Like a lot of other jobs, Freelance Writing comes with tiers of work ranging from low-level to critical high visibility. Likewise, there are many levels of pay that go along with those tiers. Too many writers focus on what they “should” be making, or what they “want” to be making. Instead, focus on what work you can get today.
Fill Your Schedule
I’ve been writing professionally for a long time, but it was only recently that I cut the safety cord that had snuggly tethered me to the corporate world. When that happened, a fundamental shift occurred in the way I looked at my writing. Specifically, I stopped looking at my writing, and I started looking at my writing business. That little shift makes all the difference.
Look at it this way, as a writer, you have certain things that you enjoy writing, and certain things that you don’t enjoy as much. You also have certain gigs available to you that pay a lot and certain gigs that don’t pay as much. While you are in the state of mind where you evaluate and manage your writing making the calls as to which projects you will and won’t take can be complicated. But, if you are in the state of mind where you are managing your business, things get a little easier. Instead of considering what you do and don’t want to write, and what you should and should not earn, you start looking at what your revenue and expenses looked like last month. You look at what your revenue looks like it will be for the coming month and you do some simple math. You are either making it (profit) or you are not (loss), and you need to do some things accordingly.
No business can operate at a loss indefinitely. How easy is it to make this decision? Last month, your business had enough revenue to generate a nice profit. This month, however, your projected projects only will generate enough revenue to come out with a small loss at the end of the month. Do you take the short term, lower paying writing gig that will make the coming month profitable or not?
Pretty easy right?
Be the Business
Being a business means taking your writing from being the thing you do to being the thing your business does. You are not just a freelance writer, you are also a business owner. Act like you think a business owner acts. A business owner keeps an eye on the bottom line. As the owner of a freelance writing business you have the advantage of being able to work on making both sides of the equation work out. You can cut back on expenses during a month where revenues will be light and vice versa. You can take on projects you would normally turn down in order to boost revenues so you can cover those unexpected office expenses.
Keep an eye on the profit margin of the business as a whole, and a lot of the other questions will help sort themselves out.