As a freelancer you will sometimes need some extra motivation. Especially if you are a work from home freelance writer who needs to self-motivate and meet deadlines. Search around and you’ll find plenty of things like:
- just do it
- visualize yourself doing it
- imagine your rewards
When this standard, specialized advice doesn’t work for you, it’s time to turn to someone who actually has problems with motivating himself even for his own successful home-based freelance writing business. Oh, wait… that’s ME!
Motivation Strategies for Freelancers
Honestly, not everything works for everyone. However, I have had real world success using these motivational tips and techniques. So, when “just do it,” just doesn’t work any more, try these ways to get freelance writing motivation.
- Get Ready for Work
- Remember back before you were a happy work-at-home freelance writer writing from your sweet tricked out home office just steps from your bed? What did you do every morning before heading into the office. Chances are you did stuff like take a shower, get dressed, eat some breakfast, get your bag together, and then head out. Believe it or not, those activities send a very real signal to your brain that it is time to get ready to work. On the other hand, grabbing a mug of coffee and scuffing along the carpet in your slippers can send a signal that it’s relax and hang out time.
- No one is saying that you can’t work in your flannel pants and ratty t-shirt, I mean, that’s half the point of being a freelancer, but when your motivation is sagging, it’s time to shake things up. Try getting dressed in work-type clothes and maybe grabbing a shower.
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- Chances are you already use some sort of music. Most of us creative types often like to listen to music while working, but if the usual isn’t working, it’s time to try somethign different. I like using Spotify because it has the stations or playlists that you can select based on things like “mood” or what you are doing. Choosing one of these can meet the dual goals of getting some new music, without having to listen to a constant stream of songs that annoy you.
- Also, try headphones. Even if you are working alone, in your own office, in your own house, headphones have the effect of shutting you off and making you alone. That might just be the tweak to your mental state that you need to focus and stop worrying about the laundry.
- Water, Exercise, Vitamins
- There is almost nothing in this world, from mental health, to vision, to mood that can’t be positively impacted by getting enough water, enough exercise, and enough nutrition. Try popping a multivitamin and some fish oil with a big (seriously, get that 32-oz bad boy from the back of the cabinet) of water, and then do some jumping jacks. Or, better yet, get outside and run around the block. Sunshine has been shown to help mood and focus in some people too.
- Remember, this isn’t about your fitness, or getting your cardio up, this is about getting some juices moving into that brain. (I mean, if you feel like doing a full workout, go for it, but it isn’t necessary for what you are trying to accomplish here.)
- Organization and Timers
- Everyone works better when a deadline is barreling down on them. Try creating an artificial one. This works better for some people than others. It doesn’t work so well for me, for example. I’m too good and remembering that the real deadline is out further. But, I can use this strategy by committing to something. For example, I can tell my wife, “Can you read a draft for me tonight?” That turns it into a real deadline because she can’t read a draft if I don’t have one, and I don’t want to have to answer why I don’t have a draft (especially, if it was just because I couldn’t get myself motivated.)
What tricks do you use to motivate yourself when writing? You’ll need them if you plan on doing NaNoWriMo next month while keeping your freelance writing business going.