The Struggling Writer

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

Monday, January 07, 2008

The curse of the lazy freelancer

I’ve talked several times about my biggest limitation as a freelancer: I’m basically lazy.

I’m careful that my indolence hurts only me and not my clients. I meet my deadlines but I’m seldom early. However even this can be a problem if your client assumes you are working to capacity because you hand things in at the last minute.

This happened to me recently. My primary client had been turning away work because she assumed I couldn’t handle it. I assured her I could take more and we set a weekly goal equal to about half what I need to be making to survive.

Why half and not all? There are a couple of reasons. I think it’s dangerous to depend on all of your income from a single source. Even though I’m subcontracting so technically the work is originating with dozens of clients, it’s still all funneled through one person. If she suddenly runs off and joins the circus, all that work disappears.

Another reason to limit work from one client is for diversity. Right now all I do is web content. The pay is good, the work is steady, and payment comes sometimes mere hours after a piece is submitted.

However I can certainly see how someone could get burned out on it. If I reach that point I want more than just content experience to show for it. By limiting the amount of one type of writing I do, I force myself to get broader experience.

Hmm, I’m reading back over this and I seem to have misplaced the point I had started to make. That’s the problem with stream-of-consciousness writing. I have several subjects I’ve been meaning to post about (and I really hope to get back to posting more often) and they all get muddled together.

Now I could list my ideas and check each one off off as I post about it, but I’m basically lazy ;)