Maybe you dreamed for years before becoming a professional writer. Maybe you’re still dreaming, trying to work up the courage to take that mighty leap.
Once you do, you immediately find out that the dream of writing for a living tends to collide with the nightmare of meeting your deadlines.
Not to mention keeping track of multiple projects, leaving enough time to produce quality work, making time to do your own marketing, and remembering to actually invoice your clients.
It’s one thing to write for your own enjoyment, when you feel you have something to say.
But professional writers need to layer on another set of skills.
When we think of terrific professional writers, we usually think of abilities like a beautiful writing voice and a superb grasp of strategy. And those are both important.
There’s also a trait you might not think about as often — and clients are desperate to find it.
That underrated trait is reliability: doing what you say you’ll do, when you say you’ll do it.
For some odd reason, we all think that we should innately know how to do this. That being a reliable person is the same thing as being a good person … and that if we struggle with deadlines or workload, it means we’re lazy or somehow unworthy.
But being productive is a skill. And if you’re struggling with your output, it’s not enough to try to “tough it out.” You need a plan.
Try putting these three pieces in place, and see if it helps restore a little of that dreamlike magic to your professional writing life.
Have a strong productivity system in place
Regular people can “wing it” with their productivity. A pad of paper or an app for a to-do list will meet their needs.
Creative professionals, on the other hand, need to get serious about staying organized.
If you write professionally, in any capacity, you’ll be much happier when you settle on a reliable, consistent system to keep track of all of your obligations, deadlines, client conversations, reference materials, and the other details that can make you crazy if they get away from you.
And partly because you’re a creative person, a one-size-fits-all productivity system probably won’t fit you particularly well. You’ll want to take the time to hammer out your own personalized…