As a freelance writer, you’ve probably heard some form of this sentence at some point in your career: “Oh, so you can take your work with you to the beach, right?” While one of the joys of freelancing is that you can do your work from a variety of locations without worry, you have to wonder who would actually want to take their laptop with them when spending a day relaxing on the sand. Even though your work is flexible and you’re most likely loving what you do, you deserve to take a real break every so often. To take an actual vacation as a freelancer, you’ll need to plan so that you don’t lose clients or money.
Give Yourself Paid Vacation Days as a Freelance Content Writer
The freelance life doesn’t usually come with perks such as paid vacation. If you want to avoid going into the red during your break, you’ll need to come up with your salary for the week or for however long your trip is, before you leave. That means you’ll need to plan well in advance to make up for your days off.
Figure out your average daily or weekly income as a freelance content writer, then set up a savings account to use exclusively for your vacation pay. Aim to contribute to the account on a regular basis, such as weekly or monthly. Depending on your income goal and how long you hope to vacation, you might need to start chipping in a year or so beforehand.
Take Care of Clients
Your clients need you. You might feel like a bad parent, dashing off to some exotic location and cutting off contact for a week or two. Make sure your clients know of your plans well before you leave. Give them notice four to six weeks in advance, then again a few days before you head out.
In the weeks leading up to your vacation, you can provide them with extra content to cover the time you’ll be away, so that they aren’t left in the lurch. You can also find a suitable replacement to fill in for you while you’re gone. Introduce them to the replacement before you leave, to make sure it’s a good fit.
If you’re worried that your clients will run into a content conundrum while you’re away or that your substitute won’t be up to snuff, feel free to leave an emergency contact number with them. Let them know that they can reach you at the number, but ask that they only use it in case of a real emergency. For example, they can call you if your sub fails to hand in assignments.
Get Back Into the Swing of Things
Post vacation blues are a real thing, according to the Freelancer’s Union. Don’t let memories of pretty beaches or breathtaking waterfalls keep you from getting back to work after it’s all over. When you return after your break, spend the first 30 minutes of your day focusing on tidying up and getting back to business. Clear out your email inbox, stay off of social media, and draw up your to-do list for the day or week ahead. Give your clients a call or drop them a quick note, letting them know you’re back. Celebrate being back by reaching out to a new client and working to expand your business.
Amy F is a freelance writer available on WriterAccess, a marketplace where clients and expert writers connect for assignments.