While freelance writing can certainly be a lucrative career, it isn’t always an immediate money-making machine from the beginning. It takes time and effort to build a solid long-term career.
Creating a full-time freelance writing income or even earning a solid one – especially when you’re balancing the demands of a full-time job, taking care of your house and family, and trying to keep up with your social life – can be exhausting.
Where do you find time to write?
How do you book clients and gigs, complete their assignments and make them happy, without hurting your performance at your full-time job or at home in the process?
It might seem daunting at first, but believe me it is possible.
I know many writers who started freelance writing while still working full-time, and while it is certainly was a challenge, they were able to kick-start their freelance writing careers, all while earning a salary at a 9-to-5 job for quite a while. And when they built up their portfolios and client lists enough, they felt confident enough to ditch the cubicle and dive head-first into this freelancing thing full-time.
And they never looked back.
Are you still working a 9-to-5 gig, but you want to find time to write and get your freelancing career off the ground? Are you struggling to find the time to keep your house in order while trying to start or even grow your freelance writing career?
Here are some tips…
Get a Good Calendar
Having full visibility of your commitments is key when you’re juggling a full-time job along with a freelancing career. Without that, proper time management is impossible. How will you know when you have a few minutes to sit back and crank out a few blog posts or articles?
Invest some time creating a detailed, thorough calendar that includes all your work, home and social engagements, and update it weekly as your schedule changes.
Include doctor appointments, your kids’ soccer games, and anything else that eats into your time. Then, each week, take a look at the upcoming 7 days to get a clearer picture of what your workload looks like – both at home and in the office.
Google Calendar is my favorite tool for this. It’s free, and it syncs across all your devices, so you can check it on your work computer, on your phone and even on your tablet or e-reader. This is crucial when you’re balancing all the changing demands of work and freelancing life. Google Calendar also makes it easy to share your calendar with others, like your spouse, kids or mom!
Find Time To Write By Carving It Out Yourself
Once you have a good calendar system in place, take a few minutes to block out your writing time at the beginning of each week.
Let friends and family know you’ll be unavailable at these times, and get your spouse on board with your schedule. Spouses may need to pick up the slack around the house or with the kids during that time.
My favorite thing to do is to assign my writing time a certain color on my calendar. Then, when I pull up the week on my phone, I can easily spot which days and times I need to sit down and get to work.
If you like plans and blueprints, check out my “30 Days to $1K Blueprint.” In this Free report, I teach aspiring writers how to get to their first $1K so they know what to expect and how to do it easily and seamlessly. Check it out here.
Unless you have a non-traditional job, you likely work Monday through Friday, which leaves you with Saturday and Sunday to get a little freelancing work done.
Now, I know you’re not just sitting around on the weekends, twiddling your thumbs. You’re probably grocery shopping, taking the kids to birthday parties, and hitting the gym – all that stuff that being a busy mom, dad, brother, sister or friend requires.
If you can, enlist a little help to pick up some of these duties so you can get some work done.
Ask your spouse to pick up the groceries, see if your mom can take the kids to the park, or talk to a friend about handling some of your chores around the house. If they can help you free up just an hour or two a weekend, you will have at least one window of reliable writing time every week. Every little bit counts!
Don’t commit to more than you can physically (and mentally) handle. In fact, start off slow – slower than you probably have to. Pick up one blog post a week, or just take on one client until you’re comfortable you’ll have the bandwidth to handle more successfully.
Take a look at your calendar a month or so in advance and then use that info to guide your work choices.
How much free time will you have? If it’s minimal, take on just one project. If it’s a little more than last month, maybe add an extra one to fill in the time. Keep your clients on a short-term basis…that way you can go with the ebb and flow as your home and work commitments change.
Take Advantage of Down Time
Though having set writing times can be a great way to guarantee you meet your deadlines, sometimes, you may find downtime where you least expect it – and by all means, take advantage of it.
If you find yourself reorganizing your closet during the kids’ naps one day, put down the hangers and get out the laptop. Use that extra time to scour job boards, network with potential clients or just get ahead on upcoming deadlines and commitments. The more you get done today, the more free time you have for additional projects and work tomorrow – and that means more cash in your pocket!
You Can Do It!
It is not easy finding the time to write while balancing your full-time job and freelancing demands. But it is definitely possible and I know you can do it.
Do you still work full-time? Let me know in the comments.
Click here to read my other articles on time management.