There are two sides to the writer debate – those who require certain comforts and those who can write in the middle of a toxic dump. I’d argue both types are just as likely to have hazardous work environments. Your office could be making you sick, or at the very least, decreasing your productivity. The good news is there simple way to creating a safe and healthy work environment. 1. Trouble in the Air The information is scary: according to the August 2000 EPA Indoor Environments Division, Indoor Air Quality and Student Performance report, “Indoor air quality can reduce a [Read more…]
Today my fav blogger and former owner of FWJ, Deb Ng, started a discussion on Facebook about the lack of respect people have for work at home folks. I joined in and voiced my annoyance over how quickly people dismiss my job and ask what my husband does for a living to decipher the ‘real source’ of our family’s income. They figure if I’m at home playing on the internet he must have a real job somewhere, out in the wide, wide world. It blows their mind when I tell them he does the same thing I do…from home. “Oh!” [Read more…]
In my earlier post “Is Clutter Killing Your Career, You?” I talked about the toll clutter can take on careers and writers’ bodies. Clutter causes chaotic time sucks and allows writers to put off important things like exercise while causing stress in all areas. Today I’ve got a few quick tips to getting things under control. Hire a professional organizer. Yes, they do exist. If you can get paid to sit at home in your underwear and blog about cats, these professional can get paid to get dressed, leave the house and come organize yours. A professional organizer is a [Read more…]
…because I’m about to destroy them. How do I know? Because I had plans yesterday. And then someone introduced me to this site, and I read approximately 150 pages worth of posts. The site is called “F My Life,” with people sending in reasons that their lives suck that day, followed by the acronym “FML.” If you get to feeling bad about how things are going for you, a little visit to this site might just make you feel better. It’s schadenfreude at its finest: fmylife.com
I am absolutely thrilled to announce that Gayla Baer is joining the Freelance Writing Jobs team. She will be writing about business tips and sharing her experience, knowledge and advice for freelancer writers who are learning to work for themselves and build their own businesses — often working from home and with little support. I had the pleasure of working with Gayla while she was a channel manager at b5media, and I was constantly impressed by her ability to connect with people, engage, and share part of herself as well as offer her guidance. I know she will become an [Read more…]
Nota Bene: All of the words in this post are merely my attempt to make the embedded video relevant to this blog. I really just wanted to share the video. So, if you don’t care about my struggle writing about yeast infections or dealing with mental clients, just click “play” already and laugh your butt off. I’m pretty sure that I’m not the only freelance writer out here that takes on the occasional less-than-stellar project. I admit, there are times that I accept a project based solely on the fact that I want the money that goes along with finishing [Read more…]
As the summer is winding down here in the northern half of the world, it’s easy to feel frustrated. Writers have a tendency to lock ourselves in our offices sitting behind our computers and getting lost in our own minds. Let’s face it. Even if we’re writing from the beach, we’re still trapped behind our laptops and usually lost in our own minds. With just a few weeks left before children head back to school and we lose yet another sunny day, let’s take a few minutes to remember that writing can be addictive, but it’s important for our mental [Read more…]
I think it’s kind of funny how we tend to refer to our life outside of work as our “real life.” Like the job we do doesn’t have any consequences on the things we do away from the office/factory/sweatshop. “Yeah, I’m a builder, but in my real life, I like to go out on the boat with my family.” Why does real life only happen on the weekends and for one or two unpaid weeks a year? I feel like my freelance life really is a part of my real life. The choices I make in one absolutely affect the [Read more…]
I can do something this obviously goofy because I have the best freaking job in the world. And so do you.
Now, I know that most of you don’t have even the slightest inclination toward Mohawkdom. You’re in this business, too, though. That means you could have one if you so desired. You could even dye it pink and then write “Sex Pistols Forever” in red Sharpie above your ears.
I remember when we first started our writing business (www.berrybrewer.com), we were dead-set against the idea of doing “outsourced” work. Somehow, it seemed less legit to us to do work that someone else went out and found. Like, we weren’t pulling our own weight or being professional enough or something. When we did accept our first outsourced gig, it was actually with a bit of embarrassment and shame. We definitely didn’t tell other writers that someone else was handing off their “overflow” work to us because we had so much free time on our schedules that we were desperate to [Read more…]
Without further ado, here’s an overall look at what folks around here had to say about getting things done more efficiently.
Thanks again to everyone who commented. My apologies if I somehow forgot to reference your particular remarks in this post. Every shred of advice provided had real value.
Anyway, I wanted to do two things before walking away from that post and implementing those good ideas. First, I wanted to write a “wrap” post about the recommendations, noting the prevailing themes, providing my reactions to them, etc. Second, I wanted to give away the free nacho prize.
You’ll note that this post is labeled “Part One”. You’ll see “Part Two” next week. I’m going to use “Part Two” to break down all of the advice, to provide kind words of thanks to the geniuses who provided it and to come up with what I hope to be a few Marvelous Insights of my own.
I want you to dump your brains right here in the comments section.
I want your best piece of advice (two or three or four pieces will work, too) about how I can slice my work week in half without earning appreciably less dinero.
Oh, but there is a rule for this game: I don’t want anyone to even mention the topic of rates in their advice. There are a number of reasons for this, but the biggest is the fact that we all know you can make more by charging more. I want to see some less-frequently discussed pearls of wisdom.
Well, what are you waiting for? Give me some advice. And give me the good stuff.
I’m sure someone else is out there thinking about this stuff, too, so don’t feel like your wasting your A game on me. Some perfectly decent and innocent soul who wants to cut down their work hours will appreciate the advice, as well.
Let ‘er rip! Best piece of advice gets a free order of nachos.
I remember when I first started this freelance writing thing. I was working from a rickety table that was literally about 12” x 18” that was wedged in between my television and the corner of my living room. I feel comfortable describing the table as “rickety,” because I actually built it in Jr. High School woodshop *mumble mumble* years ago. I was busy pounding out tedious product descriptions for something like a dollar a piece and hoping to someday make it to a full-time income. My next stab at freelancing included an actual desk, in the corner of a different [Read more…]
One of my challenges as a work at home mom is in making sure my son is happy and not neglected while fulfilling all my business obligations. From the beginning of September to late June I have eight to ten hours in which to get all my work done each day. In the summer, I have the same amount of work, but now a child is home and there are places to go and people to meet. Though my son is old enough to play on his own and enjoy the company of friends without my hovering, it’s not like [Read more…]
Today’s topic for discussion at the Freelance Writing Jobs Facebook Group is how our family, friends and neighbors perceive us. It’s interesting because no matter how hard we work, there are some who feel that because we have no regular employer, we don’t actually have a job. Often times, having flexibility sometimes means people doubt you work very hard. It also means some folks feel you’re available any time of the day or night. I remember receiving a very innocent email from my son’s teacher asking me to come in and help with a classroom event because she knows I’m [Read more…]
As a freelance writer, do you ever find yourself breaking the rules of the working world? I don’t mean that you necessarily do sub-par work, mind you, just that things get done a little differently than they would if you had a boss watching over your shoulder? For example, I just left a doctor’s appointment—one that I had scheduled during regular work hours. When I headed back out to the car, it struck me that rather than picking up some fast-food fare and eating at my desk, I really wanted to go to this one particular restaurant. These two events [Read more…]
ETA: I realized that the way this was worded made it sound like I have about 80 kids. Really, it’s just the one (until September, anyway). ”Baby,” “toddler,” “little one,” etc. are all referring to her. I used to say that I absolutely detested reality TV. I’d probably still be saying it, if I hadn’t recently made a list of the shows I actually watch and realized that the majority of them would fall into the genre I’ve long claimed to despise. Project Runway, Top Chef, My Life on the D List, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, Dirty Jobs, Mythbusters, Intervention, [Read more…]
So, one of the things I like to do with this little blog is to direct you to fun diversions, or even to make up some of my own. Apparently, I’m too good at it, as after introducing my husband to several of my favorite time-sucking sites, he disappeared from the face of the planet. I’m now diving into the Internet to mount a search and rescue operation for him. I thought I’d do my part to help you find oblivion, too. You may already know some or all of these sites, but they’re worth checking out every once in [Read more…]
So, readers, lay it on me. What are your time-sucks? How are you beating them? What have you done to make your days seem longer or to boost your productivity?
As Red Green says, “We’re all in this together.” Do share.
So, I’m at a strange place with my freelance writing. I seem to have exactly enough work to do. How is this possible? How can the scales have managed to balance in such perfect alignment? The truth of the matter is that is sort of freaking me out. Maybe it’s because I’m used to always being freaked out about having too much to do (how am I going to make all those deadlines?) or about not having enough to do (how am I going to pay the bills?), but I can’t seem to just sit back and appreciate a situation [Read more…]
If I had to pick one of the most difficult aspects of freelancing, it would have to be building a freelance writing business while still working full time at my day job. I did this for two years, from 2000 to 2002, and also in 2008 and 2009 when I had a full time social media job. As much as I love to write, sometimes the last thing I wanted to do after a full day of work was to come home and work again. Plus, many clients want to talk on the phone during business hours, something I couldn’t [Read more…]
s it spring yet? I’m one of those lucky people who are disproportionately affected by the seasons, and I have to say that I would sure like for spring to show up any old time now. I have friends in Texas and Louisiana who are bragging about 70-degree+ weather, and I want to physically hurt them. I’m sure it’s the lack of sunlight that’s making me feel so violent, and isn’t that a bit ironic? Of course, I know what’ll happen as soon as the sun comes out. I’ll hole up in my house or office, trying not to sweat [Read more…]
Dear Freelance Writer, A couple of years ago you told all of your clients you were taking time off for the holidays. They couldn’t wait for your return so they looked for another freelance writer and hired me. They weren’t my only clients during this time, either. I landed several clients who needed someone to pick up the slack while their regular writers were decking the halls and going a-wassailing. They needed writers and I needed Christmas money. It was a match made in holiday heaven. I enjoyed the holidays too though. I woke up earlier in the morning and [Read more…]