Freelance writer how to: how do you balance work and life?
If you’re a freelance writer or other service provider… Then you probably know that one of the biggest challenges isn’t always finding clients. It’s often finding balance in work and life as a freelancer.
In this post I’ll discuss what it’s like to freelance, how to get started if you aren’t already, and then how to balance work, balance life, manage distractions, and deal with solitude if that’s a struggle for you.
What it’s like to freelance
Freelance writing can often be an exciting and varied way of earning a living – but it is certainly not for the faint-hearted!
Control over your time
Freelancing can offer a great deal of freedom and flexibility for those who want more control over their work life. Instead of being tied down to a single job, freelancers get to dictate which projects they take on and are often able to set their own hours.
With this opportunity, however, also comes increased responsibility. Freelancers are fully responsible for finding clients and making sure that projects are completed in an acceptable time frame.
Freelancing can be made more ease-ful if you are organized and motivated, but that’s not necessarily required to start.
A freelancer is an individual who earns money on a per-job or per-task basis, usually for short-term work as an independent contractor. A freelancer is not an employee of a firm and may therefore be at liberty to complete different jobs concurrently by various individuals or firms unless contractually committed to working exclusively until a particular project is completed. (Source: Investopedia)
Control over your income
A lot of people get into freelance work to have more control over their income.
However, it can be stressful with fluctuating incomes when you don’t know where your next job is coming from.
This is actually one of the first things I help clients with: stabilizing income! Then we work on consistently growing the income as well.
Freelancing allows you to work in a flexible way that fits around your own commitments and goals. For creative types, this results in great satisfaction. Especially when you get positive feedback from happy clients! Working as a freelancer lets you pick the opportunities that best suit your skillset. This provides more independence over both your livelihood and lifestyle.
Another attractive part of freelance writing involves creative expression.
Many of my coaching clients report that expression becomes a huge component of their satisfaction in their work. Your desire for satisfaction eventually impacts the kind of work and clients you work with! The more established your business is, the more selective you can be.
Despite the challenges involved, freelancing can be incredibly rewarding when all parties involved have the right expectations and the right systems in place.
Freelance writer how to, for beginners
While this post is mostly focusing on balance, I do want to quickly chat about how to START as a freelancer if you haven’t already. Becoming a freelance writer feels intimidating for many people. That’s normal! With the right resources, attitude and skills, anyone can learn how to become a successful freelancer.
Here are some high level skills for showing aspiring freelance writers how to start.
Build Your Knowledge
To get started, first take the time to build your knowledge base through research. For example, learn the basics of writing and explore the world of freelancing. If you’re very new, consider taking an online course or two in copywriting. This will help you gain an understanding of sentence structure, creating compelling content, and what types of content you can create.
This will lead you into the kind of freelance writing you might want to do. Blog writing is very different from writing sales pages! And blogs and sales pages are both very different from writing for social media. Writing traditionally published informative books is very different from the previous three!
It might also be helpful to network with other freelancers, which you can easily do by searching for Facebook groups. If you want to grow faster, consider hiring a mentor to help you get your first clients, decide on your pricing, and start marketing your business.
Build a Body of Work
Lastly, actively seek out projects – create a portfolio, network with other writers and editors, register for job boards – to begin earning money and gaining experience as soon as possible. With some dedication and effort, you’ll have no problem becoming a successful freelance writer.
The pros and cons of freelancing
Freelancing is an increasingly popular side hustle. It allows you to choose your own hours and the type of work you do. However, while there are many pros to freelancing. For example: the freedom and autonomy it offers are great! But they also have downsides. Here are also some cons that should be considered.
For example, even when successful, the average freelancer statistically makes less money than those in full time jobs with benefits. This doesn’t have to be you! But it means that in order to get to six figures and beyond as a freelancer, you’ll have to work hard and be above average.
Additionally, freelancers are responsible for finding their own clients and managing their own workloads. This means they must expend effort marketing themselves. Not only that, but as a freelancer, you also usually manage your own accounts, billing and admin work. Your ultimate goal is to hire someone to do these tasks for you. But it may take some time until you’re ready to hire part time help.
Nevertheless, this work set up still allows individuals an unprecedented level of control over their professional lives that traditional employees can rarely experience. And – on top of that – the potential to expand your income isn’t capped like it is in most full time jobs.
Tips for freelance writers: how to balance work and life as a freelancer
As a freelancer, it’s easy to fall into the trap of putting all your energy into work and neglecting other areas of your life.
But in order to stay healthy and productive, it’s important to strike a balance between work and life.
One way to start is by setting strict boundaries for when you begin and end work each day. It can also be helpful to focus on time blocks rather than hours; if possible, dedicate four hours of your day specifically to work and give yourself permission to take breaks throughout the day.
Additionally, make sure you prioritize self-care activities like taking walks, meditating, or journaling. These will help combat stress from long working hours and keep you energized throughout the day. With a little planning and discipline, you’ll be able to manage your time effectively as a freelancer.
How to stay organized and productive when working from home
To stay organized and productive when working from home, it’s important to establish a routine.
Start with designating a dedicated workspace for specific tasks and be sure to create boundaries between your personal and professional life. Take regular breaks to ensure you don’t exhaust yourself so that you stay motivated throughout the day. Breakdown complex tasks into smaller, achievable goals that are easier to manage one at a time.
Lastly, reward yourself after completing assignments so you can stay energized when tackling new tasks. Incorporating these steps into your work-from-home routine will keep you organized and productive.
Handling distractions when you’re trying to get work done
To avoid distractions, start with environment. Staying focused and avoiding distractions is a challenge that many of us face when trying to get work done, even as an employee. The environment we work in can be full of distractions, both internal and external. It’s important to recognize these moments of distraction so that we can better manage them.
One way to do this is by taking regular breaks throughout the day, where you can leave your workspace and give your mind a rest before starting a new task.
Furthermore, it may help to block out any unnecessary noise or distractions so that you won’t be constantly drawn away from what you’re working on.
By being aware of the challenges associated with staying focused and implementing tools to combat them, you will be better equipped to tackle any tasks thrown your way!
Tips for freelance writers: how to deal with isolation or loneliness when working solo
Working solo can be a challenging and often isolating experience. With the right approach and mindset, there are simple ways to manage feelings of loneliness or lack of connection. Socializing online can be an excellent way to stay involved with workmates while still maintaining physical distance.
Building in personal connections, even via digital means, can go a long way to offsetting the feeling of being on one’s own.
It’s also important to incorporate meaningful activities such as exercise, yoga, or meditation into your daily routine. Choose activities that not only provide physical and mental engagement, but remind us that we are all part of something much larger.
Looking at our work from the perspective of helping others can also help bring meaning and purpose back into our lives when feeling isolated and disconnected.