Before I became a freelance writer, I knew I’d hit a point where I’d be near the end of a writing or editing project and wonder, “what do I do next?”
I needed to have a plan of action … or better yet, a plan to stay active. Staring at a project’s completion point, it can be easy to get complacent … but, before you know it, you’re on the self-pity, despair, dogs-and-cats-living-together-mass-hysteria route … and that’s just not a fun place to be!
So to avoid that unpleasantness, here are three things I’m doing:
Networking. Portland practically explodes with creativity. Aside from being home to microbreweries, strip clubs, and coffee houses, the Portland metro area teems with entrepreneurs, marketers, artists, freelance writers, poets, designers, and other talented folks. Networking has been good to me. I found one of my first clients at a meeting of the Northwest Networking Professionals. Beyond that, social media sites like Twitter and LinkedIn have helped me as a freelance writer. Friends, former clients, and acquaintances are all good lead generators.
Writing every day. When I’m working with a client, freelance writing takes all of my energy. I stay focused until it’s done, which is why my turnarounds are pretty fast. When I am not working on a project, I tend to write fiction or work on screenplays. This is also a viable avenue for sales (albeit a much more, ah, challenging path), but it’s also a lot of fun. As long as I’m producing content, I’m keeping those mental “muscles” primed and strong.
Blogging. Okay, this technically falls under “writing every day.” And I’ve been less than good at blogging. I need to blog more. The main reason is that it will help drive traffic to my site. Direct calls and direct e-mails are still viable marketing options, but folks who find me on the Internet are quality leads because they’ve already decided they need a freelance writer. Weblog content will help them find me.
So far, I’ve been fortunate to have several projects on my plate since I’ve become a freelance writer and editor. As long as I stay active, I hope to keep them coming.
How do you stay active?