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Published Article
by Patricia Fry

How to Finally Build a Freelance Career
Or Finish That Writing Project

By Patricia Fry

A new year is looming large. Are you ready to take your writing business to the next level? Will you finally complete that novel in 2007? Despite years of perceived failure as a career writer, you can ultimately succeed. You can earn a living as a freelance writer. You can experience the joy of authorship. Here are some suggestions designed to help you move closer to your writing goals.

  1. Schedule time each day to write. Make writing a priority just like you do feeding the dog, working out and going grocery shopping. Don't make the mistake of waiting for larger slots of time. You might be surprised at how much you can accomplish by regularly using pockets of time. I once wrote a 200-page book in eight months while writing for only two hours per day.
  2. Do five things every day toward your writing goal. Here are five examples:
    · Write five paragraphs or five pages of your novel.
    · Come up with five article ideas (or send out five reprints).
    · Contact five new magazine editors.
    · Make five book promotion contacts (book reviewers, booksellers, book festivals, etc).
    · Make five follow-up calls or emails related to your article work or book promotion.
  3. Spend time at least once a month promoting your writing business. Develop a marketing letter and send it to potential clients or introduce yourself and your expertise to new editors, for example. Last year, when my business slowed down, I sent letters to half dozen or so local, high profile businessmen and women reminding them of my editorial services. I promptly landed two good assignments.
  4. Get creative when it comes to your writing business, article work or book promotion.
    · Find new ways to work with clients: writing resumes, creating brochures or rewriting employee manuals for corporations, for example.
    · Expand your article base. Tweak old articles to fit very different kinds of magazines, seek out new magazines and come up with new article topics for familiar editors.
    · Seek book reviews. Visit bookstores personally with your book. Schedule speeches to promote your book. Send press releases to libraries.
  5. Find ways to stay positive. As a writer, you are constantly setting yourself up for rejection. Your articles are rejected. Your writers group is critical of your work. You are sometimes your worst critic when it comes to your writing. It's hard to come by positive feedback.
    Here's how I conquer this writer's curse.
    · I display things in my office that make me feel accomplished and loved. There are family photos, treasured gifts from friends, a poem I wrote, signatures and framed book covers from a few of my books and some of my best photography, for example. I also keep something nearby that emits a wonderful scent. Right now I have a honeysuckle candle next to my keyboard. It smells so good that I don't even have to light it to enjoy the aroma.
    · I connect often with my most positive and supportive friends and family via brief emails or a quick phone call.
    · I take mini-vacations almost every day. I spend an hour walking amidst stands of oaks, along a nearby river, around a lake or at the beach.
    · I frequently engage in something creative outside of writing. I spend time in my garden or working on a needlework project.

If you'd like to establish yourself as a freelance writer or if you're tired of looking at that unfinished manuscript, make this your year of achievement. Incorporate these ideas into your lifestyle now and you, too, will do yourself proud.

Patricia Fry is a full-time writer and the author of 35 books. See her most recent books in the left column of this page.

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