When I talked about the need for freelance writers to have more than one client a couple of commenters alluded to the need for freelancers to juggle their writing business. It’s true
Get clear on your goals. You need business goals so you know where you’re going. They need to be written down and assigned an accomplishment date. If they are money goals, and you need those too, the dollar (or whatever your currency is) amount of the goal gets written down along with a target date.
Work out the baby steps and track them. I find that when I break goals into small or baby steps it’s easier to get where I want to go. Sometimes the list grows for awhile, like when I take on a big project or something new. For example setting up About Writing Squared and the 5 Buck Forum seemed, for awhile, to grow exponentially. But as I check each step off I can see that I’m making progress. I’ve also found that keeping those lists is helpful for the next time I do something like that.
Put best paying work first. A better way to say this is do the best paying work when you’re the freshest and the writing is likely to be the easiest. And that may mean your own writing comes first – deciding is part of the juggling act and it will change over time.
Do one marketing thing daily, no matter what. In theory we’re supposed to spend 25 percent of our work time or more marketing. When we’re busy that’s obviously impossible. But it is possible to do at least one thing to market yourself every day. That might simply be a tweet offering your services and pointing to your website, or leaving your business card along with a tip at a restaurant. My hunch is this sort of activity is more about staying in practice and telling the universe your goal as it were. Yes, you’ll need to do more, so set some marketing goals as well. When your time opens up you’ll already know what you need and want to do.
Start a “Long-term” list. I have way more to do than any one person can get done. I’ll bet you do too. I’ve started a long-term list of those things that I know I won’t get done this week. I look at it regularly and find that over time that stuff either gets done or I realize I don’t need to do it after all. Somehow, as long as I’m making some progress on this list I don’t mind that I can’t possibly get it all done.
Easy Does It But Do It. I’m a better writer when I take time away from the computer to get some exercise, have fun with friends and family and spend some time just staring out the window. I suspect you will be too – but you’ve got to find the time in your schedule to do these things. It’s important that you do.
How do you juggle freelance writing?