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5 Reasons Why All Freelance Writers Need a Daily Routine

I love reading about other writers’ routines: Ernest Hemingway wrote at dawn, Maya Angelou wrote out of a hotel room, Alice Munro writes for three hours and walks for three miles. Freelancers also need routines — and because we have multiple demands on our time besides writing, we need our routines to be a little more specific than, to quote Hemingway, “write every morning as soon after first light as possible.” When are you going to check email? When are you going to pitch? When are you going to silence your phone and work on your next assignment? If you have multiple assignments to complete, how much time will you assign to each one? I’ve been a full-time freelance writer for six years, and having a daily routine — one that includes time for writing, rewriting, pitching and administrative work — has been one of the secrets of my success. In fact, I’m pretty sure my routine has helped me earn more money. Here’s how. 1. A routine structures your day One of the hardest parts of being a freelance writer is having to create your own structure. If you don’t make time to send out pitches, you won’t book any work. If you don’t make time to complete the work, you won’t earn any money. If you don’t take time to do all of the administrative work associated with freelancing — following up with clients, keeping track of business expenses, maintaining a website — you won’t grow your career. Turning my day into a daily routine helped me make time for all of the work that freelancing requires — and it also helped me avoid the decision fatigue that comes with asking yourself “what am I going to do today?” over and over again. I already know: I’m going to check the news, I’m going to check my email, I’m going to check social media and then I’m going to write for an hour. Knowing what you’re going to do every day helps you get it done. 2. A routine prevents procrastination If you start writing every day at…

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