the bigger goal. Break the bigger goal into parts and work towards attaining the parts.
If you want to write 1200 articles a year, break it down to 100 articles a month and 25 articles a week and so on. This will help you stay on course. Otherwise your goal might even demotivate you.
I believe that once you start earning regularly on Infobarrel your motivation and enthusiasm will increase.
5. Tools of the trade
The next great piece of software is not going to make you a better writer. What is important is the system. I agree with that, because if you have the best software, but not the necessary skills or system to use it, its not worth the time and money you spent on installing it.
I have tried several different tools for writing and have found that every one of these actually cause interruptions whilst I'm writing.
Writing is a very solitary exercise and I have found that when I write with a lot of things on my screen (like the taskbar or buttons in my word processor) my attention is taken away from what I am doing on a regular basis.
Word processors check for spelling errors and the construction of sentences on a live basis which causes you to look at your failures whilst you are writing. I know I make spelling mistakes, but I don't want to be reminded of them the whole time, neither do I want to fix that spelling mistake right now.
When I stop writing to fix a spelling mistake I can do in 30 minutes, it causes me to lose some of my momentum in writing.
I found a word processor that helps me focus on just my writing. I can easily write a thousand word article without any interruptions to my workflow. When I'm done I check it for errors that I am bound to find.
Ommwriter is a great piece of software that allows you to concentrate on your writing. It hides everything that you are used to with a word processor and forces you to concentrate on getting your writing done.
One of the best features of Ommwriter is the background music you can play whilst writing. It really soothes you and helps you concentrate as does the screen background you choose. There is a paid version of the software and I have found that the free version is sufficient for me at the moment, but that might change in the future.
Ommwriter hides everything on your screen; it’s just you and your words.
I highly recommend it above Word or any other word proccessor. I still use Word to check my writing afterwards for spelling errors etcetera.