If ever there was a time of year to come up with a productivity formula for getting more done as a freelance writer, it’s fall.
Know why I say that? Well, fall is a special time because:
- Editors and marketing managers get back from vacation
- Companies plan next year’s marketing calendar and start assigning projects
- Editors complete their editorial calendar, and look for special-section writers
- If you do marketing now, you could still book more writing income this year
- Kids go back to school, and writer-parents suddenly have a lot more time for freelance writing
See the potential fall has to ramp up your writing income?
Except that you’re suddenly transitioning from sleeping late as you like to having to get up at 6 a.m. to put kiddos on that early school bus. And you’re…dragging.
Also, maybe feeling the pressure that now, you’re out of excuses and actually need to do this thing.
And the fall productivity formula is just the thing to help you grow your freelance writing business. Ready to get started?
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:
I’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:
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:
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.
As 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…