Many freelancers experience a situation in which they need to take a break from full-time freelancing. Some writers will take a break from writing completely, while others cut down to writing part-time to keep an income flowing. Family commitments, health issues, and military service may all come between a freelance writer and writing full-time. However, some writers will keep writing to the point of burn-out, as they are afraid that they will lose the opportunity to write completely. If you are considering dialing back to a part-time career so you can focus on other things that demand your attention, here are a few things you should do to ensure that you can go back to writing full-time, if your circumstances change again.
Prepare For Your Absence
Preparation is key. Prepare your finances and ensure that you have enough to make it while you are on hiatus. You should also plan how much you need to earn while you are writing part-time, so you can determine exactly how much you need to write and tweak your freelance writing rates if necessary. And don’t forget to get your family on the right track. Meal plans, chores, and scheduling for the kids’ activities all need to be adjusted while your writing career is on hold or reduced.
Keep Clients Informed
This is one of the most important things to do while you are taking time off. Let your clients know that you have some other things to focus on, but don’t get too personal or give out too much detail. You should also ensure them that they can still count on you to handle their writing needs, even if you can only handle a portion of the work. Many clients will be happy to keep you on their list of writers and hire another writer to supplement what you can’t provide. Keep clients informed of your availability while you are compressing your schedule to write part-time. And finally, let them know when you expect to be back to writing full-time.
Keep Others Informed
If you write for a broker or you have commitments to writers or other individuals, let them know what’s going on. They may need to pick up the slack for you or add another writer to their staff to help out while you are away. This will ensure that you leave things on a good note and will be welcomed back when you are ready to return on a full-time basis.
You don’t have to burn yourself out for fear of losing clients, and you don’t have to give up your writing career just because you need a break. Take the proper steps to preserve your career, and you will be able to return when you are ready.
Maggie O is an active duty member of the United States Air Force, who attempts to keep a freelance writing career afloat in her free time. When she’s not writing or serving her country, she spends her time with her family, her dogs, and her growing empire of Mazda vehicles.