Tag Archives: freelance life

FREE Freelance Success Stories Contest

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Writer’s Market is currently hosting its 5th annual Freelance Success Stories contest. This free contest is looking for real stories of freelance success. These should be personal stories—written in first person—and true (how often do freelancers get to do that!). First place will receive $750 and publication in the 2011 Writer’s Market.

Submission rules: Stories should be 800-1,500 words. Submit as .doc (not .docx) or .txt attachment, or in the body of the e-mail message. Subject line should read Freelance Success Stories (or there’s a chance it could be deleted without being read). E-mail submissions only to writersmarket@fwmedia.com.

The A-typical (and Type A) writer

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(oops! created this as a page instead of a post)

I heard a great piece on NPR about the link between writers and various types of mental illnesses (especially depression). It must have been good because they played it (at least) twice in the last few years. (I think you can still hear it through the archives.) Anyway, they said that writers have the highest incidence of mental illness of all professions, but then asked the chicken or egg question. (They also said the poets have the highest incidence of depression among writers. Again, chicken or egg?) Anyway, the piece was fascinating for a variety of reasons. For me, it made me realize that as a full-time working writer (I make my living as a writer. It’s not a hobby.), I am quite atypical. Not only am I not depressed, but I am borderline OCD. 

 

I am extremely organized, goal-oriented, fast-paced and probably fit more of the stereotype of an editor than a writer. Still, I do consider myself creative and I write very, very fast. So I do have some components of the typical writer (creative, artsy, enjoy alone time).

 

Obviously, the creativity is very important to my career. But I also think that the borderline OCD is what makes me most functional and earns me the income I make. After I all, on a typical day I could be juggling work for 5 or 6 clients, taking phone calls, answering emails, and throwing in a couple personal details – like paying bills, dealing with insurance or a sick kid, laundry, planning dinner, etc. 

 

So, is anyone willing to share something similar? Are you the “typical” writer (quoting the radio story); introverted, creative, depressed and/or ???

 

Or are you more like me: high-energy, organized, sometimes anxious, goal-oriented, driven, multi-tasking? FYI, I am not claiming this is better – just better for me. I think it’s what makes me successful as a writer. I also think it can be very different for men/women, parents vs. nonparents, introverts vs. extroverts.

 

Thoughts?

Keeping your focus while writing at home

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A fellow freelance and I were just talking about how to stay focused when there are so many distractions calling you during the day. We’re both moms (and wives) and are trying to find a way to juggle chores and work without asking, ‘Where did the time go?’ when our kids get home.

For me, this means designating a time to do non-writing things. One trick is to get up just 15 minutes before the rest of my family to put in a load of laundry, feed the dogs, unload the dishwasher and make my husband’s lunch. (Yes, he’s spoiled.) Also, I get lectured a lot about taking breaks during the day to stretch my back. I take frequent breaks and use each one to do a five-minute task, like folding laundry, stripping the bed, loading the dishwasher, etc.

What tricks do you have to juggle chores and writing so you don’t squander your day?

Do you miss writing when you’re away from it?

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We (finally!) got to use our new travel trailer this weekend – camping in the mountains. The weather was UNREAL (70s and 80s!) for mid-October in the Front Range. I didn’t do any work for three days and it felt odd – but good. I’m a workaholic and usually find myself itching to get back to work on Monday. I miss writing. Anyone else love Mondays? (Or whatever day falls after your vacation.) Are you able to relax when you’re taking time off or do you find yourself checking email and scribbling in a notebook?

working on the weekends

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When you’re a freelancer, it’s hard to tell clients no. Your income often depends on it. I have two young children (1 and 3) and since they go to daycare during the week, my weekends are reserved entirely for them. Or are they? I still find myself sometimes working to meet my clients’ demands. “Going to print on Monday” often means proofing magazines or writing last-minute ad copy on the weekends. Sometimes even calling clients. How do you set boundaries with your clients?

Another (typical) day in the life

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I was up early today while my hubby and the kids slept so I could get some work done. Yesterday I had to take Ben (1 year) to the dr. for his shots which meant he was home with me for the rest of the day. Very tough to get any work done unless he’s napping. I don’t know what I’ll do when daycare in closed for a week in November. Ugh. Any other mom writers? How do you juggle it? My kids both go to a nearby home daycare, which I still have “Momguilt” about but we need my income. Would love to hear about how others juggle writing and family.