Posted on

Four Ways to Become Obsessed With Writing

Becoming Obsessed With Writing

Jim Rohn once said “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” This is definitely applicable when you are a writer. If you haven’t figure it out yet, when everybody you know is not a writer then making time for yourself to sit down and write feels very challenging if not impossible.

To curb this obstacle I recommend you start interacting with other authors. There are a few ways to do this:

1.) Join a Facebook group that focuses on writing or self-publishing

2.) Utilize meetup.com to start spending time with other authors

3.) Listen to related podcasts

4.) Read related blogs

In other words, become obsessed with writing. I know this sounds intense but sticking to a writing schedule over a long period of time is equally as intense therefore it is an appropriate obsession.

The other point that needs to be noted relates to the second suggestion above. Going to a meet up on your own to meet people you don’t initially know probably sounds daunting. I completely understand that and still struggle to attend these types of gatherings myself. However, every time I put myself out there I am always so happy I did. The value always seems to be more abundant than the other three suggestions above.

Despite this, if attending a meet up isn’t something you’re up for just yet, start with one or two of the suggestions and over time expand to the others.

The key is to force yourself to confront your book even when you don’t want to write. You need to hear about how other authors overcome these struggles. You’ll learn that what you’re going through is actually very normal and that the key to writing a book is not actually being a great a writer or even a good writer but the ability to write consistently and focus that writing on a particular piece of work until it is complete.

This is what I love about writing. It levels the playing field when it comes to talent. In other words, all the skilled writing talents in the world won’t help if you can’t finish your work. This gives a persistent person an advantage.

The question is, what steps can you take to become a writer who can follow through and stay focused over a long period of time? Don’t overthink this. Moreover, don’t start drawing negative conclusions about yourself as a person just because you’ve struggled to stay focused in the past. I would bet the majority of writers encounter this inner battle on an on-going basis. I know I do, but I also know that I am not going to let an off day or even an off week mean anything more than just a small bump in the road as I progress towards finishing my book.

You are a writer. You will finish your book. Do not allow yourself to believe that you can’t make it happen. Just get your first draft written down. Worry about nothing else until you get to that point.

The next and final chapter of this book will help you with the steps after you finish your first draft, but truthfully, none of it matters if you don’t believe you can finish your first draft.

Posted on

How To Write Consistently

I used to become discouraged if I was unable to write on a particular day. Such a feeling kills momentum. I noticed that I would put myself down for not being a writer simply because I missed a day here or there. Since then I have adjusted expectations for myself. Now instead of trying to write everyday I focus on a certain amount of words each week.

Every Sunday, I review my upcoming week ahead. If I have a particularly significant amount of non-writing responsibilities I might specify a lower amount of words to be completed for that week. I typically aim for 2000 to 5000 words per week.

This works for me because I have found a system to hold myself accountable in a realistic way that suits my schedule. This enables me to write consistently without writing everyday.

Arriving at this point for me was not quick and certainly not easy, which brings me to my point.

Give yourself time to reflect on your writing process. Your life will inevitably throw unanticipated variables at you and it might require you to adjust your process. Regular reflection makes this possible.

Moreover, your writing process will evolve and change over time. This is a positive thing because it shows your adjusting and adapting to sustain consistency.

As you reflect I encourage you to focus on a few specific components of your writing process:

1. Setting
2. Timing
3. Days
4. Challenges
5. Successful writing sessions

Setting

People have different preferences as to the setting that they write in. As you determine your preferred setting I recommend you make your assessment based on which setting yields the greatest amount of quality and word output.

As you sit down to write make a note of the where you are, the volume, what you hear, what distractions exist, what distractions don’t exist. Try to be as detail oriented as you determine your ideal setting for writing.

If you have multiple settings, make a habit of tracking the word output for each setting. This provides you with a quantitative metric to assess how conducive each setting is to your writing.

Timing

In addition to the setting where your writing occurs, reflect on the timing. Do you write more words in the morning, afternoon, or at night? What is the quality like during each time.

Understanding the time of day that you are best able to maximize a writing session will help you schedule the rest of your life around your writing times. Likewise, knowing that the time of the day doesn’t make a difference for you then you know that your writing schedule can be a bit more flexible.

Be aware that if there is a particular time of day that for whatever reason you can hammer out high quality words at an exorbitant rate during a time but is unfortunately often interrupted then you may want to consider a different time that has less interruptions.

Days

Are there days of the week that you seem to be a more effective writer? For me, it is earlier in the week. I personally prefer to complete the majority of my writing on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays. I believe what happens is by Thursday I’m exhausted both physically and mentally so though I still try to write on these days I typically shoot for less as result.

Challenges

As you reflect on your writing process and make neccessary adjustments, I can’t overstate how important it is to think about the challenges you have encountered along the way. These include both internal and external challenges.

For example, I’m not a great writer at night for a few reasons. First, an internal challenge I encounter is increased exhaustion so my brain is functioning on suboptimal levels. Second, an external challenge is presented when I have to choose between writing time and the limited time I have to spend with my wife once my little ones are asleep. As a result, I complete the strong majority of my writing in the morning before I start work.

You should be identifying the external and internal challenges that each writing session brings and try to write during a time where those challenges are eliminated or at least minimized.

Successful Writing Sessions

When a writing session goes well make a note of it. Identify the specifics mentioned above. Focus on figuring out how to duplicate these details. You want to identify why it was successful and shoot for that whenever possible Additionally, you can gain great momentum from celebrating a small success which can lead to further success.

So the next time you finish a writing session take a few minutes to reflect on the level of productivity. It will help you maximize you effectiveness of each writing session and it will increase likelihood of making yourself write more consistently.

Happy writing!

 

 

Posted on

7 Ways To Make More Time For Writing

If you’ve read my previous article that helps you determine the amount of time you each week you should devote to writing then it is possible, depending on your schedule, that you’re unhappy with the amount of time you have to write.

Or if you’re happy with your weekly word output but want to find ways to increase it then check out the strategies offered below.

Before we delve into each strategy a disclaimer must be provided just so we can move forward together on the same page.

I believe that the majority of people are relatively busy. Before my children were born I remember feeling busy all the time but now I look back on that period of my life and wonder what I did with all the time.

Moral of the story, we all have 24 hours per day. So if you are unable to make time for writing then it is likely that your “full schedule” is a result of poor prioritization.

The key is to make small subtle changes. Over time, the accumulation of said changes will be significant.

Below is a list of 7 possible changes you can make to increase your writing time. Do not limit yourself to these changes exclusively. Keep your eyes open for additional, creative ways to maximize productivity without increasing your stress level.

Subtle change #1: Wake up 20 minutes earlier. This allows you five minutes to use the restroom, grab a glass of water, then start writing. Before you dismiss this idea because you already wake up “early” or you aren’t a “morning person” consider easing into this. Start by setting your alarm five minutes before you normal wake up time. Do this for a week then go five minutes earlier. In four weeks, you’ll have slowly transitioned into waking up 20 minutes earlier. If it went easily for you continue this pattern until you’ve created an additional hour of writing time.

Quick Tip: To maximize the 15-minute writing window, be sure that you have an outline on your computer ready so that all you have to do is pick a predetermined topic and start writing. 

Subtle change #2: Use your smartphone to record  yourself during your commute. Choose a topic, hit record (before you begin driving), and start talking about all the things you would be writing about within that topic. Do not worry about saying things perfectly. For each recording, you can save them and have them transcribed. Look up transcription services on fiverr.com, look into your dictation capabilities that come standard with most macs, or check out rev.com. This will produce a written document that only requires your review and edits (which could be for your 15-minute window from above).

Subtle change #3: If you’re a reader, consider Audible.com. This enables you to multi-task thus freeing up the time you would be reading. I personally listen to audio books when I exercise. Outside of my bedtime reading session, this pretty much all the reading I need for the day and affords me greater opportunity to focus on my writing without ignoring the need to absorb information.

Subtle change #4: Go to a library for a writing session. This may not be a great solution if you do not live near one because the time it takes to commute the library might eat away at the increased time margins, however, if you can get to one quickly it might be worth trying.  When I go to a library I sit with my headphones on in one of those desks that have three walls around it. In other words, I eliminate all the distractions that exist in my home or a coffee shop. Do not underestimate how many more words you can write when you’ve set such a distraction-less environment.

Subtle change #5: Partner with another writer. If you are truly strapped for time why not co-author a book with another author. You will most likely lose half of the royalty potential but you’re exchanging one currency for another, time for potential earnings. Moreover, you’ll likely double your word output. If you’re looking to find a writing partner then I recommend you check out writing clubs via meetup.com or join a writing facebook group (my favorite is Authority Self-Publishing).

Subtle change #6: Eliminate a show from your life. Many experts recommend that you eliminate television from your life and though I would agree that it is often a distraction that hinders productivity, I’m going to suggest a more subtle approach. List the shows that you regularly watch. Pick your least favorite and stop watching it. If you don’t watch regular shows and just channel surf then you need to control the amount of time you do this. Set a timer on your phone and stop watching once the time is up. I recommend no more than a half hour.

Subtle change #7: Read The 80/20 Principle by Richard Koch and start analyzing how you prioritize your daily actions. As stated prior to this list I believe people who claim they don’t have any time are really just struggling to prioritize effectively. To subtly address this start by learning about a different approach to help you adjust your own mindset.  Note: In the spirit of third subtle change suggested, I recommend you check out the audiobook. 

So there they are, seven subtle changes you can make to help maximize your word output. Remember, do not limit yourself to these changes and also do not feel obligated to try all of them at once. Instead, choose one or two that makes sense for you and start taking action.

 

Posted on

How Much Time Per Week Should You Devote To Writing?

The title of this post makes it sound like I have an answer. Which I do. However, you’re not going to like it because it is one of those “depends” kind of answers.

Throughout each one of my books and the majority of my posts, whenever a set of steps is provided, or advice is given it is followed or preceeded by a disclaimer that strongly suggests readers should be adjusting this instruction to meet their own personal needs.

Too often we listen to podcasts, read books, watch interviews where some “expert” tells us what we should be doing. Now I’m not saying that we should be closed off to these opinions but we must first recognize them as an opinion based on one particuarl person’s exeperience. He or she does not live our life and therefore is not qualified to tell us what to do and when to do it without knowing all of the variables that exist within our daily lives.

Therefore, rather than tell you or even suggest how much time you should be devoting to writing. The goal here is to equip you with a set of steps you can take to properly anaylze your week and assess when and where you can fit some writing time.

Step 1: Identify any repeated tasks or responsibilities that you have for each day of the week (i.e. Work from 9 to 5, bring to the kids to and from school, etc.).

Step 2: Draw 7 columns (or use a spreadsheet) and label each column a day of the week.

Step 3: Begin writing down your day to day actions for each day of the week and write down the times. Note: it is appropriate for times to be approximate and to be wide ranges because you want to include everything you do from going to work to watching tv. 

Step 4: Look for gaps in your day where you could fit in at least 15 minutes of writing (preferably 30 minutes or more if possible). If it is a location other than your home, identify a method to ensure you have your computer or whatever equipment you may need.

Step 5: Based on this schedule insert your writing sessions with specific times and desired durations. Time ranges are appropriate as well. In other words, if you know you have at least 30 minutes sometime between 5PM and 7PM, but the specific start and end time for your writing session will not be consistent, then just write 5PM to 7PM for 30 minutes. Highlight each writing session.

Step 6: Bonus Step – Based on the time and days, if you have a smart phone, set reminders for each of the times to prompt your writing session.

Notice that at no point during any of the steps provided was there a minimum amount of sessions suggested. Personally I have four to five each week and each ranges from 30 minutes to an hour. This works for my life but it may not work for yours. Maybe you can fit in more or less. It doesn’t matter as long as you identify times in your life when you can realistically sit down and write.

Once you have these times, outside of staying disciplined and sticking to each writing session that you have set for yourself, your next focus is going to be calculating how many words per hour you can typically produce.

If you’re consistently struggling to stick to your writing sessions then I encourage you to take a look at a book I’ve written titled The Persistence Formula. This book aims to help people who struggle to follow through with taking action to achieve their goals.

To calculate your word output rate you need to track your time and your total words produced per session. Do this for at least two weeks.

To clarify for every writing session you should be tracking the exact amount of time you’re actually writing and how many words you’ve produced within that specific amount of time.

Note: this is easier to calculate if you have a session for an amount of minutes of which 60 is a multiple (i.e. 15, 20, 30, and 60 minute sessions are ideal). 

For the purposes of clarity let us take a look at a hypothetical example.

Joe Smith can fit three writing sessions within his week. One session is 30 minutes while two sessions are each an hour. For the next two weeks Joe is going to track how many words within each of those writing sessions he can produce.

Week 1

Session 1 (30 minutes) – 402 words

Session 2 (60 minutes) – 943 words

Session 3 (60 minutes) – 928 words

Week 2

Session 1 – 463 words

Session 2 – 1002 words

Session 3 – 917 words

Now for the number crunching. First, calculate your hourly rate for each session so in this case Joe would just double his amount of words for each of his first weekly sessions. Second, now that all  sessions are equated to an hourly input amount, we add up all of the hourly word count numbers and divide by the number of sessions (in this I example 6).

More specifically…

804+943+928+926+1002+917 = 5520 (total words produced in 6 hourly sessions)

5520/6 = 920 (total hourly word rate for Joe Smith is 920)

Why do you want to know this number?

Put simply, knowing this information can help you determine how long it is going to take you to chip away at your book. When you’re equipped with this information you can plan a little bit more effectively. The combination of your hourly word output rate and your book outline will position yourself to stay motivated as you tackle each section in an objective, manageable way as opposed to the perspective of writing one daunting book.

Lastly, if you truly want to ensure accuracy of your hourly word output rate then continue to track your words written for each session and keep a spreadsheet documenting this information.

Overtime as you write more consistently you’ll notice this number will likely increase.

Happy writing!

 

Posted on

Taking An Experimental Approach

To my fellow authorpreneurs, I don’t know about you but for the first three quarters of my life I always knew there was an entrepreneurial spirit inside of me but I didn’t know how to channel it in a way that produced results.

Moreover, I didn’t know how to visualize a desired end result and therefore didn’t know how to create goals and action steps to help me get there. What good is a car if you have no idea where you’re going or how to drive?

For years I would make short lived attempts at creating an income stream. Service companies, drop shipping, selling information (before that actually became realistic and before I had any information to offer), you name it, I tried it.

The obstacle I consistently could not overcome, however, was when I built up a business and nothing would happened. I had the service or product but no customers.

Immediately in my mind I would cope by saying “I’m just not cut out to have my own business, some people are and some people aren’t and I’m not one of them.”

Think about what I’m saying for a minute.

I would start a business, then tear myself apart because I didn’t have any customers.

Now we can head in two different directions from this point. We can talk about how all I needed to do was learn about marketing and lead generation or we can talk about where my brain went when I encountered less than ideal results.

I’m going to focus on the mental side of things because I think there is a greater lesson to be learned taking this route (not that there isn’t in the previous).

Let’s review the sequence of events.

1. I thought of a business idea.

2. I created a business accordingly.

3. I mentally abused myself upon “failure”

4. I quit that business until my entrepreneurial spirit forced me to try again.

But why? Steps one and two are actually pretty cool and something to be proud of. Why did I quit so soon?

After reflection and thought I came up with the fact that I made it personal. I immediately associated the failure with my being. The reality is I just needed to learn a little bit more and/or try a couple of things out.

What finally helped me get through this was taking an “experimental approach”.

I started to view everything I did as an experiment that was completely external from me.

I’d start a business, assess the results, then determine whether or not I liked the results (notice that I’m not making it about me).

If I didn’t like the results I’d identify what I didn’t like about them. When I started my Amazon business, I started selling units like crazy only to learn that my marketing costs were eating all of my profits. I didn’t penalize myself. I simply calculated the profit I would like to make based on the sales volume I had seen, then set a marketing budget accordingly.

The results, my profit margin widened and my sales decreased to a depressingly low amount.

No big deal. I’ll just have to try another experiment in the form of a question.

What if I increase my unit price by $2.00 and increase my marketing budget accordingly. All of a sudden I started to see a slight volume increase while my margins remained consistent.

This is progress.

From this example and many more I learned that small, thoughtful tweaks and adjustments followed by assessing the results eliminated my mental agony.

I began viewing everything as an experiment.

If I didn’t like the results, I would tweak the actions and review.

To this day this is my mentality with everything, business related or not.

In my previous article I spoke about auditing my writing process. When I start to produce less than ideal results, I take an audit of my process. I do the same with daily routines that I’ve implemented and everything else.

Moral of the story:

Stop punishing yourself when you don’t succeed in the way you had hoped. Instead start creating with an experimental perspective knowing that you have your hypothesis but you could be wrong.

Accordingly, you can adjust.

 

 

 

Posted on

The Proper eBook Length

I’m often asked about the optimum Kindle eBook length should be. Unfortunately, a clear cut answer does not exist. However, it is possible to identify a range but before we do it is crucial to express the strong need to focus first on quality and second on length. In other words, depending on your writing style, readers can be entertained or helped with a low or high amount of words if in fact quality content is provided.

Assuming quality is the first priority I would suggest that a non-fiction be approximately 15,000 to 30,000 words. This is not a rule, rather a common range among helpful non-fiction books. If you are writing fiction then unless you’re selling a quick read, I would suggest a 30,000 word count minimum. Assuming you don’t have too many images or tables and your font is standard, it is reasonable to estimate that 250 words will generate a Kindle page.

When considering what your book length to aim for keep in mind that more pages has greater potential to earn you slightly more income. Again, it is imperative to reiterate that excessive words purely aimed at increasing the word count will not be helpful for you or your reader.

The greater revenue potential is caused by the Kindle Edition Normalized Pages (KENP), which is the amount of pages read  by customers who borrow your book from Kindle Unlimited (KU) and the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library (KOLL). Each page read equates to a fraction of a penny so a book with a low amount of pages is less likely to derive significant royalties through this source. Conversely, a novel that is 100,000 words and can successfully hook readers until the end can offer great additional royalty potential.

Before closing, I’d like to add that for me personally the only time word count matters is when I set a goal to complete a certain amount of words within a writing session. Most of my writing sessions require 1000 words before stopping, however, I would not continue within one particular section of a book until I reached that number. Moreover, if my writing session brought me to my book’s conclusion then I’d shift focus to hiring an editor rather than adding more words to meet my 1000 word writing session quota. In other words, I never focused on adding words for the sake of increasing my word count.

Posted on

Product Review: Sentey LS-4560 B-trek H9 Headphones

As we attempt to perfect our writing process it is essential to reflect upon the setting. More specifically, we need to assess whether or not we can sit down and write and not only avoid distraction but ideally reach a zone that enables us to create high quality content in a short amount of time.

It goes without saying that this is very difficult to do, but it doesn’t mean we stop trying.

One of the factors we need to consider when creating a setting conducive to efficient writing is the sounds we hear when we’re writing.

Enter the Sentey LS-4560 B-trek H9 Headphones.

Headphones 1

I recently received that as a Christmas present from my wife. Before this I had been using the standard Apple earbuds that come with iPhone purchases. These were adequate, however, outside of blocking external noise it didn’t seem to be overly helpful.

Advantages

  1. Comfort. The leather material that surrounds your ear feels great against your skin as opposed to an earbud stuck in the ear for an hour or more. Headphone Buttons
  2. Bluetooth connection. While I type on my computer, I connect to my phone via Bluetooth, which means no annoying wires. An added bonus with a wireless connection is that whether you have to go to the bathroom or you need a refill of water, the headphones stay on which means less chance of being distracted in the process.
  3. Reasonably priced. Though I received them as a gift, these headphones cost just under $40.00. Compared to the majority of the competition this price is very affordable.                                               Headphones Package
  4. Easy storage. You can see in the image above that the headphones come with a shell shaped case. The headphones fold up and fit in perfectly. These go right in my nightstand for easy access whenever inspiration strikes and I have time to immediately begin writing. This is also known as the stars aligning.

Despite these advantages it is important to point out that these particular headphones do come with some negative attributes as well.

Disadvantages 

  1. Lacks noise cancellation. Personally, I have not used headphones with a noise cancellation feature, but this product does not offer such a feature. I have to assume that this would maximize efficiency throughout the writing process by better helping prevent potential distraction.
  2. Microphone is next to worthless. I do not use the headphones to conduct phone conversations, but if I’m writing and I receive a call that I have to answer, I want to be able to seamlessly answer the phone, have the conversation, and get back to writing. The two conversations I attempted to have while using these headphones resulted in me disconnecting the headphones, using the phone normally, then reconnecting to the headphones upon hanging up. Not a huge issue but an issue nonetheless.
  3. USB charger only. Though the battery life can last for up to 8 hours, when I want to charge them I have to plug directly into my computer as opposed to an AC wall outlet.

Overall 

For the price these headphones are excellent and far exceed my needs. I strongly recommend this product to any writer seeking the isolation feeling to maximize writing efficiency. I should note that though the sound quality seems be perfectly adequate, I am not an audiophile and therefore couldn’t tell you if it is produces a dramatically different sound compared to competition.

Hope this helps. Happy writing!

Posted on

My 4AM Writing Experiment

In the post You DO NOT Have to Write Everyday to Be A Writer I stated that writers should avoid pressuring themselves to write everyday. Moreover, it seems every where we look there is one ‘expert’ after another telling us that in order to be a successful writer then we should be writing every day.

To that I say bologna. I’m a writer, but I’m a father and husband first, which means I’m not going to pressure myself to write every day if it causes me to begin sacrificing valuable time with my family.

The problem though is determining when we can write, particularly if we have little kids (mine are almost 2 and 4 years old).

sky-583724_1920

Enter my 4AM Experiment.

I decided to try waking up each day during the previous week at 4AM. I would write for 45 minutes to an hour then do a 7 minute circuit work out routine. The results:

Monday – Success

Tuesday – Fail

Wednesday – Fail

Thursday – Success

Friday – No way jose (Fail)!

Overall, I’m happy with it enough to try it again this week. It isn’t easy, but once I’m out of bed and writing I end up feeling amazing all day because I’m so proud of what I did.

The only drawback is, at least initially, I’m so exhausted that it takes a good five to ten minutes to get my brain functioning adequately enough to produce decent content. However, I will admit that when I was working on my book, once I got past that 10 minutes I flew. More specifically, in a span of 45 minutes I produced over 1200 words.

I read it later on that evening just to assess the level of quality and it was pretty good. Conversely, my Thursday writing was an article that I was sending to an editor for my freelance pursuits. I was extremely happy with it.

The only problem was my editor tore it apart and asked me to “take another swing at it” which is code for send me something else that isn’t awful.

The lesson I learned here is that I’m going to use my 4AM wake ups for my own book development. I’m hiring the editors as opposed to the editors hiring me so it makes a bit more sense to allocate my time this way.

The lesson I’d like you to take from this post can be learned by asking yourself a question and honestly answering it:

How can you create more opportunities to write?

I’m not suggesting you write every day, but it doesn’t hurt to reanalyze your schedule every once and awhile to see if there are any new opportunities to squeeze out a bit more time for writing.

It may require some sacrifice but if it gets you closer to finishing that book you’ve been working on for what feels like forever then it’ll be worth it.

person-983889_1920

Happy writing!

Posted on

Getting Started As a Freelance Writer

As a self-published author I can proudly tell you that I generate a nice extra chunk of change from my royalties. The challenge, however, is that once you finish writing your book you need to become a marketing savvy entrepreneur. Though it is extremely rewarding to start seeing the marketing efforts generate passive income, it is also exhausting.

At times I can’t help but wish I could just write an article then forget about it and still earn a couple of dollars.

Enter freelance writing.

Though I have no desire to give up authoring my own books, I am very interested in earning some additional income using my skills as a freelance writer. Below is my plan of attack to make this happen.

As I complete each phase, I’ll write a post that describes any success, pivots, and learning experiences.

Phase 1: Get Educated

I’ll be signing up for at least one of the two courses: Tom Ewer’s Paid To Blog course and Gina Horkey’s 30 Days or Less to Freelance Writing Success.

Screen Shot 2015-11-28 at 3.00.09 PM

Screen Shot 2015-11-28 at 2.59.45 PM

After doing quite a bit of research I’ve decided these two look like the they offer the most bang for the buck. My goals are to learn where to find jobs and how to get them. I’ll report back to let you know if either of these courses helped me achieve those goals.

Phase 2: Build A Portfolio

While I’m taking the course(s) I’m going to focus on writing within three categories:

The portfolio will include articles that I write that are published on other sites. These will cover a range of topics.

Phase 3: Start Pitching/Find Clients

No idea how to go about this but hopefully in a few weeks after a few articles I’ll be ready. Stay tuned for an update on this.

Phase 4: Increase My Rate 

Right now I’m thinking long term which means I’m not focused on earning a ton of money right now. As a novice freelancer I know that I’m going to have to prove myself as a reliable, high quality writer. Once I successfully do this I’ll shift my focus on increasing the rate. My goal is $100 per hour.

money-1062599_1280

My logic is as follows:

If I eventually charge $.10 per word for a 1000 word article, with an average word per hour rate of over 1000 words I can realistically earn $100 per hour.

Regardless of the outcome I’ll be sure to share my progress (or lack thereof) to help make the process as easy as possible if you decide to become a freelance writer yourself.

For now…go write!

 

Posted on

Being A Perfectionist Is Just Procrastination

I average 20,000 words per month while working a full time job, maintaining this blog, running my side hustle (see The Amazon Sales Formula) all while being the best dad and husband I know how to be.

You’re probably thinking I’m full of myself for starting a post with such a statement but in all honesty it is simply to prove one point.

I get things done.

Again, you’re still probably thinking I’m a bit conceited but hear me out.

I am able to get things done because I refuse to let small details prevent me from moving forward. Every first draft I write is pretty weak. It has even gotten to the point where I couldn’t finish my first read over before sending to the editor. At times I’m literally embarrassed at the content I create. However, I know that once I send it through the editing and revision process I’ll be able to create something that is valuable and helpful to many (not all) readers. smiley-452694_1920

Moreover, I believe that most of what I and others create will most likely not be gold at first. It will take some adjustments and some tweaks no matter how much of a perfectionist you are. For this reason I say focus more on getting the first draft out of the way.

If you identify yourself as a perfectionist then I hate to break it to you but you’re creating a permanent excuse that enables you to produce content at a snail’s pace. You might disagree with this and maybe you’re right. But before you ignore this article, I urge you to ask yourself the following questions.

Are you a perfectionist? If yes, then move on to the next question. If no and you’re not happy with the amount you produce then you may want to check out my book The Persistence Formula.

Are you happy with the quality of content you produce? If yes, then move on to the next question. If no, then I recommend you focus attention on methods to help spark your creativity in addition to reading authors you’d like to emulate.

Are you happy with the quantity of content you produce? If yes, then ignore this rant of an article. If no, then you need to ask yourself what you can do to step up your game. The reality is, you’re busy so your time is limited as it is. So you’re focus should be on taking advantage of the time you have. In other words, if you’re busy then you don’t have time to be a perfectionist. Get the draft done as soon as possible then either edit it yourself (though I would not recommend being the only person to edit your draft) or outsource that process. You can find some high quality yet affordable editors at elance.com and/or fiverr.com.

If you find yourself struggling to complete your writing or maximize the small amount of time you have available to write then check out the three strategies below. Bare in mind the strategies focus on helping people who struggle to produce because they are a perfectionist.

Track Your Words Per Hour

Strategy #1: Identify your current words per hour pace. Give yourself challenges to beat the current pace by five words or so. Time yourself and constantly assess what your speed is. Track the data. Focusing on improving your words per hour will help you avoid editing your words as you write them.

Untitled design

Strategy #2: Verbalize your words into a voice recorder first then transcribe those words as you listen to your recording. Just focus on writing everything you say in the recorder and only go back to edit once you’ve typed everything you just recorded.

Untitled design-2

Strategy #3: Incorporate more personal stories within your work. Obviously you only want to do this when it is helpful and valuable for your readers, but when it is this can be a great way to get yourself into a write zone. Use that momentum to continue writing.