The Struggling Writer

The chronicles of a freelance writer as he tries to make a living.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Not dead yet

The struggle to get back to my life continues. Not only am I still not making the income I was back in June, I'm not going to any of the forums, reading other people's blogs, or (as you may have noticed) keeping this one up.

I keep waiting for things to calm down and get back to what they were like before July and I've finally realized that they aren't going to. This is my life now - more complicated, more busy - and I need to start getting used to it. It really shouldn't have taken me four months to figure that out.

It means that I no longer have the luxury of "writing days", at least not as often as before. I need to get better about stealing hours here and there to get work done rather than waiting for long blocks of time. For example, in the past if I had a 4-article assignemnt, I'd try to find time to write them all together. Instead, I need to get used to writing one here and one there until they are done.

This leads to another of my annoying habits. If I have a one-day project and a one-week deadline, it ends up taking me a week because it's not a priority until the deadline is looming. I still get it done but it gives the illusion that I'm busier than I am, which is a bad thing. I had my main client the other day say she was holding things back because she assumed I didn't have time to do them. I told her I could easily take a lot more work, but that just reinforces that I need to get things done faster.

For the first time in a long time, I've spent the last few days thinking about expansion. Right now I do web content that I subcontract from a single client. Not only is it not enough, it's not all that I want to do. I have been kicking around ideas for other income streams from diversified areas. This protects my income in the event of wild market changes, and it keeps me from getting bored.

Unfortunately, this blog is low on my priority list. I really would like to update it more but often by the time I finish things for the day, I'm just too tired. The focus of this blog is my own personal lessons learned, but I keep forgetting to get over here and take a couple of minutes to document them. I hope to get better about that in the upcoming months.

I'm aware that I'm getting my momentum back right before the holidays, and everything tends to drag from Thanksgiving to New Years. Last year I frittered away the time. This year I plan to use the down time to nail down plans for future projects. As I keep reminding myself, if I don't get my freelance career on track, I'll have to get a real job and few things fill me with dread more than returning to the horrors of the 9-to-5 cubicle zombies.


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