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How to Avoid Information Overload

Yesterday we talked about the importance of reaching out to others. Having people you can turn to will accelerate your success as a freelancer.

Today let’s talk about another part of the streamlining process for starting your writing career.

There’s a lot of new information to learn; you might feel like you’ll never learn enough. But, don’t worry—you don’t have to know everything to start offering your services to clients, take on projects, or call yourself a professional writer.

Instead, just do three things …

Today’s Action Steps:

1. Reduce what you have to know.

Instead of trying to tackle an entire industry, choose just a part of it to specialize in. Don’t offer every writing service there is. Focus on just one type of copy—maybe emails or sales letters. Once you’ve mastered something, then move on to the next thing. To make your decision easy, choose what you’re most excited about. You can make a writing career in nearly any niche. Here’s a great place to start.

2. Be yourself.

Instead of writing to please everyone, just be yourself and use your own voice. To find your voice, record yourself talking. Imagine you’re explaining your topic to a friend. Just sit down and let the words come out. Then type it without the “umms” and “ahhs.” What you wind up with will be close to your true voice.

3. Improve daily.

While you can’t know everything, you can make a commitment to improve every day. This means practicing your craft—which is writing—daily. When I first started writing, I had a full-time job, so I could only spend a few minutes per day writing. But I made sure I did something to improve every day …

To start, don’t overwhelm yourself. Here are three small things you can do daily to improve without getting overloaded:

  • Write something. Aim for at least 300 words every day. If you don’t know what to write, start here.
  • Read some of the latest news in your industry—even if it’s just one article. If you’re not sure where to start, start with AWAI. They’re dedicated to keeping you up-to-date with what’s working now in the world of writing.
  • Check in with your network. Just checking in every day to update your network on your word count can greatly increase your commitment. And, it can take as little as five minutes. You might start by tweeting your word count or posting it in the AWAI forum.

How about you? How do you keep momentum with your writing? Share it with the group in the comments.

Tomorrow we’ll talk about another kind of overload that writers sometimes suffer from … and how you can avoid it entirely.

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Published: January 7, 2014

7 Responses to “How to Avoid Information Overload”

  1. Shouldn't there be a hyperlink at the word "here"?

    "Write something. Aim for at least 300 words every day. If you don't know what to write, start here."

    Al ColonJanuary 7, 2014 at 12:17 pm

  2. Christina,

    Thank you for sharing your experience and tips. I really appreciate your candid point of view and the way that you address how to overcome some of those seemingly insurmountable obstacles. The fear of needing to know everything can become paralyzing but your tips were very helpful. Thanks again!

    Nikole JJanuary 7, 2014 at 4:20 pm

  3. Hi Al, You're absolutely right! The missing link has been fixed. Thank you for pointing that out!

    Christina GillickJanuary 8, 2014 at 1:57 pm

  4. Hi Nikole, You're welcome and thank YOU for your comment!

    Christina GillickJanuary 8, 2014 at 1:58 pm

  5. Update: I heard back from Christina, and she explained that the word "here" in my initial post should be a jump to:

    awaionline dot com/2012/01/ensure-your-copywriting-success/

    Thanks Christina!

    Al ColonJanuary 8, 2014 at 3:07 pm

  6. I am already on major overload. I am so new to AWAI, I haven't even started the lessons yet. Iam looking at everything I can to see what direction I want to go. I am getting an idea but then I read about a different path and say "no, that's what I want to do. Where should this scatter brained guy get help?

    Guest (Tom)January 27, 2014 at 3:33 pm

  7. Tom, last year, the best thing I did to get my copywriting career off the ground was to enroll in the Accelerated Live Companion Series. The course guides you through the Accelerated Copywriting course --done over 10 weeks, as a series of live webcasts. It was worth every penny. The 2014 program has already started. Call member services at (866) 879-2924; maybe you can still sign up.

    Stick with it. Don't give up.

    Al ColonJanuary 27, 2014 at 6:21 pm

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