Monday, September 24, 2007

POST #20: 40 Days to a Successful Freelance Writing Career

PUBLISHER NOTE: If you are a regular reader of this blog, then you know about the upcoming freelance writing seminar in October. You will learn exactly what to do to earn $100, $150, $200/day or more as a freelance writer, editor and/or copy editor. Registration is now open!

Many have inquired about what will be discussed at the seminar. So, in order to answer your questions and to get you prepared for what to expect, I started this series of posts entitled "40 Days to a Successful Freelance Writing Career." To start at the beginning, click here.

Welcome to the blog. Now, on to today’s post . . .

Freelance Writers, “Suck It Up!”

My stepfather was recently diagnosed with cancer, a major client put a project on hold I was contracted to do two months ago, and – until two days ago – I had a severe head cold that woke me up constantly in the middle of the night unable to breathe (hence, sleep).

So, why am I telling you all this?

FREE Freelance Writing E-Course! And, the special e-report: How to Make $100/Day as a Freelance Writer! Limited time offer. Details.
I still have client deadlines to meet and my head, heart and desire is everywhere but on work. BUT, I have to suck it up, remain professional and plow ahead. In other words, I endure.

One thing many freelancers – especially newbies – fail to consider is what's going to happen to your career if you fail to push through the "I don’t feel like working," syndrome -- even if it's only a couple of times.

Many freelancers are so excited to just have projects, that they don’t take into account the long-term effects of not pushing through this -- almost every time.

I implore you to remember this – short of a major emergency, you must, must, must be reliable – above all else –in this profession.

Clients will forgive the occasional grammatical error, an error on an invoice and maybe even a completed project they didn’t exactly love. BUT, most will not forgive tardiness. This can kill your career before you even get it off the ground.

And, while they may say, “It’s okay; take one more day,” you will have planted the seed of unreliability – and you don’t want even a hint of this to be attached to your name, for the following reasons . . .

Companies hire freelancers because they either:

i) don’t have the in-house staff to handle a project;

ii) don’t want to hire in-house staff to handle a project;

iii) are too busy and need help to get them throuch crunch time; and/or

iv) to sub for an employee who may be on maternity leave, taken emergency family leave, etc.

So, YOU, my dear freelancer – are the ace in the hole – the person they turn to to save the day. Which means, you get no sick days, maternity leave and/or vacation time (from clients).

Why Clients Give Repeat Work to Freelancers

As I wrote about in Post #13 under the sub-headline, 3 Things to Focus on to Get Work from Department Heads/Managers

Managers are accountable for the freelancers they hire. If they feel like you can make them look good, they will throw more stuff your way all the time. Looking good means covering the following bases, primarily: . . . Time: As in, complete the project on time.
I have no control over how my stepfather’s chemo treatment is going to go; as hard as I tried, I couldn’t get rid of my cold until it ran its course; and, controlling client projects – fuggeeddaaboutit!

What I do have control over though is my work. So, although my mind is not exactly on work these days, I use it as a respite from what’s going on in my life.

And that, sometimes, is all the inspiration you need to “suck it up!”

What do you think? If you have questions, comments or observations about this post, send them in. Email them to info [at]

Editorially yours,
Yuwanda (who is this person?)
What’s Next in Inkwell Editorial’s Newsletter?

Next Issue – 9/26: For all you artists our there (illustrators, cartoonists, photographers, this one is for you). I interviewed successful cartoonist Dan Rosendach. He’s been a freelancer since 1976 and lays out some very interesting marketing tactics for keeping the business rolling in.

Missed the last issue of Inkwell's freelance writing newsletter? The 9/12 issue featured an interview with freelance writer, Gordon Graham, aka, that white paper guy.

Gordon charges $90/hour just to edit a white paper and a minimum of $4,000 to produce one from scratch. Wanna know what he had to say? Sign up to receive your copy to read his informative, in-depth interview.

Gain clients, web traffic and brand awareness. How? Let us interview you for our popular newsletter? Full details. Read the first issue here.
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1 comment:

Lillie Ammann said...

This is so true, Yuwanda. I think a lot of people want to be self-employed so they can be their own boss, and they think that means they can take off whenver they want.