Freelancing. Is It Right for You?

1320170763_freelancer_life_by_asuka111Two decades ago, the publishing company I worked for relocated. I was out of a job, and I decided then to freelance. The decision wasn’t easy. I faced a sluggish economy. If freelance statistics were correct, I was setting myself up to fail. Still, I decided to try. Here I am, twenty years later, still freelancing! It hasn’t always been easy, but it has been worth it.

If you are thinking about freelancing, here are some pros and cons.

pros

PROS . . .

You are the boss (most of the time). You own your business; you are responsible for every aspect. Still, you need to remember that yours is a service business. In that way you work for your clients.

You can pursue your passion. If writing is your thing, you can write. Maybe you love editing or consulting. Freelancing allows you to pursue what you love.

You control when you work. No more 9-to-5 job. You choose when you work; however, this comes with a hitch—you need to be self-disciplined and manage yourself to make the most of your work time.

You control where you work. All you need is a laptop and you can take your office anywhere. Using Skype or Facetime, you can even meet with faraway clients in your home, a coffee house, or wherever.

You get to choose. Maybe you want to specialize in an area that suits you, or maybe you want a lot of variety. You get to choose the kinds of projects you work on.

 

cons

CONS . . .

You wear many hats. Freelancing means that you do all the creative work as well as sales and marketing, invoicing, signing contracts, troubleshooting technology, keeping track of tax deductible business expenses, making estimated tax payments, and so on.

Your salary is unpredictable. You can’t control when projects come or how much you might earn in any given month. Often, you can’t control when you get paid. Some clients pay 50% when the contract is signed and 50% on the project’s completion. Others pay 100% on completion. Most pay within 30 days and others 60 or even 90 days.

Your schedule is unpredictable. You never know when a client will contact you with a project. All projects have deadlines. You need to decide how much work you can take on and still meet those deadlines. Sometimes, your calendar will be wide open. Other times, you will be juggling several projects at once and even have to turn projects down.

You worry about job security. There will be times when work is slow. Maybe you lost a big client. The publishing industry might be in a slump. There are many reasons to be concerned when you have no work for weeks or even months. It’s important to expect and to plan ahead for those times.

You feel isolated. Freelancing comes with independence and that can lead to isolation. You are the boss, but you have no employees. Your partners are your clients, but your relationship with them exists only in emails and occasional phone calls. Unless you make a real effort to take your office to other venues, you will be working at home all the time.

Weigh the pros and cons. Then ask yourself, “Is this for me?” If your answer is, “Yes,” then get going. Dive in. See where the journey takes you.

_____________________________

Are you on Facebook? Check out my page where I post daily articles
and inspiration for writers.

august2016wordpress
_____________________________

*NOTE: Any ads appearing in this post were not put there by me nor do I endorse them. WordPress sometimes posts ads in exchange for hosting this free blog.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized, The Business of Writing, Freelance writing

Labor Day Quotes for Writers

I can’t believe it’s almost Labor Day, can you? Here are some quotations for you to ponder about the work of writing:

14645

 

Inspiration-usually-comes-during-work-rather-than-before-it.-Madeleine-LEngle1

 

11335548_1458382281125057_336027547_n

 

20-inspiring-quotes-from-william-zinssers-on-writing-well-3-638

 

282015-Susan-Sontag-Quote-To-be-an-artist-or-a-writer-is-to-be-this-weird

 

3072-Maya-Angelou-Quote-Nothing-will-work-unless-you-do

 

full_size

1387855

 

b4303ab4207d5a97a21e68d7b41cf987

Set your work aside during Labor Day weekend. You deserve a break from all that writing, rewriting, and editing.

Rest well, my friends.
I’ll see you back here in September.

_____________________________

Are you on Facebook? Check out my page where I post daily articles
and inspiration for writers.

august2016wordpress
_____________________________

*NOTE: Any ads appearing in this post were not put there by me nor do I endorse them. WordPress sometimes posts ads in exchange for hosting this free blog.

1 Comment

Filed under Inspiration, Labor Day, Uncategorized

5 Things to Remember When Writing a Nonfiction Book

PRODUCT-DESCRIPTION2

Unless your goal is to write a scholarly textbook, you don’t want your nonfiction book to read like one. Here are five ways to write nonfiction that grabs and keeps your readers’ attention.

1. Get Personal. Engage readers by making your message about them.

Ask questions: Isn’t is frustrating when . . .?

Interject some humor: Short people unite! God only lets things grow until they’re perfect. Some of us didn’t take as long as others.

Include relatable stories about your own life. But be careful. Unless you’re writing a memoir keep your message centered on your readers.

2. Be Creative. Consider writing narrative nonfiction—nonfiction that reads like fiction. Bill O’Reilly’s “Killing” series is an excellent example.

(Lincoln) paces the upper deck of the steamboat River Queen, his face lit now and again by distant artillery. The night air smells of the early spring, damp with a hint of floral fragrance.—From “Killing Lincoln” by Bill O’Reilly.

imagesYou could also write an informative book that is mostly memoir. For example in my book, An Issue of Blood, Facing Uterine Cancer With Faith, I combine memoir, factual information, and biblical history to keep my readers engaged.

Keep it real. Don’t change facts. Concentrate on adding imagery, emotion, and personality.

3. Say it Simply. Everyone hates instruction manuals saturated with confusing terms and diagrams.

keep it simpleKeep facts and figures simple.

Cut out unnecessary words.

Use lists.

Connect readers with facts using phrases like, “Did you know. . . ?” Or weave the facts into a narrative sentence or paragraph: “Imagine living in a fully functional house that is just under 500 square feet.”

Avoid unfamiliar words and technical terms. If you must use them define them simply.

4. Write With Authority. Check your facts against multiple sources and make absolutely sure they are correct. Never connect facts with words and phrases like:

“In my opinion”

“I believe”

“I think”

“Maybe”

Write in a confident but friendly voice.

5. Know Your Message

 “Every successful piece of nonfiction should leave the reader with one provocative thought that he or she didn’t have before. Not two thoughts, or five—just one.”
—William Zinsser On Writing Well

 Think about your goal.

Do you want to persuade your readers to take action?

Is your purpose to inform?

To explain how to do something?

To entertain?

Before you write know your purpose, then write with that one purpose in mind.

quote-writing-nonfiction-is-more-like-sculpture-a-matter-of-shaping-the-research-into-the-joan-didion-81-14-96

_____________________________

Are you on Facebook? Check out my page where I post daily articles
and inspiration for writers.

august2016wordpress
_____________________________

*NOTE: Any ads appearing in this post were not put there by me nor do I endorse them. WordPress sometimes posts ads in exchange for hosting this free blog.

5 Comments

Filed under Freelance writing, Uncategorized, Writing craft, Writing nonfiction, Writing Tips