Learn to copy: finish what you started

Writers are over thinkers. We create worlds full of thoughts and ideas, hoping some of them can cross dimensions and find peace on earth. But once they find settlement on a new planet, struggles can arise as they find a place to call home.

Random analogy aside, it’s difficult for a writer to finish a project. Even with the amount of planning, we tend to experiment instead of execute. Even with these blog posts, I always struggle with pulling an idea from my head and putting it on the screen. How will my work be perceived by the audience, if I even have any? How often am I repeating certain words or phrases? Do my analogies connect and make sense?

On and on, these questions multiply. To tackle these doubts, we obtain the confidence that grants us contentment in the chaos. When we click “Send” or “Publish,” we let go of our grasp and hand our content to whoever is interested. To ease up the process, here are some personal advice that may aid you in completing your next project faster.

Be Organized

The key to success is consistency. Therefore, it’s imperative that you improve your organizational skills. How you do it depends on your dedication to time management and your affinity for improvisation.

For me, I’m a sporadic planner. I’m not good at sitting down and planning out my whole month. At first, I thought it was pure laziness. I would read about entrepreneurs and writers waking up early in the morning to start their work day. They would have time allotted for each task and eventually developed a rhythm that they rarely missed. To be honest, I’m not there yet. My mind is chaotic and always in flux. But I am taking steps to be more assertive with my time.

To be more organized, it helps to do the following:

  • Set remainders and be accountable

I haven’t done a school assignment in over a year. So I don’t have the pressures of receiving an assignment and completing it by a certain deadline. Even so, I have to be aware of how much time I waste on a daily basis. Aside from being a better writer, my college years taught me to balance real life and work life by using my time wisely. It’s an invaluable skill that will serve you well in college and beyond.

  • Make it a habit to learn one thing new each month

Buy some books from Amazon on a particular passion that you would like to pursue. Look for blogs centered around your hobbies. Or even do a quick YouTube search and see what pops up. Don’t settle for just getting degrees or certifications. Actively be a student in your free time.

  • Expect the unexpected

Life rarely goes the way you want it to go. So be ready for it. Have backup plans available. Being caught off guard leads to regression and doubt. So be slightly paranoid about what you can’t control.

Be Realistic

What I’m starting to realize nowadays is the death of the specialist. When you get the chance, glance through a few Twitter bios and you’ll see what I mean. You can’t just be one thing anymore. Or if you are, you’re seen as one-dimensional.

For creatives like me, it adds another layer of difficulty when it comes to being established as a freelancer. It’s not enough to just be a skilled writer. I need to learn how to code. I have to manage a blog, website, and multiple social accounts. I need to have experience writing in different styles for different industries. I also have to make visually appealing graphics that go along with my written content.

Safe to say, it’s not enough to just be one thing. Since I’m always curious about how I can be more multifaceted, more opportunities are available for me. I can be a writer, graphic designer, social media manager, musician, etc. Playing these different roles each come with their strengths and drawbacks. But I don’t limit myself to just one title.

To get started, you have to promote your primary and secondary skill. One way to recognize them is to fill in the blanks of the following statement:

“I am a (primary) and I also do (secondary) on the side.”

A simple statement, but it also implies that you have more to offer. And you’ll seem more interesting and reliable to potential clients. Take some time and figure out your primary and secondary skill. Then place it on your social media accounts and see what happens.

(It also doesn’t hurt to add more skills to your repertoire.)

Be Cautious

Dreamers are risk takers. We write our desires in our journals and paint it on our canvases. We daydream about living from our art. We watch interviews and documentaries, hoping that we will be immortalized and a source of inspiration for future generations.

These noble dreams are worth pursuing wholeheartedly, albeit with a bit of a caution. Every rags-to-riches story has a conflict that seemed impossible to solve. The book you spent years drafting barely makes a dent in the market. The poems you post on your blog get little to no attention. It seems like you are destined to work a dead-end job, barely making enough to get by each month.

I’m sure you can recall plenty of stories that share this narrative. Maybe that’s you right now. I know it’s me. I still feel like I have so much to offer, yet I’m struggling to maintain and increase my influence across multiple platforms.

Walking the path to artistic success can be exhausting, so it’s important to be cautious. If something seems too good to be true, it most likely is. When you make one post that gets attention, assume the next one may be ignored. Don’t expect overnight success. Create like you have something prove. Be ambitious, yet cautious.

Be Restful

If you can’t finish it now, rest on it and get back to it soon.

At the end of the day, you’re human. You need to rest. You can’t expect to accomplish everything in a day. Give your mind a break and take a nap if you need to. Lay down and listen to your favorite songs.

We tend to believe that the more we work, the more we get done. But it’s important to progress at a healthy pace. Being productive isn’t just working for the sake of work. That’s just keeping busy.

Be Intentional

Start a project with the clear intent of finishing it at some point. Leave no plot point unaddressed. Tie up each loose end before you hit “Send.” The thoughts in your head are there for a reason. Whether you choose to release them to the public or keep it a secret, be proactive in how you use them.




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