Monday, April 30, 2012

Preparing for a New Week and New Month

House hunting picks up this week where we left off. My husband is traveling out of town this weekend, so we’ve agreed to schedule appointments to see the interior of at least two that we both actually liked. Fingers crossed – I need this to be over soon…

I spent the weekend creating a very ambitious marketing plan for May, wrapping up a couple of client deadlines and pushing through an ebook project with a May 1 deadline. My business coach encouraged me to get this ebook ready for her special annual promotion of information products guide, but I may have bitten off more than I can chew here. I still need to edit and proofread the content, deal with some minor formatting issues and get the squeeze page together. I don’t want to produce something just for the sake of providing her with a product to promote, so I think I’m going to have to pass on this opportunity and spend a bit more time tightening things up so I can launch it on my own.

Finally received confirmation to start a large ghostwriting project I’d been expecting for a few months(we discussed this initially back in December 2011). That’s the way freelancing goes – sometimes projects don’t come through when you expect or may never come to fruition at all. That’s why consistent marketing is so crucial (stepping off my soapbox now…). It’s coming at a good time. As soon as the client sends the down payment, I’ll get started.

I didn’t earn as much during April as I did in March, but I expected that. Between house hunting, the ebook and some impromptu software training via one of my staple clients, I didn’t put in as much work time this month. A portion of my April payment will arrive in May because I forgot to invoice one of my client’s this month. As long as I get the payment sometime in May, I’m good.

How was freelancing for you during the month of April?

Friday, April 20, 2012

House Hunting While Freelancing

This week I’ve been pretty busy ramping up my marketing efforts, to secure plenty of work for the slower (typically for me) summer months, managing client projects and looking for a house. Yes, the “cozy” rental we’ve lived in for the past 9 months is practically bursting at the seams. We will not be renewing the lease. We need more space, especially since my mother-in-law wants to move here to be closer to her grandchildren. I actually like my mother-in-law, so that's a good thing. :)

Those who know me are aware of how much I dislike the process of making major purchases (cars, houses and such). I don’t know why, but I just don’t find it enjoyable. At. All. The fact that my husband and I have such comically different approaches to decision making doesn’t help. While I’m absolutely desperate to find what we’re looking for and take immediate action as quickly as possible, he takes a much more methodical approach analyzing every possible detail at least 10 times in his head. And then discusses all of his findings and concerns with me. I'll do my best to cooperate.

Between client projects and marketing, I’m also working on a couple of personal writing projects. One has a pretty strict deadline, so I’ll really need to manage my time well over the next two weeks. Looks like I’ll be putting in work this weekend – not too much though. Weekends are for family so I’ll continue with the goal to keep weekends work-free.

I’ll leave you with some awesome posts from this week. Enjoy and have a great weekend!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Week End Review and Link Love

This week was a challenging one for me. I spent the week handling lots of legal and financial business for my mom. I knew this would take up a lot of my time, so I willingly designated the entire week to getting these things done and simply worked around it. If I don’t plan ahead, I become overwhelmed and wind up getting nothing done which is not an option.

Since this week was so busy, I didn't have time to read my favorite blogs. I spent some time this morning catching up and wanted to share some of the good stuff I’ve been reading with you.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Wednesday Ramblings

This morning I’m writing from a coffee shop about a half mile down from where I just dropped my four grumpy children off at school. Like their mother, they are NOT morning people, but thankfully caffeine makes it all better for me.

Today is the day I take my mother to run errands which is a full day activity. I usually wake up an hour earlier to fit in some work since I’ll be gone for most of the day, and then I make up for lost time later in the evening. There’s nothing pressing on today’s agenda. I’m waiting for two new client agreements and payment so that I can get started on their projects. I’m focusing on two magazine queries this week, and yesterday I sent off posts to two blogs I submit monthly contributions to. I also need to pay my taxes today – I don’t even need to forget to do that.

Before I pick up my mother, I plan to hit up this amazing, funky little salvage shop I discovered last weekend to search for more pots for my container garden. It’s normally advisable to wait until around April 15 to plant tomatoes, peppers and zucchini, but it’s pretty hot already and I seriously doubt we’ll suffer an unexpected freeze between now and the 15th.

How’s your Wednesday shaping up?

Monday, April 2, 2012

Hello Monday

For the first time in I’m not sure when, I did absolutely no work this weekend. And it was so wonderful! Last week the kids were home for spring break, so I’d lightened my workload anyway. Once upon a time I always kept weekends work free, but an overabundance of client projects has had me working most weekends for the past few months. Yes, the money was great, but my quality of life suffered. For me, freelancing is as much about being the master of my own schedule as it is about the freedom of being self-employed.

I spent Saturday working on my container garden and reading a book a (something I haven’t done in months!) good friend sent me – “Night Circus,” by Erin Morgenstern while listening to Esperanza Spalding. Sunday we prepared a huge brunch and later that afternoon flew kites. In the evening, once the kids were in bed, hubby and I just chilled, watched movies and enjoyed mango sorbet. All in all an extremely relaxing weekend.

Today I’ll be handling quite a bit of administrative stuff – returning emails, invoicing clients, blog maintenance and working on an ebook project. While tallying my numbers for March, I earned more than the previous month, and definitely made more than this time last year. The client I no longer work with accounts for a significant chunk of my March earnings. While I’m sad to see it go, it’s for the best and I have no doubt that I will be able to replace that income source with something better. I’m already negotiating with a client on a new project this morning, so it’s all good.

After attending Lori Widmer and Anne Wayman’s Trade Writing Webinar a couple of weeks agao, I’m so ready to start querying some trade pubs that have been on my radar. I haven’t written for a magazine in nearly two years, although that’s how I started freelancing. I miss it quite a bit and look forward to diving back in. I don't know if they'll be offering it again, but if you're interested in freelancing for magazines, I highly recommend it.

How was your weekend, and how’s your work week shaping up so far?

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