Tag Archives: self-employed

Writers – Do You Hate Mondays?

calendarby Catherine L. Tully

Guess what?

It’s Monday again.

I’m a self-employed freelance writer. I often work weekends. So why should Monday matter to me even one bit?

I’m really not sure, to tell you the truth–but it does. I still hate this day more than any other. Perhaps it’s the ingrained history of my experiences with this day from when I worked a corporate job. Or maybe it’s the fact that I teach a class in the evening on Mondays. I’m not really sure why it is that I find this day so daunting, but I do.

My question is–am I alone in this? Or do other writers find Mondays at the bottom of their “favorite day” list as well? And if you are among the group of people who dislike this day–do you know why?

My favorite day of the week is probably Tuesday. Monday is over and a solid week away, and I have a habit of working light on this day for some reason. Probably because I’m a workhorse on the day before.

If I don’t like Mondays, at least I do get a lot accomplished. Since I already expect it to be a rough day, I don’t seem to mind putting in extra time and tackling tasks I hate. Funny how that works, isn’t it? I hate the day, but I’m productive as can be.

Now that I’m thinking about it…maybe Mondays aren’t all that bad after all. ūüôā

What’s your least favorite day of the week? I’m totally curious now…

Catherine has been a full-time freelance writer since 2002 and is co-founder of Freelance-Zone.com. She is also the owner/editor and webmaster of 4dancers.org, co-founder of Pas de Trois at dancing3.com and owns the group Dance Writers on LinkedIn. You can reach her at info (at) catherineltully (dot) com.

Quarterly Tax Tips From Outright.com

tax

From time to time someone offers Freelance-Zone some valuable content that we feel will be helpful to our readers. Kevin Reeth is the CEO at Outright.com, a free online bookkeeping system that helps small businesses keep track of tax info and related material. (Read what PC Magazine has to say about this company here, or just check the company out at their website where there is plenty of information about things such as the security of data and how to get started.)

Since quarterly tax time is approaching, we thought you could use the information Reeth sent over and are printing it for you here. Thank you to Outright.com and Mr. Reeth for the timely information!

(Please note that the facts, thoughts and ideas expressed below are that of Outright.com and not of Freelance-Zone. We are not tax professionals–we’re freelance writers!)

5 Opportunities to Turn Tax Time to Your Favor 

1. Get away with nothing.  If self-employed, you are free from estimated tax payments if what you owe, after subtracting exemptions, deductions, and credits is less than $1,000.

2. A safe harbor during the economic storm. If you choose to pay the same amount as your total tax bill last year, simply pay the same amount on June 15, 2009 as you did June 15, 2008 OR 90% of what you will owe this year.  You can feel confident in what you pay and send your check without further calculation and time spent concerning yourself with the details.

3. Pay it or stay it?¬† We have had a rocky few months with the stock market.¬† What are your thoughts on where it will go next?¬† The IRS doesn’t pay interest on the money you give them now for taxes due later.¬† Extend those tax expenses and put the money to work for you instead.¬† Remember! You still owe the money so don’t take risks with it; just consider the tradeoff between what you could earn on it in a safe investment.

4. Credit have you tied up?¬† The government penalty on underpaid estimated tax payments is down to 4%, the lowest rate we’ve seen in the last 10 years.¬† Paying down those credit cards, with rates as climbing into the twenties, will likely save you more than the penalty due from underpaid estimated tax payment.

5.¬† Organize for 2010.¬† Work with outright.com to keep track of your estimated tax payments; saving the details for next year’s taxes and freeing your time for your business.¬†

Negotiating Freelance Rates for 2009

freelance-writing-advice-3An interesting article at FreelanceWriting.com includes this quote:

“Many individuals who lack writing skills drive down rates, way below what professional writers can rightfully charge. If the true professionals do not keep up their prices, this will become an even bigger problem. Just because writers from other countries want to work for eight or nine American dollars per hour, this doesn’t mean you should.”

That by Brian Scott, who in the same article advises writers to list their rates on a website and collect a retainer up front. I disagree with both of these suggestions for two reasons. I never list my rates on my website–it prevents me from being flexible with small clients who work on limited budgets. Let’s say you find a non-profit you believe in and want to cut them a break–listing your rates up front could scare them away before they even get in touch. In theory, you’re also committed to those rates regardless of how labor-intensive the project winds up being. Continue reading Negotiating Freelance Rates for 2009

WHY Magazine: For Self-Employed Blokes

WHY Magazine is for those who work from home, and writers certainly qualify. It’s free, and it’s cool. (Or “sick,” depending on what age group you fall into…but I digress…) You won’t find your typical self-employed basic fare here, the magazine is very hip and has sections¬†such as¬†grub, tech talk and chill. Have it delivered to your inbox and take the time to browse through…it is a nice break, along with some good ideas and resources for those of us who don’t go leave home to go to work.