- Write all ideas down immediately. Have a notepad or whatever gadget you're more comfortable with, handy. I get a lot of a-ha! moments and ideas when I'm in the shower (don't ask me why) or upon waking, so a notepad is really what works best for me. Then focus on the task before you (the shower, getting up, going back to work...). As someone once said, "free your mind; write it down".
- Mind map. This is, so far, the best technique I had ever learned, as far as planning and getting started on anything, including writing a story. A mind map helps develop your ideas, gives you an overview of an entire project, plan, story, etc. When in a writing rut, a mind map always helps me find my story hook and get beyond that. Without it, I find myself staring at a blank monitor with a blinking cursor. This technique also helps me take down notes during an interview. Whatever, it works better than long lists, is more attractive to look at, and doesn't take too much sheets of paper. Read about mind map at http://www.mind-mapping.co.uk/make-mind-map.htm ,and check out https://bubbl.us/ and http://dabbleboard.com/ for digital versions.
- From the mind map, develop action plans and plot against your schedule or to-do list; develop the story outline and start writing. Do something about the idea or thought bubble.
- Keep this map visible. Post it on your board, work station, frame and display it, save it on your computer desktop. Just make sure it stays visible. We need to be reminded sometimes. Often, even more ideas spark from the sight of the mind map.
- Assess periodically. If it's a goal or mission, begin the next time period's planning with what had not be accomplished before. If it's for a story, project, or campaign, keep the map until your mi
I believe I have a continuous flow of ideas, memories, and thoughts running through my mind, and this is probably why I find it difficult to sleep and, unfortunately, begin working. Sometimes I'm just too distracted to remember, but mostly, I've used a technique I learned along with essential planning principles and tools from Anthony Pangilinan, from his Time Management & Prioritization training program. Then again, years later, a modified version,from a writing class conducted by columnist Barbara Gonzalez. Below is how I put these principles together to help give my mind some rest, save ideas that could otherwise just evaporate and stay lost forever, and go beyond staring at a blank wall:
Having taken the plunge into the world of independent contractual work, better known as freelance or consultancy services, I have experienced enough highs and lows to want to guard this corner of the rat race that I have carved out for myself.
No matter how much knowledge, expertise, and skills one has and continues to build to make oneself marketable and relevant, it's a competitive world. On top of that fact, there will always be naysayers, bullies, and unbelievers of the freelancer, even if we continue to be called on and get paid for valuable work.
To continue to do what you love doing, without the hassles of the 9-5 and overhead concerns, you must make sure to secure and equip yourself with these:
1. contract. Always work under a contract. Before this, you need the necessary documents like permits, licenses, official receipts, etc.
2. competitive fees. Know how much industry rates are, how much you deserve, then adjust.
3. uniqueness. You have to find an area or service, or manner of your work that you do exceptionally well, then market and capitalize on this.
4. dependability. Once you've secured your account, make sure you can be relied on to deliver. Especially early on, consider this your true business capital; you are creating your own reputation.
5. image. You are as good as not just how you look and sound, but as good as your last work. Live up to the standards you've set. Remember this because you can bet your clients do.
There are a variety of reasons a writer falls into a rut that's difficult to climb out of. More often than not, in my experience, it's because the writer finds him/herself:
In the full organizational set-up of a PR agency, a team working on one account, (proportional to the size and requirements) could have anywhere from two to five members, each tasked to handle essential areas, typically: account direction, account management/servicing, editorial/writing, media relations, and monitoring. The other areas, which may not be needed on a daily basis, could be assigned to any one member of the team, or more cost-effectively, out-sourced to an expert. This would normally cover event management, messengerial/courier, and accounting work.
Even if you have been trained more in any one or two specific tasks, it always helps to be knowledgeable and experienced in all areas of PR. This will greatly benefit you if you want to work independently or freelance, as in my case. I've found the top five skills that can help you on your way to autonomy are:
You're trying to get in touch with the media with a very important pitch. Or maybe to check if they received your press release. Or maybe just to invite them to an event. You can get a variety of responses, including a cold thank you, a vague ok, or a even an irritated bark followed by the phone going dead.
None of these are good for your heart and passion to continue with your work in PR, but you can spare your poor heart and/or ego the hurt, if not entirely, then at least most of the time. Then you won't be entertaining thoughts about shifting careers too often.
Here are some tips: