How to Stay Inspired as a Freelance Writer

February 12, 2016

8:00 pm

I love working as a freelance writer. It has been a passion of mine for as long as I can remember. As a huge fan of content marketing, producing high-quality written content is a challenge that I am happy to accept.

For me, the promise of the freelance life has always been like this: waking up to the sound of the sea, setting up my laptop on a table under the warm sunshine, and sipping coconut juice straight from the husk as I effortlessly type out words on the page.

Unfortunately, that’s not always the case for most freelancers. Aside from the fact that I usually don’t get the view that I want, there are plenty of days when writing feels a lot like bleeding words on the immaculately white page. During times like these, the following habits have helped me stay motivated as a freelance writer:

Remember Why You Work as a Freelance Writer

Go back to the reason why I became a freelance writer. Knowing the “whys” of my freelance career is one of my biggest intrinsic motivators. It’s the money that I make compared to that of my previous job. It ’s the extra family bonding time that I get because I’m in control of my schedule. Most of all, it’s the freedom to manage my own time and work from anywhere in the world that has an Internet connection. These reasons serve as a reminder to get my act together and continue moving forward despite the hurdles along the way.

Make Sure You Have the Right Space

Set up a home office. Having a dedicated home office space helps improve focus, creativity, and professionalism. It also helps set up boundaries between work and home life, getting the psyche to perceive the space where things are supposed to get done. That’s why I always gravitate back to that desk that I have consecrated as my home office space. It just exudes a type of energy that tells me that I can be productive here.

Break It Up to Remain Crisp and on Track

Incorporate breaks and rest days in schedules. Much has been said about making schedules, but what’s really important for me is keeping my breaks and rest days sacred. Freelancers often work extra hours than in a regular job, so burnout is always a possibility. I try to avoid this by making sure that I have ample time to recuperate. I keep my weekends free for my friends and family so that come Monday, I’m more than ready to go back to work.

Passion on the Side

Have a passion project. To me, freelancing is also about having the extra time to work on things that I value most. Whether it is writing a book or learning a new craft, such things are important to fuel my creativity and motivate me to finish my freelance tasks on time. I always look forward to adding a page or two to my novel-in-progress at the end of the day, so I really try to finish my work on time to be able to do things that I enjoy afterward.

Don’t Ever Sell Yourself Short

Know one’s worth. It took me a while to learn this lesson, but learning to say no to low-paying gigs and accepting only the projects that fit my current rates are liberating. I found myself exerting my best efforts when I’m being paid the rates that I want (and deserve), as opposed to simply churning words out for no-brainer articles that only pay peanuts. Work smarter, not harder.

Every freelancer has their own motivations. But though they may be different for everyone, these habits that I have cultivated over the years have helped me stay motivated throughout the ups and downs of my freelance writing career. And it all boils down to proper scheduling, having the right environment, and looking for motivations that lie within me.

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Grant Lingel is a travel writer and tourism professional. A perpetual traveler and digital nomad, Grant has visited dozens of countries across five continents on assignment. He has been living in Brazil since 2011 where he owns a small hostel on the island of Vitoria. He also works as the Content Manager at Bunny Inc.

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