Those of us who are freelancers have various reasons why we do what we do.
I know I would be lost without my network of freelance writer buds – like my good friend, Lori Widmer.
When I sent a request for guest posts while I’m out walking 60 miles in 3 days, I was not surprised that my buds would leap to the rescue.
I am thankful for Lori’s friendship and wisdom. Please welcome Lori and enjoy her insight on this freelance life.
Finding Serenity in a Mad Writing World
By Lori Widmer
After enough years of trying to get to my happy place in my career, I’m finally in the sweet spot. Work is coming to me faster than I can even think to market. I’ve built a nice stable of clients who call frequently for help. It’s a great place to be.
It’s also a busy place. Very, very busy.
One of the things we freelancers sometimes forget to do is put limits around our time. When we’re first starting out, we say yes to almost every project, giving up weekends at times, in order to build our portfolios and reputations.
Yet years later, we’re still doing it.
And we probably don’t need to.
I’m guilty of saying yes. In fact, I just finished nearly two months of projects that had me working ten-hour days. I said yes. I agreed. I worked overtime to meet unreasonable deadlines.
And I did it to myself.
So how do we find serenity amid the flurry of activity? How do we keep clients happy without stripping our lives of everything but work?
By pacing ourselves.
For example, I have a client currently who handed me projects due next week. I get them on Friday and have to have them back by Tuesday. There are several small projects. You know what that sounds like, right?
There goes my weekend.
However, not so. I told the client that my weekend was booked (it is – my family has already booked it). I would try to make the Tuesday deadline, but it would be more likely that Wednesday or Thursday would be a better possibility.
The client agreed. I just bought myself a short extension.
It’s okay to put boundaries on your time. You want to give those clients the best work possible. They want it to be right the first time. By pushing back on the deadlines whenever possible, you can stretch out your schedule so that all your hours aren’t crammed into one or two weeks. In some cases, the projects can wait a few extra days or even a week.
Don’t over-promise and under-deliver.
Know your own limitations of time and energy. Give clients your best, but make sure you’re at your best by allowing enough time in your schedule to come at the job with energy and a fresh perspective.
How do you handle multiple client project requests?
Have you ever turned down work from an existing client because you haven’t had the time?
NOTE FROM CATHY: I will be in San Diego from November 7th through November 20th. Part of that time will be spent walking 60 miles for the 3-Day Walk for the Cure.
I will respond to Comments as soon as I can. Walk on! And thank you.
Her work has appeared in places such as American Express Inside Edge, InformationWeek, Insurance Journal, and Risk Management Magazine.