Choose Your Own Adventure

How To Be A Successful Freelance Writer

Every choice brings you closer to success. Or does it?

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Photo by Anthony Ginsbrook on Unsplash

I think that’s the single best piece of advice: constantly think about how you could be doing things better and questioning yourself. — Elon Musk

Luckily for you, I’ve poured 10,000 hours into developing a journey to freelance success. Choose your own adventure and become a millionaire!

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Good Morning!

Being a successful writer begins by simply waking up. If you don’t wake up, your only hope is to dream. Waking up at least gives you a shot at success.

What do you do?

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Wake up at 4am

Your alarm goes off and you lumber to the shower. Successful people take cold showers and so you do too. You ignore the pain and convince yourself it’s invigorating because you want to be a successful writer and this is obviously part of the process. Someone successful wrote it down so it must be true.

But what are you going to eat?

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Lite Breakfast

You read somewhere that chewing consumes precious time that could otherwise be spent writing. So for breakfast, and every other meal for that matter, you enjoy a glass of the latest liquid-only vitamin fad drink. Sure, it tastes like shit but it gives your body fuel. And just think of all the time you saved!

You’re now ready to start working. But where does that happen?

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Heavy Breakfast

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. You live by this mantra and you take it to heart. Sure, it takes time to prepare three eggs, four strips of bacon, two waffles, half a melon, and an entire industrial carafe of coffee but this is the fuel you need to be successful. And bacon is delicious no matter what those hippie green people say.

Now you’re properly ready for the day.

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The Office

Sure, you could save money and use a home office, but would you ever get anything done? And human interaction is nice. In moderation, of course. So you pay for a membership at a high-tech co-working space downtown.

But what are you going to do first?

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Wake up at 9am

Setting an alarm is for losers. A truly successful writer let’s their body wake up naturally. The sun pouring through the window gently rouses you from gentle slumber. You smile and wonder why anyone wouldn’t want to wake up this way.

After the bath, you skip breakfast and head to work.

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Home Office

Sure, you have a “home office” as far as the IRS is concerned. But you are most creative, and most comfortable, on the couch. As long as you have an office, the IRS doesn’t care if you actually use it. Right?

But what do you do first?

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Review Your Notebook

All of your thoughts, ideas, and writing prompts are kept in a leather bound notebook. You know the kind with the cool leather rope that keeps everything concealed? That’s the one! You open it up to review yesterday’s additions.

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Check the Internet

Sure, you could be writing but a little distraction can’t hurt. And maybe one of these distractions will provide new inspiration, or maybe even a new contact that could lead to new business. The internet is an endless sea of possibilities!

What do you do next?

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Write on Medium

Sure, you don’t have any new ideas but why would you let that stop you from publishing something. And besides, all those new followers you pick up every day probably haven’t read everything you’ve published.

Feeling accomplished, you have to decide what to do next.

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Apply for the UpWork Gig

So $5 isn’t a lot of money for a thousand words, but an easy gig like this is great for that feedback rating. Making sure your proposal stands out in the sea is key here. You spend the next thirty minutes writing a kick-ass, five-hundred word cover letter outlining your strengths and your past experience in the healthcare field. Of course, you don’t actually have any experience in the field, but the client doesn’t need to know that.

What do you do next?

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Take a Nap

Let’s face it, you’ve worked hard today. Sure, things might not have worked out as planed but you’ve done a lot of work to set things up for the future. And that is just as important as a billable hour! You don’t just need a nap, you deserve a nap.

What is your chosen workout?

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Yoga

Everyone can use a little yoga now and then. After rolling out your yoga mat, you pull up the latest “Yoga with Adrienne” video on YouTube. When you see that it’s an active class, you quit that one and go to “Yoga for Relaxation”, which you’ve got bookmarked.

The evening‘s possibilities are endless. What do you do?

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CrossFit

After arriving at the gym, you’re greeted with a series of yells and instinctively start doing burpees. You throw a medicine ball at the ceiling as if your life depends on it — and it might the way the trainer reacts to your every move.

Sitting down on the couch, you weigh your options. What do you do?

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Cruise Tinder

The night is young and full of potential. A world of opportunity awaits with just a few swipes. You pull out your phone and start swiping.

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Photoshoot

Post workout you’re feeling great and the sun is at the perfect spot in the sky. You heard it called the “magic hour” at some point in the past and you fully support the name. Grabbing your camera and tripod, you head out to catch a few hundred shots.

What do you do?

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Watch Netflix

You’ve done enough work for today. Sure, it wasn’t what you hoped to accomplish but there’s always tomorrow. And right now, there’s a back log of ER to watch. Again.

What do you do?

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Thanks to Quincy Larson for pointing out the Medium hack that made this possible, and to Oliver “Shiny” Blakemore and Ernio Hernandez for encouraging my insanity.

Written by

Co-Founder of The Writing Cooperative ➡️ Connect at JustinCox.com.

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