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Sunday, June 1, 2014

Are You a Lazy Writer? (Shhhh....I Won't Tell)

Hi, readers, and welcome to the 2014 Freelance Success/WordCount Blogathon!

Question--are you a lazy writer?

Don't be offended by my asking. Because I sure am.

I tend to pitch my regular clients over and over, instead of looking for new markets. (It's on my list.)

I tend to stay in my freelance niche of health, fitness, nutrition, and wellness (along with writing about successful freelancing) instead of considering new (and marketable) niches.

I tend to go to see other freelancers doing something very well (say, amassing 20,000+ followers on Twitter) and think, "I need to do that!" And then... I don't.

And when I've accomplished what I need to for the day, I'm happy to mentally "punch out." After 17+ years of freelancing, I don't associate a 40-hour workweek with success anymore because I know productivity is more important than putting in a certain number of hours at your desk.

So, yeah, I'm lazy. And sometimes that's a good thing:

  • If I think a story needs three sources, I'll interview three--not five, or six, or even eight the way I might of early on in my freelance career, looking for the "perfect" quotes. 
  • If I think the second draft of an article is good enough to submit, I'll do a quick proofread and turn it in instead of tinkering with it until it sings. 
  • When I'm ghostwriting the first draft of a book chapter for a client, I don't even attempt for perfection--because I know that my client will want to make changes. 

So my "laziness" is sometimes a freelance asset. But it's time to shake things up with the Blogathon. During this month, I'll blog all 30 days of June (yikes) about successful freelancing. We'll be talking about working more efficiently; exploring new markets; getting more work from current clients; making more money; and even managing the emotional ups and downs of freelancing. And each day, I'll give you an assignment to help you enhance your freelance career. Complete the assignments, and I promise you by month's end, you'll be looking at more clients, more money, and more satisfaction with your chosen profession.

So here's the first assignment:

Ask yourself if you're a lazy writer. (You don't have to admit it openly like I did.)

Now list three ways in which you're a lazy writer:


Now, for the hard part. Come up with three solutions for those three ways.

Here's how I'm completing this assignment:

1. I write for the same markets over and over.
2. I'm stuck in my comfort zone, writing about health and fitness constantly.
3. I only blog once/week.

And here are my laziness solutions:

1. I will pitch at least four new markets (one/week) for the following month.
2. I will pitch at least four ideas that are not health- and fitness-related for the following month.
3. I will sign up for the Blogathon and blog 30 times/month!

Feel free to comment below with one of the ways you're a lazy writer if you want to make yourself accountable for solution, and tune in tomorrow for another post!

**Are you a new reader of my blog? Welcome! You may want to check out one of my books on freelancing: Dollars and Deadlines: Make Money Writing Articles for Print and Online Markets is written for brand-new freelancers in search of their first clips. Six-Figure Freelancing: The Writer's Guide to Making More Money, Second Edition is a freelancing classic that helps both new and experienced writers boost their bottom line. And my latest book, Goodbye Byline, Hello Big Bucks: Make Money Ghostwriting Books, Articles, Blogs and More, Second Edition, shows how to break into the ghostwriting/content marketing field. 


  1. I think I do the worst of 2 bad things - I'm a lazy writer who then feels guilty and so over-compensates instead of just working efficiently from the very beginning. Thanks for the inspiration (and the push towards accountability/solutions). Very helpful!

    1. My pleasure, Deborah! Glad the post was helpful. :)