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How to always have good ideas

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Have you ever had those days when you can’t think of anything to write about?

I thought today would be one of them because as I sat down, with the intention of writing for my blog, I can’t think of an interesting topic.

I considered taking a shower, since there have been many times when a good idea hits me there.

But since I live in a city where boiling water for your bath is a must, unless you want to take an ice-bucket challenge everyday, staying on the couch seemed more like a good idea.

So I didn’t budge and kept staring at my laptop.

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This thing called free writing

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My weekdays often start early and at a fast pace.

This is normal because I have 4 people to take care of.

And when all of them have gone off to work and school I have the time to meditate, exercise, and prepare to write.

Now writing is one of those types of work that is easier said than done.

You need to get both your mind and heart ready for it.

If you’ll scour the web, you’ll find hundreds (maybe even thousands) of motivational and productivity tips for all kinds of writers.

I have created an eBook about it as well.

One of my top tips for getting the writing done is listening to concentration music.

And this has worked well even when my children are at home and I need to finish a piece.

However, listening to these instrumental songs don’t often trigger my desire to write.

It helps when I’m already writing.

And when you don’t “feel” you want to write, your mind will give in to distractions (read: procrastination).

This will cripple you and affect your schedule and output for the day or week, and for some, even for months.

If writing is your source of income then this is bad news.

Some top ways writers fend this off is by reading inspiring materials or by finding a new and relaxing workplace.

Though lately, I’ve been convinced that action leads to more action.

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How I Got Started As A Freelance Writer

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Many friends still ask me how they can start writing and earning online so I thought I’d share this past post which I wrote for one of my first blogs. This was published on Feb. 17, 2011 but the mindset I had and the steps I took are still relevant for many beginners in the freelance/online industry. So without further ado, here’s my story.

It’s been more than a month now after I had resigned from my full-time office job. It’s been a month since I’ve started searching for full-time online jobs to be able to comply with the needs of my family yet still have a good source of income. But it’s just now that I can say, I am able to relax.

It took a lot of time for decision-making before I finally resigned from work. It even took 2 instances of house robberies in our neighbourhood before I got to brace myself to finally draft that resignation letter.

Even if I kept telling myself that, of course any mother’s priority is her children. In all honesty, it was hard to say goodbye to a career you’ve worked hard for and have loved.

Ha! My co-workers may laugh if they read that sentence, but it’s true, no matter how stressful the job was, it gave me fulfillment. But as I have said, I needed to let it go.

And so on my first days of being a stay at home mom, I juggled with the chores and internet job hunting. The stress was from the mindset that I may not land a stable job which a traditional office job offers.

Then I got my first break, well not actually the very first because I got part time online jobs since last year, but this was the first full-time online job. Good rate per hour and seems like a promising employer. I was hyped. I worked till the wee hours and my employer was happy too. My husband was ever supportive too. I can’t say the same for my children though because they continued with their squabbles and fist fights but they have their occasional bits of sweetness to each other too.

Challenges came from the need to know a certain process or software in just a matter of hours yet an output of high standard is expected. But this was so fine with me. I faced the challenges and accepted every, as well as any kind of task, and complied with every deadline. The weeks passed by with good work and great pay.

Then the thing I dreaded most happened. The thing every virtual worker fears: no payment for the hours worked and nowhere to get a guaranty of payment.

So I have to wait. My promising employer still promised to make the payment but I can’t risk working anymore if the pay is not guaranteed. I needed to move on but this means being where I started, applying for online jobs.

I weighed my just so recent previous experience with my almost previous employer and thought of a change of focus in the online career industry. I decided to turn back to writing.

Yup, turn back because I wrote some poems with free verses from grade school to high school. My mother may have still kept my collection, I think.

When I think about it, writing gives freelance online jobs its true meaning which is the ability to balance ones time between family and work. But of course, one still needs to choose the appropriate writing job so as not to be bombarded with too much articles to write.

It took me more than a week before  I finally got hired as an online writer. It also took additional learning to be much better at the skill because writing for the internet is different from writing for print. But it gave me the feeling of satisfaction again. From where in the depths of writing is it coming from, I still cannot pinpoint. It could be from the ability to let words flow or could be the final article. It’s a good feeling which I cherish along with the fact that work-life balance seems more easily attainable now.

I’ve also published a series of posts with strategies to help you get started as a freelancer. You can find them here.