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7 Tips to Survive Freelance Writing

Updated on February 15, 2015

Freelancing can be difficult, especially when you are starting out. In the beginning you will need to dedicate lots of time and effort without immediate pay. Often there is not a huge monetary gain, but freelancers give up money in return for their freedom. They can work from home and keep a schedule that suits them. Freelancing can be very rewarding and satisfying. There are several benefits to freelancing like setting your own hours, having more control, and opportunity to follow your own desires.

Here are some freelancing tips:


You must have perseverance. Lack of clients and rejection can be discouraging, but keep working. Study your craft to keep improving. Keep working on building your network and looking for potential clients. Freelancing requires you to step out of your comfort zone, pitch your work and sell yourself.

Plan for your financial future

Do some financial planning or seek the advice of a financial adviser. There is not always a regular paycheck, like you would get at a regular job. Money at first may be scarce and you may be working without health insurance, vacation time, sick leave, or any other benefits. You will have no retirement, unless you plan. Retirement planning is a must, with the uncertainty of social security (at least in the United States).


Manage your time wisely

The practice time management is essential. Time is something that can quickly get away from you, and you do not want to waste it. Make yourself goals. Figure out what you hope to accomplish, and how much time you will spend working. Don’t spend too much time on forums and social media. Forums are helpful, and you can learn a lot. Facebookand Twitter are necessary tools for networking and self-promotion. However, these can easily gobble up your day. Set aside a certain time for doing them, and set strict limits. Keep a schedule; it doesn’t necessarily matter when you do your work, but you need to establish a regular pattern.

Limit distractions

If you were working at a business for an employer you would not be watching television, texting your friends, or allowed to carry on personal phone conversations. It would also be unprofessional to have your friends hanging out chatting with you all day. Make sure you allow yourself the same respect while you are writing. Children bring about special challenges. Mothers working from home may have to adjust their schedule around sleeping times. Be careful that this doesn't lead to burning the candle at both ends; staying up until the wee hours then having to get up in the morning, just depletes you of sleep. In the long run you will be less productive. Try to get work done while there is someone available to watch the children, like another parent or spouse.

Take breaks

One can't realistically spend eight or more hours glued to a computer without suffering health consequences like poor circulation and the effect of ergonomic issues. The temptation is there to be a workaholic, since if you don't work then there's no pay. It is important to take care of yourself.


Keep your work area ergonomic

Set up an ergonomic work area. Make sure you have an appropriate desk, chair, and a telephone headset if you are on the phone a lot. Adjust your monitor and chair, as needed, to the correct height.

Learn to handle rejection

It's not easy pouring your time, energy, and soul into a project to have it turned down. Don't take it personally, as it is not necessarily a reflection on you. You will need to sell yourself as with any other self-employed field like acting, music, or even landscaping. Sometimes things don’t work out as you would have hoped for. You’ll have to get up, brush yourself off, and move on.


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