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A Severe Case of.. Writer's Block
Writing

A Severe Case of.. Writer’s Block

I haven’t written anything for months. The thought that NaNoWriMo is a little bit over a month away is scary. Also, HOW is it already the end of July?

So how does one get over writer’s block? I feel like I fell off the tracks and I have no idea how to put it into words.

It all started… well, it never really started. I used to be good at writing. The whole ‘show don’t tell’ I got drilled in me during my Creative Writing degree stayed with me for years after and I obeyed it without fail.

Truth be told, I lost my words. My fingers just won’t move across my keyboard the way I want them to. Words aren’t coming out as descriptive, as flowy, and as telling as I’d want them to. Nothing makes sense. My stories are weak, my scenes have holes, my places aren’t

My mind is a huge mess that just can’t be solved. Kind of like those headphones you neatly put in your bag only to find they’ve somehow managed to tangle themselves up. Can’t I just buy a new mind? It seems like only one side of my brain is actually working and it’s definitely not the creative side.

It’s not just words – I lost my story. What am I supposed to write about? I recently read some of the most amazing pieces from people who went on amazing adventures.

“Write what you know.” – and if I don’t, can I learn? Or do I have to know it from the beginning?

It’s a severe case of writer’s block and I can’t get out of it. But I’m still writing. That’s good… right?

And I’m so confused by what Shark Week actually is (apart from the obvious metaphorical term).

Being a healthy and disciplined freelancer
Digital Nomad Guides, Writing

Being a Healthy and Disciplined Freelancer

Welcome to the freelance club. Now sit back and watch the money roll in. Take it easy and enjoy the amount of free time you now have. Put up your feet and fall in love with working to your own schedule.

Wait. Not happening?

Freelancing is a tricky business, there are many positives and many more negatives which come with this work adventure. And if you know me, I talk all the time how this is NOT a shortcut to get money. Like for real, work is work, and just because you can choose your own hours, it doesn’t mean you don’t have to do the work. Things will hit the fan if you don’t discipline yourself and create a productive routine.

1. Create a space. And actually work there

If you are anything like me, then you are easily distracted by your surrounding area. You are sat on the couch, but the cat walking through your yard is acting very suspicious. You try your room, but Netflix has been left on from this morning and, wait, THERE’S A FRIENDS EPISODE YOU HAVEN’T SEEN?!

Take the time to create your own space, hire an interior decorator or do it yourself, but designate a space where you can work and do nothing else. A desk, a lamp, paper and a pen, your laptop, a coaster for your coffee mug and an adequate view. Now when you sit down (or stand up) in this space, you are here to work. You will notice the distractions less and will be more focused.

2. Eat, sleep, and be enthusiastic

As a freelancer you need to be aware of your health. We usually work from home and do not leave the comforts we have created for ourselves (I sometimes don’t even roll out of my bed all day unless I have to). The health or a freelancer can suffer. Don’t let it happen.

  • Eat well. Fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, lean protein, fibre and all the other stuff like nutrients and minerals, etc, etc. Eating well = healthy body = healthy mind = good freelancing.
  • Drink lots of water. Or drink lots of water based drinks which are also low in sugar. Keeping hydrated means our brains are working well.
  • Sleep. Take the time to wind down at night and get 6-8 hours sleep. A rested freelancer is a productive freelancer.
  • Meditate. Take the time out of you work day to focus on yourself for a few minutes. Clear your mind and achieve a sense of wellbeing. It has been shown that people who meditate are happier than this who do not.
  • Be comfortable. If you are going to be sitting for long periods of time then invest in a chair which will support your back,. Your health should always be the number one priority.
  • Exercise and stretch. Sitting for extended periods can be detrimental to your health. Take five minutes every hour to either walk or stretch. Together we can show pain and fatigue who is boss.

3. Create a schedule and stick to it

You were working a nine-to-five job, but now you have left the rat-race, so why should you conform to working hours?

So often as a freelancer you will find the distinction between work and play becoming blurred. When you are working you will stop and play and when you are playing your mind will drift towards work. By setting defined work hours you will be more productive, focused and energized within those hours, and you will be able to enjoy the ‘me time’ guilt free. There’s a good chance your clients will be from all around the world and sometimes you’ll have to stick to different working hours. Make sure you have a clear idea of what those hours will be to avoid ugly surprises.

*Pro tip: take the time to plan a commute for your work day. When working at the office you would not get out of bed and begin work straight away. Take the time to wake up, grab some breakfast and perhaps even take a walk around the block to ready yourself for the working day ahead. Believe me, it works!

4. Utilize productivity tools

Productivity = good.

Tool = helpful.

Productivity tool = Invaluable (or good helpful if you’re a math person).

  • Management and productivity tools will help to integrate your work and calendar to better manage your day and help to set a task-based schedule.
  • Time management tools can help you to keep a record of all the tasks and activities completed throughout the day.
  • Make sure to set some overall goals for yourself. If you can set and visualize your goals, you can become more focused, motivated and time conscious.
  • Writing is an enormous asset as a freelancer. Writing tools can help to proofread, edit and format your work. Your grammar so bad? Bad, writing, style? Productivity tools will help.
  • Cannot make a decision? Or can you? No? Don’t worry, there are apps for that.

Productivity tools can be an essential part of a freelancer’s repertoire.

5. Reward the good & embrace the bad

There will be many times throughout your freelancing career that will be incredibly positive and rewarding. Celebrate these times for you have deserved it. Acknowledge the good work you have done and it will become more motivating to put in the effort to do this again and again.

There will be also many, many, many, many times during your career that you will face rejection, heartbreak, and clients disappearing before they pay you (AND STILL USE YOUR CONTENT AFTER *cough* *cough* not putting anyone on blast, but karma will come and get you…). Happens. All freelancers have faced rejection and negativity at many points of their life. The best of us will take this rejection, accept it, use it to better ourselves, learn about ourselves and move on. If this was complete and reasonable injustice, karma will take care of the rest. Don’t beat yourself over the bad.

*Pro tip: get used to rejection. Interviews are a fun way of socializing and networking, don’t always expect a positive outcome.

6. Hold yourself accountable

Working from home and for yourself can be hard and demotivating. If you are finding it hard then set up a network or community of accountability around you. Your family or friends, other freelancers online or just your cat. If you have someone watching, waiting to see you complete your work then you will find a natural drive to not disappoint.

One thing you can also do, if you’re really struggling (like I did a month ago), is hire a life coach to smoke out the bad habits out of you and really hold you accountable to your stuff. Trust me, it’s working.

If you have read this far then well done to you. You are ready to be a productive member of the freelancer community. So what are you waiting for, go on get out there and do some work. 🙂

10 City Quotes to Boost Your Wanderlust
My Confessions, Writing

10 City Quotes to Boost Your Wanderlust

As if we needed more motivation to get out there. But if you do, read up 🙂  The first quarter of 2017 isn’t even over yet, but I’m calling it already. Owning it and claiming it. In order to motivate myself to save up even more and work harder, I spent some of my free time coasting the web for insanely inspiring city quotes for some of my top destinations I want to visit. Let’s fuel the wanderlust train! See you out there 🙂

  1. Amsterdam

    10 City Quotes to Boost Your Wanderlust

  2. Barcelona

    Barcelona quote Amsterdam quote 10 City Quotes to Boost Your Wanderlust

  3. Berlin

    Berlin quote Barcelona quote Amsterdam quote 10 City Quotes to Boost Your Wanderlust

  4. London

    London quote Berlin quote Barcelona quote Amsterdam quote 10 City Quotes to Boost Your Wanderlust

  5. Los Angeles

    Los Angeles quote London quote Berlin quote Barcelona quote Amsterdam quote 10 City Quotes to Boost Your Wanderlust

  6. New York

    New York quote Los Angeles quote London quote Berlin quote Barcelona quote Amsterdam quote 10 City Quotes to Boost Your Wanderlust

  7. Paris

    Paris quote New York quote Los Angeles quote London quote Berlin quote Barcelona quote Amsterdam quote 10 City Quotes to Boost Your Wanderlust

  8. Rome

    Rome quote Paris quote New York quote Los Angeles quote London quote Berlin quote Barcelona quote Amsterdam quote 10 City Quotes to Boost Your Wanderlust

  9. Sydney

    Sydney quote Rome quote Paris quote New York quote Los Angeles quote London quote Berlin quote Barcelona quote Amsterdam quote 10 City Quotes to Boost Your Wanderlust

  10. Vancouver

    Vancouver quote Sydney quote Rome quote Paris quote New York quote Los Angeles quote London quote Berlin quote Barcelona quote Amsterdam quote 10 City Quotes to Boost Your Wanderlust

millennial work week
Writing

I’m a millennial and I challenge you to take on my work week

You know what, I’m so sick and tired of the “millennial” term. I recently went on a Facebook post rant and it was the inspiration for this blog post. Millenials suck, they’re lazy, they have zero work ethic and most people absolutely hate working with millennials.

Newsflash: work ethic has very little to do with your age

Being entitled comes largely from parenting. Yep. The Generation X or whatever you want to call it. If you were raised to be an entitled person, you will BE an entitled person. Simple as that.

I know very few millennials who don’t work hard. Most of us are stuck with huge amounts of debt and a terrible housing situation ahead of us. Sure, you have “millennials” who don’t work because their parents provide them with absolutely anything. Those who dare to say they’re a “naturally late” person at their workplace or those that just don’t strive for anything other than their current job title. But that’s absolutely not how it is for most 20-somethings.

I challenge you to have my millennial work week

I’m a digital nomad. Go ahead, do the eyeroll for the “typical millennial job”. Do another eye roll after you read that I live on the island of Santorini. Done? Ok, let’s talk business.

I’m a freelancer and I currently work for 5 clients almost every day of the week, which adds up to 50+ hours per week of work, including weekends.

My typical work day looks something like this:

  • 5am – Wake up – I have been a part of the 5am club for the past year and have very rarely missed this wake up call. I shower, do 10 pushups (every day), meditate, 30 min dance stretching, make coffee and breakfast.
  • 7am – Gym
  • 9am – Start work

Here’s what I do on a daily & weekly basis:

  • Social media management of 3 separate businesses (this includes communicating with everyone that comes in contact through those channels, making graphics and making infographics)
  • Coming up with social media strategies and keeping up with over 20 tools I use with different clients
  • Communicate with clients from UK & LA (which sometimes means I need to be on a Skype call at 5am because of the time zone) on 5 separate chatrooms
  • I write 10 blog posts every week – 4 of them have 1800+ words (ranging from politics to incredibly gruesome topics) and are produced as a script for a YouTube channel, 4 are fun types for another client (1000 words) and 2 for a small business life coach (500 words) (plus stuff for my own blog)
  • Editing and SEO optimizing blog posts every single day
  • Managing freelance writers for 2 separate clients and sending them topics as well as editing and scheduling all content
  • Replying to all (sometimes ridiculous) guest blog post emails
  • Creating outreach for 2 separate clients and emailing 10 prospective new clients on a daily basis
  • In charge of one of my client’s calendar and going through Meetup events, scheduling it in Google Calendar every week
  • Keeping up with Real Estate and HR news (separate clients) and creating summaries so my bosses can stay on top of everything that’s going on
  • Currently managing 3 separate email accounts and 2 emails on another server
  • Sending mass texts (and separate texts everytime someone has a birthday), bi-weekly and weekly newsletters, creating long PDF guides for everything you can think of, making email campaigns,..
  • Having almost 24/7 availability in the case of emergency because I want to see my clients’ work succeed

Do this for 20 days.

No really. I challenge you to do all that in a week for 20 days and then let’s talk how entitled all millennials are. On top of all this, I have student loan debt, I am currently learning Greek, I speak 3 languages fluently + intermediate Spanish, I’ve also lived in London and Madrid, and I am a weightlifter who’s in the gym almost every day without fail.

#myworkweekchallenge

Tell me how millennials are entitled and lazy one more time please.