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Sunday, June 29, 2014

Last post of the Blogathon: One-Day ONLY Special Offer--and 8 Ways to Beat Writers' Anxiety

Blogathon, day 30! Thank goodness it's over. I'm actually posting this on Sunday night because I'm swamped tomorrow morning and to give readers a jump on my special offer. 

As I said yesterday, blogging every day doesn't sell books. So in honor of the end of the blogathon, I'm trying something that hopefully will. For ONE DAY ONLY, all of the electronic versions of Improvise Press' books will be HALF OFF. That's $4.99 for:  

Don't have a Kindle? No problem. You can download other e-reader-friendly versions (including a PDF) at Smashwords here: 
This offers ends on Monday, July 1st, when the blog goes on hiatus, so buy your books today--and share this on social media! Thank you! And now for today's post: 

I'm an anxious person by nature. That anxiety has been a driving force in many ways; it got me through college, law school, and two states' bar exams, and a demanding but unsatisfying career as an attorney. It also helped me power through the first few years of full-time freelancing, and has given me the energy and drive to continue to freelance as the publishing world has undergone radical change--and not always for the better. 

I've talked to many fellow freelancers and found that many, like me, are anxious as well. Maybe it's part of our DNA as writers, or it's because a certain amount of anxiety if motivating when you're self-employed. (It is for me, anyway.) But too much anxiety is counterproductive, and it just flat out feels awful. Yes, I obsess sometimes about the amount of work I have (either too much or not enough) but I've found a number of ways to manage my freelancer's anxiety. I think they'll work for you, too: 

1. Start early. I start researching assignments very soon after receiving them, especially when they're souce-heavy. Even so, I'm always at least a little worried about finding enough (and the right) sources until that I wrap up the interview with the last critical person on my list. 

2. Exercise. It's the number one way to beat anxiety, and you can't worry about and work out hard at the same time. I don't always work out first thing in the morning; sometimes I run or bike over my lunch break, which makes me much more focused and productive in the afternoons. 

3. Know what you're doing. Don't get stressed second-guessing yourself. Confirm the specs of the assignment with your client before you're writing so you know exactly what she wants. 

4. Get it down. All too often, I angst over the initial draft of an article, book chapter, you name it. Once I have a draft down, though, that anxiety recedes. Even the crappiest draft can be improved upon, but you can't do anything with the draft that's still in your head. 

5. Forget perfect. I use a three-draft process for pretty much everything I write and don't rewrite after that. Rewriting over and over wastes time and actually makes you more anxious! 

6. Mentally "let it go." My four-year-old walks around singing this hit from Frozen constantly, and it's good advice for freelancers, too. When you turn a piece in, let it go. You'll waste time and stress yourself out for no reason worrying about what your editor will say--and you have no control over it, either.    

7. Think ahead. When I'm really busy, I'll put in an extra hour or so of work after my kids are in bed. I feel like it gives me a jump on the next day, and takes the edge off worrying about getting everything done. 

8. Have a plan. I find that writing down my goals for the day and checking them off help me manage my anxiety--and gives me a sense of satisfaction as well. 

**Readers, what about you? Did you take advantage of the special offer? Do you struggle with writer's anxiety? Feel free to comment here...and enjoy your July! I'll bring the blog back from hiatus in August.