Writers' Treasure Technical Writing,Web Writing Escape the 9-to-5: essential tools and habits for successful remote writers

Escape the 9-to-5: essential tools and habits for successful remote writers

This is a guest article by Indiana Lee. If you want to submit a guest article of your own, be sure to read the guest article guidelines.

There’s nothing quite as exciting and invigorating as escaping the 9-to-5 and becoming a successful remote writer. While this may be your dream, you may get home and realize that being a freelancer with ultimate freedom is more challenging than expected. To accomplish your goals, you must have the right tools, mind frame, and environment. Set everything up just right, and the sky’s the limit to what you can achieve.  

Here are some guidelines to get you started before you exit from 9-to-5 work and venture out on your own.

Freedom to work and live where you want

The first step to a successful remote career is to find a conducive workspace where you can work comfortably and be free of distractions.

When choosing a place to work as a remote worker, think about what your writing will entail. Start with the location. Are you a travel writer who needs to live near the airport, or do you write about wildlife, which allows you to live in the middle of nowhere?

You’ll also need to think about the cost of living. Think realistically about how much you’ll make as you start your writing career and find a home where you can live comfortably without worrying about falling behind on the bills. Don’t forget to research crime statistics and your proximity to medical care to ensure your safety as you write.

Depending on your writing assignment, you may need to leave at a moment’s notice. The great thing about working in the digital age of 2024 and beyond is that you don’t need to bring a bulky hard drive along the way to have immediate access to your files. Instead, you can use cloud storage.

While you will still need an internet connection, and there may be subscription costs, the cloud has many benefits. You’ll be able to access your data from your own laptop or any computer that has the proper connection or software. Plus, most cloud providers offer automatic backups and have a cybersecurity team to keep your records safe. The cloud is also one of the easiest ways to share your work with others.

Have the right mindset but don’t forget to have a work-life balance

There are several advantages to remote work, such as the elimination of a commute and the fact that you can work when you please. However, though you want to avoid a traditional 9-to-5, it’s a good idea to set a schedule so you can get work done and stick to your deadlines.

Some people like to finish their work early in the day, while others are night owls. Find the time that is most productive for you and stick to it when you can. That way, you’ll have your mind in work mode during those times and won’t be as easily distracted.

Setting a work schedule will also help you with the other skills you need as a writer working from home, such as organization. By setting a time dedicated only to writing, you can ensure that you’re keeping up with your clients and fulfilling your responsibilities. While you may have dedicated writing times, you may also want to set alarms for meetings with clients that work in different time zones.

With all this in mind, it’s also vital that you enjoy a work-life balance. Sometimes, working in an office gives you more structure because, at a certain point, you’re told to clock out and leave the premises. When you’re at home and have nowhere to go, it’s often too easy to work longer hours, but constantly pushing yourself can lead to burnout. So, make time for self-care by spending time with loved ones and enjoying your hobbies because they can help you clear your mind.

Don’t forget to make time for exercise, especially in the morning, because you’ll give yourself time to think before sitting down at your desk, and you’ll get a nice energy boost to start your work off right.

Get the right tools

Once you’ve set up good habits, it’s time to find the proper tools to aid in your success. There are tools for every aspect of a writer’s day, including those that boost creativity. A tool like BrainSparker will give you quotes, images, and prompts that can get your creative wheels turning. There’s also Writerly, which provides creative writing courses to motivate you when you’re stuck.

Other must-have writer tools include those that help you when it comes to streamlining and editing your work. Many people go with Grammarly, which can check for typos, punctuation, and grammar mistakes that can be easy to miss when you’re in a creative flow and you’re typing a hundred words a minute.

Although you likely don’t intend to plagiarize, running your work through an app like Copyscape can ensure you’re not accidentally taking too much inspiration from another writer.

Finally, look into at least one time management app to keep you on track during your writing sessions. Using Google Calendar or a similar app on your computer can help you keep track of meetings and tasks throughout the day, which can be incredibly important if you have several writing clients. Some apps like StayFocused are perfect if you often get distracted because they will help you limit the time you spend on those sites and redirect you back to your work.

Conclusion

It could be your dream to step away from the 9-to-5 lifestyle and work as a remote writer on your own time, but you must have the proper tools and strategies if you don’t want the dream to end. Think about what success looks like in your life, create a plan, and stick to it, and you’ll do amazing things.

About the author: Indiana Lee lives in the Northwest and has a passion for the environment and wellness. She draws her inspiration from nature and makes sure to explore the outdoors regularly with her two dogs. Indiana has experience in owning and operating her own business. Feel free to follow her on Twitter @indianalee3.

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