Motivational quotes for writers

  For those days when you just want to give up, here is some comforting advice from great writers and artists ...   It is perfectly okay to write garbage—as long as you edit brilliantly. ~ C. J. Cherryh   If you write one story, it may be bad; if you write a hundred, you have the odds in your favor. ~ Edgar Rice Burroughs   If you can tell stories, create characters, devise incidents, and have sincerity and passion, it doesn’t matter a damn how you write. ~ Somerset

How to Be a More Productive Writer

BY PENNY TYSON     The life of a freelance magazine journalist can be lonely. You are running your own business, playing the role of both employer and employee.  Staying productive and motivated can be tough. Find out about seven simple steps to get you on the road to a productive and rewarding writing career.     Take care of yourself As a freelancer, there is no one to step up to the plate and take over your duties should you fall ill. You need to

Productive Procrastination: Tips for Writers

Procrastination isn’t only a habit of the lazy. It can also be used as a powerful means of improving your writing performance.   BY CHANTAL TARLING Many writers are procrastinators in one way or another – you rush research that should have been finished ages ago or you’re late in meeting deadlines. You know that if you stopped waiting until the last minute, life would be far less stressful. And for some of you, it’s become such an ingrained habit that you don’t

How to Multitask as a Writer

  When it comes to multi-tasking, adopt the phrase: “Fast is slow, slow is fast”.   It turns out that to accomplish more you have to resist the urge to speed up and rather, slow down.   A study conducted by scientists at the Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale (INSERM) in Paris asked study participants to attempt three tasks at once. They found that the participants regularly forgot one of the three tasks they were asked to perform. The participants

5 Ways To Motivate Yourself To Write

By Rozelle Sunkel   When your flaming enthusiasm for a new project has dwindled, you'll have to spark up your motivation manually. Here's how.   You're on fire, you're on a roll, nothing can stop you - and then it hits. The honeymoon phase is over. Your creative endeavour has been reduced to nothing more than a chore. In fact, you'd rather have your arm chewed off than work on your latest article. It's easy to write when you're full of enthusiasm, but when the

Making Time to Write – by Ginny Swart

  You want to write, you've got a great idea for a story, you've made a few notes - but your life is just too busy to get behind your computer. Sound familiar? The trick is to manage your time in a way that gives an hour of "me-time" every day.  Here's how...   First, decide when you feel the freshest and most creative. For some people, this might be 5.30 in the morning, before the rest of the family is up and demanding your

Starting out as a freelance journalist – how to de-clutter your brain with mind maps

  BY SAMANTHA MOOLMAN So, you have decided you want to become a freelance journalist and you’re raring to go. In order to choose a direction, you need to learn how to de-clutter your mind with mind maps.   You might feel like you’ve hit a brick wall and don’t know where to begin. You might be drowning in a sea of countless writing opportunities that you can pursue, but you can’t decide which one is right for you. Without a clear-cut vision, it’s

Writing Tips: How to Stop Procrastinating and Start Prioritising

- by Sam Moolman   Wikipedia defines procrastination as “the act of replacing high-priority tasks with tasks of low-priority, and thus putting off important tasks to a later time”. Tasks of low-priority could be anything from checking your Twitter and Facebook feeds, happily running errands for other people, or convincing yourself that you're famished (which leads to wasted hours building the perfect sandwich). Procrastination means you’d rather walk over hot coals than start tackling the task which needs to be done. Here's how

Writers – how to maximise efficiency at work

How do you make the most of your writing time? Here are some key tools and tips. - by Sam Moolman At school and throughout my university career, I was that annoying student who always wrote up until the last possible second during tests and exams. Most students can’t wait to be done with an exam. Those who finish first will probably answer what they can, and then happily slap their paper down in front of the lecturer before dashing out of

Top Tips for Managing Your Writing Time

- By Sam Moolman Admin... The horror! Journalists generally tend to shy away from planning and order – not knowing where we’ll be or who we’re going to interview on any given day is often seen as a bonus. For most of us, “routine” simply means getting the info you need and filing a story no matter what, before jumping into the next assignment almost immediately. I’ll admit, dealing with the unexpected is unavoidable, but when it comes to things that we

How to Avoid Depression as a Freelance Writer

BY LYNDSAY WILSON Freelance writing seems like a dream career to many: giving up the rat race to tap away at a laptop wearing your pyjamas seems ideal, to say the least. The thing is, freelance writing can be bad for your mental health. A global survey reported that freelancers are the least likely to feel that they are “thriving” in their jobs. The very same things that make conventional employment unappealing - irritating colleagues, pointless meetings and office politics - actually

Five Apps that can Help Writers Bust Procrastination

BY LIDA MEYER It’s one of those days. You’re sitting in front of your computer, staring at an empty Word document. You feel uninspired, and your mind keeps wandering. Plus, there’s a whole world of distraction only a few mouse clicks away. A quick look on Facebook and Twitter won’t hurt. Oh, and perhaps your favourite blog has a new post. Before you know it, two hours have passed, and the page you should’ve been focusing on is still blank. Does this scenario

Freelance writing: The childcare conundrum

Lullabies and billable hours: KARIN WALDHAUSER looks at childcare options for freelance writers. It’s an assumption that’s made time and time again: if I work from home, I won’t need childcare. Optimistic mothers and fathers picture themselves tapping away at the keyboard, perhaps rocking a moses basket with a foot as they type. Or skyping a colleague while the toddler sits engrossed in picture books. The thing is, very few babies are born with a better-be-quiet-because-mummy’s-working programme. And you can almost guarantee

Top 10 Time Management Tips for Journalists

Become a successful freelance journalist at The Writers College Magazine Journalism Course

  Have you ever heard the saying from Salmon of Doubt author Douglas Adams, “I love deadlines. I love the whooshing noise they make as they go by”? For budding journalists, meeting deadlines is no easy task. DEIRDRE RUSSELL looks at proven ways to ease the strain.   It has been said that ‘Time Management’ is really a misnomer – the challenge is not to manage time, but manage ourselves. Budding journalists take note: there is more to winning in this game than just being

Time Management for Journalists – Why Do We Procrastinate?

With social media and dozens of other wonderful distractions filtering in and out of our daily lives, is it any wonder that we find it so difficult to concentrate on our writing? MICHELLE J RENSBURG looks at why journalists so love to procrastinate.    Journalists - especially the freelance, work-from-home type, are often told to learn time-management skills. But before we can embrace time management rules, we may need to look at what is holding us back. Our greatest enemy could very well

Work smarter, not harder: 5 time-management tips for journalists

  BY CARA VERSFELD   “The key to not feeling rushed is remembering that lack of time is actually lack of priorities.” – Timothy Ferriss, author of the New York Times Bestseller, The 4-Hour Workweek.   To a certain degree writers can be thought of as entrepreneurs. You’re ultimately running your own “business” and taking on financial risks in the hope of profit. Therefore, the same time-management tips apply for writers as for someone running a small business. Work smarter, not harder Instead of being robotic in

Finding Story Ideas and Article Angles in Your Day Job – by Debra Bradley

  One of the toughest aspects of getting started as a magazine journalist is coming up with original ideas that you feel confident enough to write about. Your job could be an excellent starting point. Use your job for article ideas One of the perks of using your day job as a source of ideas for a magazine article is the wealth of information you have access to. From office politics and office gossip (women’s magazines and management magazines) to insider knowledge of the

Time Management for Journalists: from an Ayurvedic Perspective – by Malaika Davies

  Life as a freelance journalist can get a little hectic. There is a lot to juggle between sending out query letters, researching, interviewing, writing, and keeping track of the invoicing. If we’re not careful we can end up chained to our desks trying to hammer out an article when, perhaps, larger forces are against us.   Ayurveda is a Sanskrit word for ‘life-knowledge’. It is an ancient Indian form of natural medicine and has been used for thousands of years. One fundamentalpart

Effective Time Management for Journalists

Most journalists realise early in their careers that even 24 hours in a day may not be enough. From following a lead, digging up a story, interviewing sources, writing the piece to editing and checking facts, they do it all. In addition, they are usually working on multiple pieces at the same time. Effective time management is thus essential. Namrata Nanda talks about ways in which journalists can manage their time better. As a journalist, you will often find yourself chasing

Famous Quotes on Writing

Need some writing inspiration and courage to keep going? Here are wise words on writing - from famous writers. "A professional writer is an amateur who didn't quit." ~ Richard Bach "I only write when I'm inspired, so I see to it that I'm inspired every morning at nine o'clock." ~ Peter De Vries “Talent is cheaper than table salt. What separates the talented individual from the successful one is a lot of hard work.” ~ Steven King “It's none of their business that

Rejection. Introspection. Dejection – by Ginny Swart

Rejection. Introspection. Dejection. Funny how these words all go together. For the writer, rejection is part of life. Even the best known writers get rejected by editors who have bought loads of their previous offerings. What's more, editors very seldom give you a reason for their rejection; they just trot out their stock rejection notes and some of them are real lulus. Rejection Letters from Editors Here are a couple of samples: "Thank you for letting us read your story, but this one isn't suitable

Getting into a Writing Routine

  "Every morning between 9 and 12 I go to my room and sit before a piece of paper. Many times, I just sit for three hours with no ideas coming to me. But I know one thing. If an idea does come between 9 and 12 I am there ready for it." Flannery O'Connor  "All through my career I've written 1 000 words a day – even if I've got a hangover. You've got to discipline yourself if you're professional.

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