Monday, July 11, 2011

The Importance of Making Time for Your Personal Projects

This year I’ve committed to making time for a couple of important personal writing projects. One has the potential to become a source of residual income, which has also been a long-term freelance writing goal of mine for some time. Finding time to devote to these projects while also keeping up with client projects and the marketing required to keep the lights on and food on the table can be a serious challenge.

These projects are a part of my business plan, so although I don’t rely on them (yet) to cover my living expenses, there will be a payoff in the future if I stick to my plan. Yes, I need to generate a consistent income, but I don’t want to cheat myself out of a promising long-term opportunity for short-term cash. Based on the research I’ve conducted, passive income can help stabilize and increase a freelance writer’s income which reduces those feast or famine cycles.

In the past I’ve been guilty of setting aside my personal writing projects for client projects, and the result was that my projects eventually fell to the wayside. Someday will never arrive unless I take active steps to make it happen. Whether you have dreams of writing a novel, creating information products, classes, webinars or some other project that could financially benefit your business, you’ll have to make time for it. Think of it this way : you are your most valuable client, so you deserve to be treated as such. I’ll share a few things I’m doing to meet my personal project goals:

Setting Aside Time Each Week

As you know I’m the mother of four children, and I freelance full-time. This requires me to create and work on a schedule. I make sure to also schedule time for working on my personal projects.

Setting Deadlines

Deadlines are serious business for me. If I set a deadline I do everything in my power to meet it. Setting deadlines forces me to move beyond the idea stage and start taking the actionable steps required to turn my dreams into reality.

Not Getting Caught Up In the Perfection Trap

I am sooo bad about this. I want everything to be perfect or I don’t want to do it. But it’s not so much about my project being absolutely perfect as much as it is about me on some level doubting my ability. I have to remind myself that I’m human, everything may not be perfect in the beginning, but I can’t allow self-doubt to hold me back from trying.

Have you been working on, or thinking about working on a personal project that could financially benefit your business? How do you keep yourself on task?


Lori said...

How rare it is that we do this, and yet isn't it why we started writing for a living? Great reminder, Kim. Thanks. Personally, I needed the kick in the butt. :)

Kimberly Ben said...

Hi Lori!:)

I was inspired to write that post after going through an internal battle over taking on a writing project I wasn't particularly interested in and sticking to a deadline I'd set to finish up content for a personal writing project. I was leaning toward the money I'd make in the short-term, but thankfully I didn't really NEED it, so I was able to choose my project over the paid gig.

I second guessed and chastised myself quite a bit after I turned down the work. I passed the client along to another writer I know and trust. I won't always be in a financial position to make a decision like that, but I feel good about prioritizing the long-term goal this time around. :)

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