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How to overcome writer's block

By David Hammond

Some refer to anything that obstructs their normal writing ability as writer’s block.

However, writing performance can dip for a variety of reasons, including:
•    Attempting a writing project too advanced for your experience level.
•    Getting rusty from a lack of regular writing and reading.
•    Fatigue from extended writing stretches, often on a long project, like a book.

Then, there’s genuine writer’s block, a psychological inhibition that prevents you from writing at your normal ability, which is the subject of this post.

The freelance writer’s path to more assignments and better pay

By David Hammond 
Imagine two freelance writers. They write at the same skill level. Both share similar career goals.

Yet, one continues to struggle while the other builds up to a full schedule of good-paying assignments.

You see this a lot. Which raises the question: Why?

What makes the difference?

The answer is simple. While writing competency is essential, it’s not the only area of improvement that deserves your attention.

In this post, we look at four areas of development in addition to writing ability that will increase your market value as a freelance writer.

Strategy—start out writing short articles

By David Hammond 
In just about every endeavor, the best way to achieve success is to start small and gradually work up.

The beginning runner who wants to run a 10-kilometer race will start out going a short distance. Then, work up to a mile. Later, a 5k, and gradually up to a full 10k.

A novice musician who aspires to play in an orchestra will start out with beginner pieces. Then, intermediate works, and so on, until reaching the goal.

For a new writer with an eye on writing magazine feature and cover stories, the best way to start small and work up is to set out writing short articles and gradually work up to longer pieces.

The query letter—an introduction for aspiring writers

By David Hammond

A “query letter” is a formal letter you send to an editor to propose an article idea and yourself as the one to write it. It’s traditionally one typed page or 500 words, plus or minus.

Writing an effective query letter is vital to breaking in, especially with more competitive publications.

Many editors give the query letter more weight than samples of published work when sizing up a writer.

5 ways to maximize your freelance article-writing income

By David Hammond

For many, freelance journalism (writing articles for websites, newspapers, and magazines) is an ideal encore career.

The amount of money you can make as a freelance journalist varies. Like many freelance careers, the starting pay is often low (or non-existent), but, can go up significantly once you become established.

However, earning more isn’t something that happens automatically with the passage of time. A little strategy helps.

For that reason, I’d like to share the following tried-and-true ways to maximize your freelance article-writing income.

Three ways to launch your travel writing career on a tight budget

By David Hammond

Compared to most small businesses, the tools and supplies needed to break into travel writing are inexpensive and readily available.

And once you build a good reputation with editors as a freelancer (or a lot of blog traffic as a travel blogger) travel perks will likely come your way.

But until, then, how do you, as a newbie travel writer, get access to travel destinations?

Freelance writing--something we can do well as we get older

By David Hammond  

Life gives us windows of opportunity for peak physical and mental performance.

In sports, most athletes reach their peak before they’re 30. So, setting out for a career as a professional athlete in your 40s or 50s might not be the best use of your time.

But if you like to explore and like to write, developing your skills to become a professional freelance writer in your 40s, 50s, or 60s can make total sense.

Let me explain…