Write All Day, Write All Night: Balancing a Full Time Writing Job with Even More Writing
Full time jobs as a professional content writer are few and far between, but they do exist. If your experience as a freelance marketing writer leads you into a full time job in content marketing, you’re going to have some tough decisions to make if you decide to continue your freelance career alongside a full time writing job. Lots of people balance a full time job while writing on the side. But balancing a writing job with more writing work is a whole different animal.
Being a freelance marketing writer isn’t easy. It takes a lot of time, effort, and practice to hone your skills at content marketing, and every project is very different and challenging in its own way. Balancing that with another job where you write all day can be a recipe for disaster – or at least missed deadlines – if you don’t handle it properly.
Let’s say you’re a full-time blogger and SEO content writer, and also a freelance marketing writer on the side (a good example, because that’s what I happen to do). The first step to staying sane while writing all day long is to ease back on freelancing when starting your full time writing job. Don’t cut freelancing out entirely, and certainly don’t leave any clients high and dry, but cut back on taking work with new clients while you acclimatize to full time writing work. New jobs are stressful; don’t push yourself too hard all at once.
Nothing is more important when you’re both writing full time and freelancing than keeping your freelance work and your day job writing separate. I mean this literally and figuratively. Don’t ever work on your freelance writing while at your day job. Don’t browse for jobs, email clients, or even submit finished pieces. It will only distract you when you should be working on other things. Even if you have downtime at work, don’t freelance on company hours. That’s a great way to get fired. On the same note, avoid taking jobs that have deadlines during or shortly after work hours, especially if you’re a last minute type of person.
But keep the areas of your work separate too. If you’re writing content by day, try starting a ghostwriter service on the side, or work on your creative writing techniques. Don’t pursue the same content writer services on and off the clock – even if the actual subjects are completely different.
That’s because variety alone is not enough. If you’re writing web page content all day and all night, you’re going to burn out. It’s inevitable, even if you write about puppies by days and kittens by night (and if you do that – I hate you and want your job). But mixing up formats and genres will keep your work fresh and help you expand your skillset at the same time, making your work more valuable across the board.
Now don’t get me wrong. Writing all day long is awesome, and having a writing day job while freelance writing is a great opportunity. That’s why it’s so important to balance the two properly, so you can keep doing both for the long term. Don’t ruin a great thing by pushing yourself too hard at first, or by allowing your worlds to collide. Keep your freelance writing career and your full time writing job separate, fresh, and interesting, and you’ll be able to grow them both for years to come.
Adam P is a freelance writer available on WriterAccess, a marketplace where clients and expert writers connect for assignments.