One of the things I read most often when browsing through articles and forum postings by other freelance writers is how difficult it can be to stay focused and organized when you don’t have a boss or “traditional” job day to push you. As a freelancer, it’s up to you what time you want to wake up in the morning, and once you do that you can then choose how much work you want to do…or not do. Hey, being your own boss is one of the most cited reasons to be a freelancer in the first place!
For myself, I have no issues with getting up to get work done. I’m a go-getter kind of guy and am not really too happy with too much idle time. If I can be working on something…anything…I’d like to be working on it.
What I do have a problem with is making sure that time is filled with the right kind of work. I could spend all day tweaking this website to make it smoother and more efficient, and while that work would be fun and rewarding in its own way, it’s certainly not going to get me any clients or cash. Let’s face it: no one will ever visit this site if I’m not out there telling them to do so.
Being able to keep my daily tasks organized into tiers of importance is something I tend to neglect, so I’ve been working hard over the past week to keep myself on track.
I started by making a work diary; a simple Excel spreadsheet where I put in the date and then note down what I’ve done that day. This way I’ll be able to a) look back and see exactly when I made that pitch or when I applied for that gig, and b) make note if there are certain days where I appear to not be as busy as other days. If I find that Thursdays I tend to slack, I can ask myself why.
I also made a two year plan. My goal is to become a full-time freelance writer before the end of October, 2019. I listed out each month from October, 2017 to October, 2019 and made a note next to each with goals and financial targets I’d like to be hitting by then. I’m giving myself until the end of this year to get my footing right, establish myself in various freelancing communities, and work on my strategies. Starting in January, 2018, my focus is going to be completely on getting clients and making money.
There are also a few unorthodox methods I’m looking into. I am very likely going to have a talk during a class of ISEE, an organization focusing on sex and relationships. Noting that I am also a live speaker on my freelance writing resume will set me apart from the pack. I am also working the angle that I am a decent web developer; my plan is to offer web development services to other freelance writers in exchange for access to clients. My pitch will essentially be, “Your website needs a refresh and I need clients…let’s work together!”
I am very excited about this new path I’m heading down and look forward to keeping a weekly diary about my progress at this website. I hope you’ll come along for the journey!