Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Freelance Writers: How Do You Do It?

If I were asked to list one of my biggest weaknesses as a freelance writer, I’d say time management. Don’t get me wrong, I meet my client deadlines despite parenting four kids between the ages of nine and two; even if at times it’s by the skin of my teeth. But there are times when the administrative tasks are overwhelming.

Finding focus

I’m trying to get back on track with marketing which means tweaking my website, writing copy for my own marketing materials, building a contact list, querying and so on. All while staying on top of client projects. On some days there doesn’t seem to be enough time to work on my own projects, but if I don’t they just keep getting put on the back burner.

When there's only you

For me balancing client projects and all of the daily administrative tasks is the biggest challenge of being a solopreneur. Filing, scheduling, returning calls and emails, researching my target market, writing and sending out queries, research and making brief appearances on select social networking sites – it all takes TIME. How I’d love to pass some of those tasks along to someone else so that I could just be responsible for the writing.

But for now I’ll just have to work at organizing my time a bit better to balance all of my responsibilities. I’m curious to know how other freelance writers are doing it. Do you outsource or handle everything for your business on your own?


Dava Stewart said...

My situation is a little different, because my freelance business is still very, very small. However, I'm with you on the time management issue. As of now, I have a regular, full time job, two teenage daughters, a husband, three dogs, two birds and a freelance business.

Sometimes it feels like every minute of everyday is scheduled, sometimes like I am buried under a mountain of to-dos, but then other times I feel like super-writer, getting it all done.

I try to spend a minimum amount of time each week addressing the marketing, the administrative and the actual writing parts of my new business. Then I spend a lot of time dreaming of the day I have enough clients to reduce my regular-job hours!

I read a good article on the blog The Wealthy Freelancer a couple of months ago about assigning each task a morning of the week: Marketing on Monday, Billing on Tuesday, and on and on. It seems like a good plan because you have the afternoon to actually write and meet deadlines.

Kimberly Ben said...

Thanks, Dava. I'll have to check that article out. I have really slacked up on my marketing over the summer and am working to correct that now. My goal is to do do as you do and spend a small amount of time each day on marketing to keep things going.

Allena said...

I feel like I'm really competitive, and I think that's what makes me proactive in time management. For example, I think "what if someone else is writing this book proposal right now?" or "what if someone else is pitching this editor right now?" I always remember that we all have the same 24 hours in a day.

Kimberly Ben said...

Allena, that's a good way of looking at things actually. Cultivating a competitive edge is a good thing.

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