31 May 2012

Sometimes little fish are good, too.

I've been busy lately, as you can tell from my inconsistent posting. Sorry about that. But things are normalizing a bit, so I'm hoping to post more consistently now. (And I'll be posting quite a bit more in June.)

I do want to talk to you about freelance clients a bit. Freelance writing is how I make my living, and I rely on my ability to land contracts with clients in order to continue to have work. It can be difficult sometimes (there are slow periods), but overall I'm happy with my freelance career.

That said, I think it's important for freelancers to know that you don't have to always focus on "big" clients to be a successful writer. Sure, the big clients are fun, the big projects can be great, but sometimes the big clients are just one big project and then they're done.

I always try to have a few "little" clients in my active list. These are clients whose projects don't take a lot of time. They may not pay as well as big clients, but I can do the work quickly between bigger things, or if I have a spare few minutes will Puck and Tink are eating lunch. I like these clients. Not only are they good for quick writing here and there, but I have had several "little" clients who have turned into ongoing clients. They may not always have work for me, and the work they have may be small, but having repeating clients is a very good thing for freelance writers.

I have one client in particular who has work for me every now and then. His company has a few websites and I've written most of the content for the sites. When he has work for me, it's usually a week or two's worth, and I've gone months without hearing from him, but when he needs content, he always comes to me. He knows I can give him the content he needs when he needs it. If I'd skipped that first project because this client was too small, I'd have missed out on a lot of work over the past year or so.

The biggest thing is to figure out if the project is worth your time in the moment. If a small client wants some work done, can you fit it in between other projects? If you can, and it meets your personal income requirements for time spent on it, there's no reason not to take the client. You never know what will happen with a smaller client later on.

10 May 2012

What I've been working on lately

I've been kind of busy lately. I've been purposely trying to keep myself busy since the kids are visiting Monty, but even if they'd been here the past couple of weeks, I'd be busy. I've got a lot going on these days. It's good, but it also means that I haven't been posting as regularly as I would have liked.

Freelancing is going well. I have a couple of projects I'm really enjoying right now, which is good, since they're taking quite a bit of time and energy. Periods like this remind me of why I love my job as a freelance writer, and show me that I can and do make a living at it. If you're thinking of venturing out into the freelance world, do try it, but do your research first. Things have changed a lot since I started four years ago.

I've also been taking some time to work on my grant application, which means I'm taking time to work on the coffee house book. The more I work with the coffee house book, the more excited I am about the project. I got to talk to one of my brothers about it yesterday, and telling him about the overall project, as well as the individual aspects of it. He said he thought it was a cool idea (which he's kind of obligated to say since he's my brother and everything). Laying it all out like that reminded me of why I want to do this project, and why I'm willing to spend so much time making sure I do it right. I'm not going to compromise the idea to get it done faster. The idea, as I have it, is what it needs to be. And it may take a long time to finish the collection, but it will be worth it. For now I may have to work on snippets here and there, but if I'm awarded this grant, I'll have more time and flexibility to devote the time to the project, specifically the coffee house book, that I want to.

05 May 2012

When faced with virtually unlimited time, writers still don't have time to write

Puck and Tink are in Florida, and will be for about another week. It's okay. I'm hanging in there.

But I've noticed something during this time the kids have been visiting Monty. Even by myself in the early morning and evenings, and a free couple of hours in the afternoons, I have not gotten the chance to catch up on some of the writing I wanted to do during this time.

Writers are master procrastinators. Sure, I can sit for hours to write and get a lot done, but I can also find hundreds of excuses not to write. It's a gift. And a curse.*

I would have thought that, by now, I'd have learned from NaNoWriMo and Screnzy. After all, if I can write 50,000+ words or 100+ pages of script in one month, surely I can get caught up on writing-related things while the kiddos are in Florida, right?

Not so much.

Even with fewer non-writing responsibilities, I've managed to procrastinate. The first couple of days I convinced myself I needed to take a breath and relax. Since then, though, it hasn't been a complete turnaround. I find other things that have to be done rightthisminute, I let myself get distracted by family and friends.

I haven't found a solution that works. Depending on what projects I have, I can stay off the internet, which helps, but both of the projects I'm working on over the next week or so require internet access to be able to work on.

I think, for me, it's a mixture of lack of motivation and distractability. Yes, I'm easily distracted (Pinterest, anyone?), but I know part of it is the...weirdness of not having the kiddos at home. Since I don't have all the things that I have to do for them every day, I've gotten a bit of a feeling that I don't want to do anything at all.

Maybe I just need another cup of coffee.

*This is a reference to this.