Julie Tucker
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Freelancers: Why now is the BEST time to plan ahead

Ever considered that gearing up for Christmas can be the perfect opportunity to set the stage for an energised start to the New Year?

While the festive season is packed full of joy and celebrations, proactively preparing yourself beforehand can make it easier to transition back to work mode in January.

This is particularly relevant for freelancer writers, who might find it challenging to summon the drive to secure new projects or tap into their creative mindset.

Amid the hustle and bustle of holiday festivities, finding moments of inspiration and planning ahead can set the tone for a productive and fulfilling start to the upcoming year.

We’ve compiled some handy tips to help get you started.

1. Define writing projects

Whether it’s finishing a novel, starting a blog, or exploring a new genre, having specific writing goals provides a roadmap for your creative journey. Studies show that breaking down large goals into smaller, manageable tasks can significantly increase motivation and productivity.

2. Craft a writing schedule

Creating a dedicated time for writing, free from distractions, can help you ease back into the flow of storytelling.

Research indicates that having a consistent writing schedule can help train your brain to enter a creative state more easily during designated times. This is known as “contextual cueing,” where your mind associates a specific environment or routine with creative activity.

3. Reflect on your writing journey

Take a moment to reflect on your writing journey over the past year. Celebrate achievements, learn from challenges and use these insights to refine your approach in the coming year.

Reflective practices, such as journaling about your writing experiences, have been linked to increased self-awareness and improved problem-solving skills. Taking the time to reflect on your writing journey can contribute to your overall growth as a writer.

4. Organise your writing space

Declutter your writing space and organise your writing tools. A well-arranged workspace can serve as a conducive environment for inspiration and focused writing sessions. On a dark January morning, sitting in your home office, the lure of the kitchen, the settee and your quilt can be a major drawback if you’re already feeling lethargic. If you haven’t already tried working from a coworking space, one of your New Year resolutions should be to give it a go.

5. Connect with fellow writers

Reconnect with writer friends, join writing communities, or attend literary events. Building and nurturing a supportive network can provide valuable insights, feedback and encouragement for your writing endeavours.

Social connections play a crucial role in overall wellbeing. Engaging with fellow writers not only provides a supportive community but it also stimulates the release of oxytocin – a hormone associated with bonding and positive emotions.

6. Plan for creative breaks

Schedule breaks for creative rejuvenation! Stepping away from your work at times can foster fresh ideas and prevent burnout.

Research indicates that taking breaks during prolonged cognitive tasks can prevent mental fatigue and enhance creativity. Creative breaks allow your mind to wander, fostering the incubation of new ideas and perspectives.

In essence, the last working week is not merely a countdown to a holiday break but a valuable time for intentional preparation. Embracing this week allows you to align your aspirations, celebrate your journey, and foster the motivation needed to propel yourself into a successful and inspired New Year.

So, seize the moment, make the most of these final workdays, and step into the New Year with a well-prepared and motivated mindset.


© Roman Samborskyi / Shutterstock.com


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