Really Struggling

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Re: Really Struggling

Postby mnicol22 on Tue Jun 12, 2012 10:21 am

Haha! Sarah, if you find a way to fight procrastination, feel free to share it here! :lol:

The only reason I'm all-in for Jacob's plan is that I -want to- believe that it will be easier for me to force myself to just sit down and write for two days (or whatever works) a week than doing it in daily bits. I can almost hear me try to reason with myself: "Ok, today you have to work. No screeching on your guitar, no photoshooting, no painting -just work! You can do all of these tomorrow if you finish your work today!". Then, if I actually make it to follow this plan, I might consider expanding it a bit (It just feels like there's too much free time in-between workdays).

Ahhh... It seems like finding the right plan and sticking to it gets half the work done. I'm positive, though. After all, I had never worked without a boss barking over my head before, and I am in an already messy state trying to figure a lot of things out, so I'll just give it time. Different approaches work for different people, and I'm sure we'll all find our way, eventually.
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Re: Really Struggling

Postby SEDeary on Mon Jun 18, 2012 12:01 pm

June has been, so far, a great month for me. I've already sold 5 articles which is almost half of my total sales! Yay! Not only do I appreciate the money, but I feel really motivated. It seems that things are improving after all. It also feels like the movie, Field of dreams: "If you build it, they will come". In this case we build our portfolios and the sales will come.

Mnicol, I don't have the antidote for procrastination. If I did, I'd probably write a book about it and become rich, hehe. I guess we all must find our rythms and stick to them. When you talked about your boss, I pictured in my head an alarm system with a dog barking every hour, haha. Seriously, perhaps some sort of reminder would help us. I'm trying to figure it out.

I'm sorry if this post is incoherent. I have a lot of stuff in my head right now and it seems everything wants to come out at the same time. I just wanted to share the good news with you guys and thank you for being a great support system. I wouldn't have done this without you. Hugs,

Sarah
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Re: Really Struggling

Postby mnicol22 on Mon Jun 18, 2012 4:23 pm

Good to hear that things are getting better for you Sarah! In fact, I had a great moment myself, making my first "big" sale -a 650ish article for $100- which gave me a big confidence boost! Other than that, I had one more sale at the $25 range, but I was a bit busy this month anyway. Now that things have gotten back to normal, I hope I'll get back to my regular writing routine (if you can call it that!).

It's great to see things picking up, and I hope the rest of you guys are doing fine too! :)
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Re: Really Struggling

Postby mnicol22 on Sat Jun 30, 2012 5:20 pm

Ok guys and gals, pardon my enthusiasm, but I just had an epiphany and I felt I had to share it! You see, I tend to have too many thoughts at the same time and I usually forget them before I manage to get them on paper -or on a Word document, for that matter. To make things worse, I've always tried to both write and edit as much as I can simultaneously so, by the time I get to that next thought, it has already vanished! So, I thought, why not record my thoughts in real time, as they come, and get them put together later on? And I did. I used my mp3 player's voice recording feature and started with a topic I've wanted to write quite a while now.

The result? An almost 500-word text in less than half an hour! That's a freakin' record for me (it usually takes me more than 3 hours to come up with such a text because I get too distracted=>forget things=>get really really mad at myself) Sure, it needs lots of editing and polishing, but the best part is that the logical structure is there, and most of the wording is there too!

The hardest part of it was to actually accept that I was talking to myself as if I was trying to explain something (glad I was home alone!). It also feels kind of weird to hear a recording of my own voice, but I think I can get used to that if it's gonna make things that much easier for me!

There, I said it! Sorry for my ranting, but it was a huge a-ha moment for me! Hope it might help some of you out there too! :)
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Re: Really Struggling

Postby Celeste Stewart on Sat Jun 30, 2012 9:19 pm

That's an awesome aha moment! There are so many different ways we process information and learn, so being able to discover what works for you is huge. For me, I prefer written instructions over oral ones. Send me an email with just basic key points and I'm good, but tell me the same information over the phone or in person and it will probably go in one ear and out the other unless I'm able to take notes and even then it's sketchy. After several years of straight A's in French class, I nearly failed because a new French teacher started giving us assignments by telling us "read chapter X or complete blah blah blah" (in French but the result would've been the same in English I suspect) instead of writing the assignments on the board. I guess I'm a visual learner :).

There are some really good note taking/ recording apps that might be helpful for you that allow you to record your thoughts and take notes at the same time and then click on words to quickly jump to the recording at that point in time. You might look into those if you haven't already. Some that come to mind are the Smart Pulse Pen (it's a digital pen that uses special paper) but it's pricey. If you have an iPad or iPhone, there are cheap apps that do the same thing. Anyhow, technology or not, EUREKA! Have fun and let it all click.
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Re: Really Struggling

Postby SEDeary on Wed Jul 04, 2012 7:48 pm

I'm a visual person too. I tried the recording method once and it didn't work for me. It was a very disorganized train of thought and all I focused on while hearing it was how awful my own voice sounded. I actually think better while writing, because it helps me focus more. I'm very glad it works for you mnicol and I'm happy that you shared it with us.

I'd like to ask you guys a question, regarding this writing business. I'm having a bad case of low back pain right now (physical therapy has been necessary) and I think it's from long hours in front of the computer, sitting in a bad posture. How do you deal with these issues? Back pain is extremely distracting and my writing has slowed down because of it. :(

Thank you for your support. I could really use some encouragement right now and advice on how to write from a horizontal position. :? Take care,

Sarah
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Re: Really Struggling

Postby iamyownboss on Wed Jul 04, 2012 8:26 pm

Hi Sarah! So sorry to hear about your back. I too sometimes have that problem and I have a few ways to deal with it. One is I don't stick to just one place and position while online. I have a desk and chair for the morning and on the couch with the laptop on my lap for the rest of the day. Even then I try to flex and get up every hour at least. I find that I need different positions throughout. I also make sure I get a hot jet of water on my back in the shower every morning - just for a minute or so. I hope this helps and you're back to feeling good soon! Take care of yourself.

Mnicol, I too tried audio recording but it didn't work for me and slowed me down a bit. But I'm glad you found that it worked for you - whatever it takes to be more productive!
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Re: Really Struggling

Postby mnicol22 on Wed Jul 04, 2012 11:49 pm

Thanks for the tips, Celeste! I might actually give that software a try once I get more comfortable with the whole idea. I still can't believe this actually works for me! :)

Sarah, sorry to hear about your back. Sadly, it's a common problem for people working long hours on a computer. If you are used to writing at your desk, a padded, anatomic chair might help you maintain good posture. They can be a bit expensive, but they usually offer better support and prevent you from slouching. As iamyownboss said, it's important that you get up and strech every hour or so. Just set an alarm as a reminder and it will eventually become a habit.

I can't remember the last time I used my desk, though! I've found that I can think better while moving, so I usually walk around the room while brainstorming, and then sit on my bed -or even lay down on the bedroom floor- with my netbook for the rest of the process. I still get sore joints every now and then.

I guess the recording method worked for me exactly because it's disorganized! I'm a disorganized mess of a person myself, so trying to think, write, edit, and organize my thoughts at the same time was painfully slow and energy-draining. This way I can get a rough draft of what I want to write in a matter of minutes and worry about the rest later. It forces me to focus on one thing at a time since my brain seems to fail miserably in multi-tasking. Unorthodox methods for unorthodox people! :lol:
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Re: Really Struggling

Postby TamathaCampbell on Thu Jul 05, 2012 9:10 am

Good morning, Sarah and everybody.

A few years ago, I worked in the same department as a fellow who had a back problem. He used a cot, most of the time. There are tilted table-like devices which are similar in some ways to the food trolleys used in hospitals. These would be the ones that are balanced beside the bed and have an "arm" holding the table across the patient's "lap" (or, rather, where the lap would be if the patient were sitting in a chair). There are smaller trolleys designed to hold keyboards and the like. You might want to consider one of these for use with a small laptop, for the bulk of your typing. Be sure to choose one that will prevent the laptop from falling, though. Check out the design carefully.

Cheers.
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Re: Really Struggling

Postby evaku on Thu Jul 05, 2012 7:17 pm

I read through this whole thread! Thought I might join in =)

I joined CC over a year ago but right off the bat I only submitted two articles and then forgot about it for another year because I had a crazy year at school. I'm trying to really work hard at it over the summer and I've submitted 13 articles so far and sold one full rights and one usage. I'm struggling a little but because I'm really trying to position myself as a religion writer, and I know that is by far not the most popular category. However, I think if I work hard I can make it my niche and receive some private requests because I think I offer something a little different than some of the big guys in that catagory who write from a Christian perspective. I plan on getting my Ph.D in religious studies so I know a ridiculous amount about all sorts of different religions. Of course in the mean time I plan on branching out and writing for some more popular categories, such as nutrition. For the next few days I want to work on on 4 or 5 articles about supplements, so we'll see if focusing on more popular topics can help my sales. I love writing and I'd love to be able to support myself one day by doing it!

I hope everyone is doing well!
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Re: Really Struggling

Postby SEDeary on Sun Jul 08, 2012 5:03 pm

Thank you, guys! I'm so amazed at how supportive you all are. :oops:

I've used a bit of everyone's suggestions, like the hot water that iamyownboss mentioned or the timer to get up every now and then that mnicol said. Physical therapy has done wonders and I haven't taken any pain medication in four days. Hurrah! I'm looking into the contraption that Tamatha said, but we're on a tight budget right now, so I'll have to improvise. In the mean time, I'm trying to get back on track and writing on my blog, Clarion's write-a-thon and here. I feel like a writer, more and more, hehe. :)

Welcome evaku, glad you joined us. Hope you share your progress with us and wish you the best of luck. Hope you guys are all doing well and that summer brings you lost of inspiration and profit. Thanks again for your support. I really needed it and it means a lot.

Cheers,

Sarah
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Re: Really Struggling

Postby mnicol22 on Sun Dec 09, 2012 6:14 am

Hey there!

I hope you're all doing great! The forum has been a bit silent lately, which probably means that everyone is too busy working, or doing other things, which is great! I decided to come back to this thread because it's exactly how I've been these last days: really struggling! See, I've started submitting articles on a regular basis this past month but, with the latest changes in search options, I literally get no views at all!

Now, it's not like I have hundreds of articles sitting in my portfolio -I think they're about 45 or so- and I'm working on it, but it's a bit discouraging to find that no one actually views my articles. I don't want to get too obsessed about it, and I try to just keep on submitting instead of checking my views every hour, but it's kind of disappointing.

So, I was wondering, what do you guys do to promote your content? I have no idea how to do it because I've never tried to promote my articles before, but I guess there's no other way at this point.
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