10 Life Saving Rules for Writers

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How many times have you found yourself hunched over your desk, eyes barely open, brain so overloaded from all the things you, ‘have to come up with’ to please some editor you don’t even like writing for, for a paycheck that really wasn’t worth all the time, effort, creativity, and burnt brain cells it took to write it?

As a full-time independent writer, I’ve experienced this on way too many occasions. I know what it’s like to get so stuck in a financial rut that you’re doing everything you can to get those jobs that pay something, but, then you find yourself weeks or moths or—God forbid—years down the road without any real literary work to take pride in; bitter that you have wasted so much of your creative talent; and stuck with what feels like an imagination-drought.

Although it seems impossible to recover after one of these ‘dessert’ moments—and many writers give up on their writing dreams altogether—it is possible to not only revive yourself, but thrive again as a writer. Let me throw you a few literary life-preservers.

10 Life-Saving Rules that saved my literary (possibly mental and physical) life:

  1. Find something every day that makes you laugh a good belly laugh.
  2. Make a point to read daily for pleasure—not work
  3. Write something for yourself once a week
  4. Organize your day so that it includes breaks, a walk, and real food.
  5. Stop when you’re body tells you it needs to stop
  6. Make sleep a priority
  7. Discover a routine that works for you and keep it.
  8. Work diligently towards Someday without sacrificing your relationships Today.
  9. Make time for a hobby
  10.  When it’s time to write, Write!

Be proud that you’re a writer, but don’t make the mistake that some many others have made by getting so overloaded with ‘projects’ and ‘stuff’ that they stop loving life and miss out on everything that is meaningful in the world around them.

Someday is coming, I promise. You will get there. But remember that Someday will be a product of what we do and how we live our lives Today. Like the old saying goes: Practice Makes Perfect. Be careful then what it is that your perfecting, heed what you’re practicing.

Cheers to you!

Sam

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Always Moving Forward

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As a writer, especially freelance writers, there is nothing more important than moving forward. Because you know as well as anyone that once you stop moving forward (for whatever reason) it’s nearly impossible to get back into the groove.

What happens though when you realize that you have stopped and now you’re stuck?

I’ll tell you what happens. You either stop and stay stuck (and many writers stop being writers at this point and decide to try and be something else). Or, you pick up your pen and pad and fight to get back up.

I hope, if you’re a writer, that you make the choice to fight for your passion and get back on your feet.

Here are a few helpful tools and resources to do just that.

1. Use your social media:

I know that social media is a great way to find stories and to connect more potential readers, but it’s also an amazing resource for connecting with other writers who are excited about their craft. Search to ‘Friend’, ‘Fan’, and ‘Follow’ those who are doing it! Those who love being writers and are positive.

There’s nothing worse than connecting with those who are stuck like you or worse, because they need encouragement too. It’s impossible to get back up on your feet and get excited to fight again when you’re seeking help from those who are stuck, bitter, and lack enthusiasm.

2. Research Writer’s Contests online.

When you get on a website that is full of Writer’s Contests, you quickly see how many people, publishers, organizations, etc. there are that WANT YOU! (Hope on Google now and search Writer’s Contests – there’s tons.)

A few I use:

Freelance Writing Online

3. Join a Writer’s Community.

Connect with other writers that are in the same pursuit as you. Writer’s Communities share publishing highlights, publishing needs, writing contests, free critiques of your work, and many writing helps forums.

A few that I really enjoy:

FaithWriters

Helium Writer Communities

4. Get Your Feet Wet and Write

There are a few places online where you can start putting your writing skills to the test, and at the same time learn new ways to use social media to create a readership. These groups are places you write and get paid per view or article.

These are not places that I would plan to work the rest of my life, but they are great for learning to meet deadlines, getting editor feedback, learning to how to research, craft, and build good consistent writing habits.

Here are a few of those groups I write for. These groups were really a great influence on my writing etiquette and improving those habits I talked about.

The Examiner

About.com

Helium

FaithWriter

I would suggest starting with FaithWriters, then moving to Helium, and Examiner, and then moving on to About.com.

If you want to get involved with one of these writing groups and are not 100% sure that you’re articles are ready (especially for Examiner and About) EMAIL ME. I’ll take a look at your articles and give you some advice to make sure you are ready! It’s what I love. (For free of course, so feel free to reach out.)

Here’s are few great places to start. Please feel free to ask me for any advise of help along the way. That’s what I do, that’s what I love.

Let me know if this has been helpful to you.

SamTheWriter,

Signing off.

Connect with me:

Connect with me and let me know that you found me on my Writer’s Blog.