Thursday, July 17, 2008

The Freelance Writing Projects We Don't Like

I'm working feverishly on one now, and it's getting harder to stay focused. Last night at around 1:00am I was asking myself, "Do I really want to do this? I hate this project!" I knew then that it was time to just go to bed and sleep on it.

What Makes It So Bad?
The reality of being a freelance writer is that you may find yourself working on some writing projects that just don't excite you. This morning I was able to get a grip and really look at the reality of my situation. I should explain that it's rare that I find myself working on something I just don't like. When I was working my corporate gig, it was rare that ever I enjoyed what I did at all. Really, I shouldn't complain.

I also have to look at what purpose this particular project is serving. It's a long term freelance writing gig (a contract for a few months) so it's helping me pay bills and I get a byline. It has also helped me gain a brand new client. I can write for this project on my own time, as long as I adhere to the deadlines. Hmm, the pluses are starting to outweigh the minuses…

What's In It For Me?
I guess it all comes down to how those freelance writing projects we don't like affect the bottom line. Sometimes we dislike freelance projects that we have little experience with like sales letters or direct response materials. Other projects, like writing business plans may be tedious and boring, but could lead to more of the freelance writing stuff you enjoy – like developing brochure copy or website content.

For me, if a freelance writing project I don't much care for can help me promote myself as a freelance writer and land me new business while I also get paid, that's nothing to sneeze at. Eventually this project will come to an end. But in the meantime, I'll just keep reminding myself of all the rewards I stand to reap.


Anonymous said...

I've had a few projects I don't like at all, and others which I thought I would like, and then they became a real drag on my time.

I had one the client who constantly changed his mind over the content he wanted and when he wanted it (usually 'yesterday' after he had decided he needed something new).

Trouble was, I had to keep on going until the finish line, because he has a lot of influence in one of the fields I write for.

I guess asking "what's in it for me?" is definitely the best way to keep going at times like these :)

Avid Writer said...

Hi zaniat,

Yes, I have been having a difficult time enjoying this project partly because it is something completely new to me. It would be easy to give up and let it go, but deep down I know I should continue onward. Thanks for stopping by!:)

Sue LaPointe said...

Ohhhhh yeah.... we've all had those projects! The funny thing is, you mentioned sales letters as being less than your favorite - but I love them! Probably something I hate doing is something another writer loves!

As for me, anything tech or medical, and I'm out.

Isn't it funny? If I think of it like ice cream flavors (probably going this way because I had a lovely chocolate with pb cone tonight as our family walked around after dinner!), it's a lot more palatable. Some like pistachio and others go for peach! : )

Either way, the longer you're in the business, the more likely you are to be able to pick and choose - a wonderful luxury!

Thanks for a great and honest post.

Avid Writer said...

Hi sue,

I am busy making plans to push my freelancing business along to the point where I can pick and choose the projects I like to write more often. :)

Lindsay said...

One of the reasons I'm so thrilled to be able to work for myself (I write for my own sites and blogs and make a living) is that I can pick all my own projects.

In the beginning, there were a lot of avenues I pursued just for the money (because I was broke, and money was a necessity!), and I always hated spending time writing about topics that didn't interest me, especially if they didn't provide any genuine value (sales copy and the like).

It's hard to stay motivated when it's just about the money.

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