Monday Spark: How to avoid chronic pain as a writer [VIDEO]

freelancer with back painSitting at a desk for 8 hours a day is not very good for your health. In particular, it’s bad for your spine.

For years I used to suffer from back pain. Just too many hours sitting in front of a keyboard.

I tried a few things. Not pills, because I avoid those like the plague. But I went to a chiropractor, I tried scheduling times during the day when I would get up and do some walking around and stretching, and I even tried setting up my computer so I could work standing up.

There was nothing wrong with any of those approaches, but the solution that really worked for me was to throw away my regular chair and use a kneeling chair instead. Not every office supply store carries them, but some do. Failing that, you can find one online.

To go a step further, watch the video below. It contains some interesting information and some tips on strengthening your lower back.

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Why writing great headlines is like creating a soap opera.

writing great headlinesOne of the things you’ll notice about soap operas is how hard the writers work to let you know that the best part is yet to come.

For example, just before each commercial break the drama is built to a point of peak suspense…so you just have to sit through the commercials to find out what happens next.

The same devices are used at the end of each episode to make sure you tune in again next time. Will she run off with the pool cleaner? Did he survive the plunge off the cliff? Will she be found guilty and sent to jail? And so on.

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Monday Spark: If you believe in your plan, don’t give up.

don't give upI have a coaching client who, alongside his writing work, is working to launch a stand-alone business aimed at the boomer generation.

He’s excited by the business idea, because the information he wants to share is so important and timely. Give him a few minutes of your time, and you’ll be hooked.

As part of the plan to develop and launch his business he recently booked a meeting room for two evenings. We wanted to fill the seats and then run through his presentation.

He has back-end products, but his plan at this stage was simply to get his message in front of an audience and measure their response. It was a test run.

Once he had booked the room, which would seat about 30 people, he then ran an ad in his local paper. He ran it three times in the run-up to his event.

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How to catch your first lucky break as a freelancer. And your second. And your third.

lucky freelancerThis is the third in a series of three posts, all on the topic of how a lucky break or two can accelerate the growth and success of your business. (Post 1 and post 2.)

If you feel a little uncomfortable with the idea of luck playing a part in your business success, don’t worry, you’re not alone. The story we all tell ourselves – the accepted narrative – is that successful people make their own luck. That’s what makes them successful.

In part, that’s true. And this post is largely about how to make your own luck. But, as I mentioned in the first post in this series, sometimes you are just plain lucky. Something unplanned for and unexpected just comes your way at exactly the right time.

Does business success depend on being lucky? No. Can you blame a lack of success on the absence of being lucky? No. One way or another, you’ll get the level of success you deserve. But getting a lucky break or two certainly helps.

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Monday Spark: Networking makes you feel good.

enjoy your networkAs a freelancer it’s almost impossible to achieve any significant level of success by hiding behind your desk all the time.

You need to build a network of people to connect with, a group of business friends who can help and support you. (And you’ll do the same for them.)

Build a strong enough network, and you’ll find you no longer have to spend much time looking for work, because most of your work will come to you through referrals, via your network.

Who are these magical people?

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When you catch a lucky break, make the most of it.

lucky breakIn last week’s post I talked about my first big speaking engagement. (If you didn’t read that post, I suggest you do so now. Today’s post is a follow-up or continuation of that one).

That invitation to speak came my way out of the blue. It was a lucky break. And when invited to speak, I said yes.

That was my first talk in front of a large crowd – about 700 people, as I recall – and I can’t say it was my best presentation. Actually, it was my worst. But it was good enough to get me invited back to another conference, and then another, and then another.

For a few years I was speaking on an almost monthly basis. My copywriting and consulting business grew out of those events. That is how I met my best prospects, and how I got to make a good first impression. It’s also how I got to meet and network with a lot of smart people in this industry.

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