Writers Must Be Dragon Slayers
And other news...
Writers & entrepreneurs can benefit from a dragon-slaying routine and a sharp LinkedIn strategy. Here's how to do both.
Photo by Jonathan Kemper on Unsplash
I was reading Writer's Digest this morning during a slot of the morning I affectionately and uninspiringly call my coffee time. And like author Kim Catanzarite explains in her WD article "The Problem with Promotion Isn't What You Think it Is," I agree, the problem here isn't lack of opportunity for writers and entrepreneurs, but overwhelm from too much of it.
I've been saying this for years.
So coffee time this morning was a read of this article and making some notes on promo things I'd like to get done today—what I might do better, schedule better, slay better. And it got me to thinking about dragons.
This should not surprise you.
I enjoy this quiet coffee time of the morning before the hustle and stir of my freelance writing career swoops in and takes over the next several hours of my day. Which means that after coffee time comes a whirlwind of activities for my writing career:
promoting my professional articles,
writing new ones like this one,
and spreading the word about my books.
But before that whirlwind swoops in...I know I have to do something very important first. Something that happens every day right after coffee time wraps up and I finish taking this sweet princess out for her walk...
...I know that my first item of business must be THE BIGGEST ONE
The MEANEST ONE who will command all my skill, all my attention, and all my squirrels (in my brain) to get in line and act appropriately. I mean—it's time to slay my dragon.
If you slay your dragon first thing...before your lumbar pain kicks in and the coffee high runs out...then you can take full advantage of:
The first hit of creativity of your day.
The dragon may be sleepy. You can put the sneak on it.
Your body is refreshed and ready to work...slay that dragon before the afternoon lull starts pulling at your eyelids.
You can get the dragon out of the way first. Before you've had the chance to build dread over mustering yourself back up to the top of your game in the afternoons...the afternoon time when it's so much easier to say, I'll do it tomorrow.
It's totally up to you to identify and name your dragon.
For me, it's the client work, which must be done to perfection and often has a deadline. Recently, though, it's been a particularly gnarly, menacing, and strong dragon that comes out of hiding once a year and literally tries to eat my head right off my shoulders.
That's the ugly beast I must slay this week. And honestly, it's taking all of my energy just to lift my sword.
Each of These Pieces Slay Dragons
From repairing my finances (thanks ChatGPT and other AI bots for that fiasco) to stirring up sleepy platform engagement, I’ve been crazy busy with writing work.
Read more: Writers, We Need to Talk About AI — Learn about AI and how that's taking opportunities away from writers and freelancers.
I've been producing content that I am sure will slay the whole world with my wit, my wisdom, and my attention to life hacks that make YOUR life better. Hell, maybe it will sharpen your sword, so you can slay your own beasts. I thank you for any reading or engagement on these pieces.
Some of these are Medium.com pieces. If you are not a paying member there, read all you want by joining RIGHT HERE. This link helps you support writers like me.
I Did NOT Get the Job — Here’s What I Learned — Learn about how missed opportunities aren't the end of the world for you as a writer.
10 Ways Your Small Business Needs a Freelance Writer—Learn about freelancers, what they do, and why your business needs them.
Clearing Mental Fog So You Can Have a Great Work Day—Quick and easy ways to find better focus at work
When Your Job Changes and No Longer Suits Your Needs—What if your job suddenly requires more of you in ways that make your work-life balance suffer? Should you quit?
That last one was written in response to a post I saw on a work-related blog that I love…called FairyGodBoss.
5 Tips to Turn Your LinkedIn into Cash Flow — Learn how you can upgrade your LinkedIn presence to reel in monetary opportunities.
How to Make Money on Fiverr Just Got Harder—Without one popular feature, how do you find Fiverr jobs?
Commonly Misspelled Words I’ll Likely Get Wrong Forever — Learn about some commonly misspelled words even we writers often get wrong
Dear Content Writers: You Are Using Social Media Messaging Wrong—The top 5 ways content writers are making fools of themselves
How I Write 20K+ Words Each Week Without Burnout — Learn how you can write tons of content without burnout.
Avoiding Burnout — The Burnout Equation You Need to Know — Learn about the "burnout equation" and how to realign the stakes in your favor.
HEALTH & WELLNESS
Guide to Buying the Right CBD Products for You — Learn from my 3+ years as a professional CBD writer how to choose the right CBD products for yourself.
WRITING ON MEDIUM
One Feature I Wish Medium Had—It would be a game changer for many of us writers who want to boldly go…sort of
Medium’s Boost Feature — Following a Boosted Article’s Earnings
How About Rewarding All the Outside Traffic with Boosts?—Tony Stubblebine actually commented on this piece. 😮
WHAT’S COMING UP:
I’ve written and submitted (to Better Humans—Tony Stubblebine’s huge pub that’s quite hard to get into) a long-form article (over 5K words! 😮) on my ongoing struggle to find good sleep.
So many Americans struggle with sleep. I’ve done so much CBD + sleep research, that this article seemed a great next step. I’d widen that lens a little to discuss common sleep problems and how to improve sleep hygiene. The article reads as an informative piece with a vein of personal experience woven in, which is the type of work that Better Humans typically publishes. Fingers crossed.
The title: How I’ve Changed My Sleep Routine to Control Chronic Insomnia and Sleep Anxiety Disorder
On the homefront—some of you have been asking me about Josie and December. They are both doing quite well here in Jacksonville, where we’ve been since last August. Both of them are aging so their care at this point is changing. Lots of love and spoiling. I make them as comfortable and happy and relaxed as I can. Josie (a Chorkie) is now over 10 and December (a ragdoll cat) is now 15 and a half.
Another update—I have decided I’ve been alone long enough. Not only have I gone out and joined a few social groups here in J~ville, but I have also begun dating again. (It’s been 3 years…😮). I am warning you all…there may be some dating writing in my future. Because being a fish in this pond is down-right terrifying.
Last Update—Some of you have also asked me how I am doing since AI stole half my income. (I am not alone in this.) Yes, I am ok. No, I cannot afford to stay this way for much longer (hence the huge amount of content work I have going on right now.) I am applying for positions through Fiverr, UpWork, Skyword, Freelancer, and Linkedin, plus pitching clients every day. Soon, I know it, I’ll land that one more client I need to keep this business thriving.
In the meantime, I’ve depended on KoFi to pitch in a little here and there to keep the financial stuff going so I can continue to do my work (without internal PANIC.) At this point, unless something changes soon, it will be more than my dream of buying a house that I’ll be losing.
I will not surrender to worry over this. I know my value. I just need to find that next client (or two or three!) and it will all be good again.
Articles in the works:
How A Younger Man’s Rejection Has Renewed My Self-Confidence in Dating
Vocal Media Has Some Things Medium Doesn’t Have for Writers
Another Fable to Join My Collection
For the First Time: Imposter Syndrome Has Come for Me
Educated and Honest Discussions on The Writing Life
Flock by Flock, A Conversation About Sentences
Poetry for Mental Health without 'Plath Effect'
What to Put in Coffee to Make it More Healthy
Is Coffee with Ginger Good?
How to Soothe Coffee Upset Stomach Symptoms
Friendship Group Got You Burning Out?
Your dragon may not be the same as mine. (Remember that whole scary face-the-tax-man thing?) However big and scary your dragon is, use the best strength you have, and the most courage, and slay it as early in the day as you can. Get it out of the way, because like me, you have other things to do…like write a half-billion content pieces.
Kill the biggest and meanest thing you must conquer first thing when you get to work for the day.
Then, you can spend the rest of your day tying up loose ends, beginning projects, pacing yourself on ongoing projects, and learning or sharpening your skills. And yes, doing all those myriad promotional activities you have to do to keep it all going.
Thanks for reading today and for following my work. You, dear reader, give me the courage and strength each day to slay my dragons...and keep on writing.
Christina M. Ward, author, poet, freelancer
Fiddleheads & Floss Writing Services
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