work/life balance

How to Beat Loneliness, Stay Connected, and Build a Better Freelance Life

How to Beat Loneliness to Build a Better Freelance Life. Makealivingwriting.com

our coffee cup’s filled. The morning sun peeps through the window. And the house is sweetly silent. It’s the perfect environment to pursue the freelance life.

Or is it?

Being a freelance writer can be a lonely and isolated existence. Ever feel that way?

Here’s how to tell if you’ve spent too much time in solitary confinement:

  • The only voice you hear all day is the one inside your head nagging you about deadlines.
  • You get excited when a crow flies by the window.
  • You wish the package handler who stops by your house by mistake could stay and chat.
  • You talk to Siri or Alexa just to hear the voice of someone congenial.

Working from home in peace and quiet is certainly a benefit of the freelance life. And it can be a productivity boon. But spend too much time alone, disconnected, and it can throw you out of balance.

Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be that way. Here’s how to beat loneliness, stay connected, and build a better freelance life:

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How to Keep Your Freelance Clients–When Everything Goes to Hell

How to keep your freelance clients when everything goes to hellI’d only been a freelance writer for a couple of months when I scored a regular gig with a large web design firm.

The pay was decent, I loved the assignments, and the editor was a breeze to work with. It seemed like my fledgling career was ready to take flight.

Then my son got sick.

Because of a chronic medical condition, we need to check on him every two hours at night when he’s ill. My husband couldn’t cover, so I was on duty for the entire ordeal. All alone. Seven Days. No sleep.

Of course, this was when my client called with an emergency assignment. The previous writer had flaked, and he needed me to step in and write two pages of automotive content ASAP. Against all logic, I took the job.

Unfortunately, my fatigue got the best of me. My writing was garbled, and I made mistakes that could have led to a lawsuit.

To say my editor was pissed would be an understatement. I was on the way out the door.

I turned to the Freelance Writers Den for advice on what to do about it and how I could save what I felt was a floundering career. I got some great tips and loads of supportive sympathy. I came up with a plan to win my client’s trust back.

Here’s how it went:

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Is Your Writing Client Having a Crisis? Here’s How to Stay Sane

Freelance client management is a challenge, especially if your client has a crisis.

If you’re a freelance writer, this is going to happen:

You get a freelance writing client, and you’re all excited. You think this is going to be great!

Then, the wheels come flying off. Everything changes.

Your client has a big problem — and they want you to drop everything and solve it. Next, if you’re not careful, you end up underpaid and overworked. Here’s how to resist the pressure, keep your head, and turn this situation to your advantage:

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Are You Overworked? How Freelancers Can Avoid Burnout

Are you overworked? Here's how freelancers can avoid burnout.

Many writers tell me they wish they could find even one client. But today, I want to talk about the other side of the coin.

Once you get rolling in freelance writing and word starts getting around about your talents, you can quickly find yourself overbooked, overworked, and exhausted.

I recently had a chat with freelance writer Alyssa Ast about this on my Facebook chat — she was getting overloaded, and her personal passion writing projects were sitting idle.

She’s got a passel of young kids to care for, too.

And she was nearing her breaking point.

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How Writing for Pleasure Made Me a Better Freelance Writer

DaydreamingAs a teen, I was scared of making money for writing.

When I began to take on little commissions in 2007, I wrote sponsored posts for $1 each — or even less. Sometimes all I got for a 300-word post was ten cents.

My family pushed me to make more money as a writer. But they went a little too far, and I developed a sense of guilt every time I caught myself writing for pleasure.

One day not long ago, I was on the verge of a mental breakdown. The thought of writing my assignments nauseated me.

Instead of diving right into client work, I decided to write something fun. Something for me. Here’s what happened…

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So, What Exactly Does a Successful Freelance Writer DO?

Clueless freelance writer

Being a freelance writer sounds like a dream lifestyle to many people.

They think about the upside — “Yeah, working in my PJs, keeping my own hours, and not having a boss. Awesome!”

But most of the people I know who’re focused on those three things end up washing out as freelancers. They never take it seriously, don’t learn about how to run a business, and don’t take the steps needed to get their business going.

Soon, they’re broke and heading back to the day job world.

It takes a lot of work to be a successful freelance writer. And many people don’t even know what work is required.

Those of us who’ve been at this for (cough) decades tend to forget how boggling it can be, when you’ve been an employee all your life, to launch your own solo freelance biz.

Take this aspiring freelance writer, who recently wrote me:

“Basically, I don’t know anything about freelance writing. So, I guess I´d like to learn the basics. What does a freelance writer actually do?

“I know, write. But what about and who for, you know? Thanks!”–Marcia

What does a freelance writer need to do? Here’s my list of the essentials:

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