I suspect you became a freelance writer because you have something to say, something that you wanted to write about. I also suspect that unless you’ve become a best selling writer you’re earning your keep by using your writing talents to benefit others – clients of one sort or another. And if you’re successful, you’re spending your working time on client’s writing and on marketing and on billing and on the other things it takes to run a successful freelance writing business.
What’s often missing is time to do your own writing.
Finding Time For Your Writing
Here’s how I solve that problem:
- I track my time – not exactly the way Helen suggests, but I keep track of how I spend my working hours.
- Even though I rarely bill by the hour, when it’s appropriate I spell out in my contracts exactly how much time per week or per month they can expect me to be working on their project. This sets a time frame for both of us.
- I keep an appointment calendar where I aim at structuring my day.
- I make a daily appointment to do my own writing. For example, I’ve started a new book. I began with only 10 minutes a day as I listed out what I want to cover. Now that I’ve actually begun to do the writing, I’ve scheduled from 9 – 9:30 a.m. each weekday to do just that. When I’m done I check it off – a very satisfying feeling.
Take Your Writing Seriously
The reason this works I think is because by making an appointment to do my own writing I’m taking that writing as seriously as I take the writing I do for clients.
That means I have faith in myself and in my writing.
And although it seems circular, the way that belief in my own writing developed was by writing, rewriting and marketing. In the beginning, of course, I didn’t have that kind of confidence, but I did know that I somehow wanted to write, so I did. I wrote when my kids were little. I wrote early in the mornings, and on the sly at certain jobs. I rewrote and submitted and after awhile my stuff began to sell. (If you don’t have the free ebook that sums this up, sign up for the newsletter and you’ll get one.)
How do you make time for your own writing?
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