Many freelance writers got into writing for money online because they wanted to get out of their normal ‘9-5’ type of job. There is a lot of appeal to being your own boss, setting your own hours, and being largely responsible for your own success. For many freelance writers, however, even if they have left a 9-5 job, they still hold on to that employee mindset that they really wanted to escape.
Freelance writers should look at themselves much more as business owners than employees, because that is what they are. There are a number of places where many freelance writers run into trouble by continuing to act as employees, rather than owners of their own business.
When you’re working for a large company, you may want to keep yourself busy to ensure your boss doesn’t assume you’re lazy, or worse, unnecessary. When you are a freelance writer, however, there is no need to ever engage in busywork. Unfortunately, this is a hard habit to get away from. Whenever you’re engaging in any activity for your freelance writing business, always ask yourself if it is really providing value to your business. If it’s not, eliminate it! There is always something you can be doing to benefit your business, so don’t waste your time with busy work!
Set Your Own Hours
Another common mistake many freelance writers make is forcing themselves to work a set number of hours, or a set time during the day. When you work in a corporate environment, you typically have to be in the office about 8 hours per day, 5 days per week. That is not a requirement for freelancers. If you can get your work done in 4 hours, you can stop working and enjoy the reset of the day off. Of course, there will also be days when you are working 18-20 hours at a time. The important thing here is to set hours based on what your business needs, not what the clock says. In most cases, this will also help you to remain more productive each day too, since you will be working to accomplish certain things, not just to meet a set number of hours.
Working in the Office
Just like the hours of the day you’re working, you might feel like you need to be at your desk the entire time you’re working. Freelance writers can take their work with them anywhere, which is one of the big benefits. If your life permits it, you can travel to Florida and stay in a hotel for a week on a family vacation, without putting your business on hold. You can also go down to the local coffee shop or anywhere else to get a change of scenery. As long as you can bring your laptop, or even just a note pad, you can get the work done from where ever you want.
While working a 9-5 job has a lot of things you’ll be happy to leave behind, it also has some nice benefits. For most people, getting a paycheck on a very consistent basis makes financial planning a lot easier. With freelance writing, however, you’re likely to go through a lot of ‘booms’ and ‘busts’ financially. Since you’re now a business owner rather than an employee, you need to plan for your financial situation at all times. When you’re bringing in a lot of money, you need to set some aside for later when you’re struggling. In addition, you’re responsible for paying your own taxes and other things that your business would normally take care of for you.