There are two stages to the writing/freelancing life. In the first stage a writer longs for paying work. It is all you can think about; the day when you can support yourself with your keyboard and your talent. The next stage may come quickly, or may come after years of slowly trickling into a steady income stream. But eventually you wake up one day and realize, “Wow! I’m a working writer, and I’m working a lot.”
This second stage of the writing life is a mixed bag of trying to remember to be thankful that you are doing what you love and earning all living for it and whining about how little time you have to invest in yourself. Investing in yourself? Remember what that is? Investing in yourself can come in many forms depending on what your long term goals are. The bottom line is, though, that if you want to be more successful and less burnt out these investments in yourself are of serious importance.
A business investment in yourself does not always translate into money value immediately. A business investment in yourself is any time you invest in making yourself more marketable. Educating yourself on how to become a better freelancer is a great business investment. Education options such as classes, books, webinars, seminars, conferences, and good old fashioned research will turn up a huge array of opportunities and ideas to further your career.
Another important business investment is marketing yourself. Marketing yourself can be defined as keeping your platform profiles up to date and attractive, tapping into new content markets, and tracking down and pestering potential clients. If you are working every day you are constantly adding new skills and knowledge to your portfolio that can later on be the key to landing your next great writing gig.
Creative investments are different than business investments, although the potential for a financial return is definitely there. Let’s be honest, many content writers are creatives at heart who need a regular pay check. If your writing career started out with goals of writing a book, writing for magazines, publishing poetry or any of the other creative outlets writers share, you may feel that these goals are getting pushed to the back burner in the push to earn money.
This can happen very easily especially when you consider that much creative writing is done on speculation. It is painful for some content writers to spend a few hours working on a story and not be able to tangibly calculate how much money you just earned. So creative efforts begin to be viewed as a luxury. It is not. It is a necessity for the creative soul.
Whether you freelance part time or full time chances are you feel that your hours are pulled in many different directions. When you are not writing you are working your other job, cleaning your house, caring for children, spouses, errands, homework, cooking, paying bills, folding laundry or meeting other obligations.
You need a personal investment in whatever form you particularly need. All I need is my corner of the couch, coffee and silence. If you do not give yourself whatever it is you need you will soon lose your charge and all the balls you are juggling will come crashing down. Invest in yourself. Be successful.
Sarah R is a full time writer and full time homeschooler of four. She would like to be a part time lazy person one day.