The Golden Pencil ran a piece on freelance writing overwork, what I like to call “deadline creep” and time management. When reading Anne Wayman’s description of how she tries to keep her writing off limits on the weekends, I was reminded of a set of my own crazy work problems last year.
Like Anne, I think the division between work and play is very important for a self-employed freelance writer. The problem is, if you don’t work, you don’t get paid–and once I get used to being paid on a fairly steady clip I like to keep the run going as long as it will last.
Before the holiday season 2007, I was running myself into the ground. I worked 10 and 12 hour days, weekends and evenings. My problem was that I had taken a long series of smaller jobs for lower pay instead of working fewer gigs for more money. I felt trapped by the steady income–not enough from one individual client, but steady enough to make excuses for when all lumped together.
Oddly enough, circumstances forced me to cut out all the low-payers (which all had vast demands on my time far out of proportion to what was being paid). Once I ditched the time-wasters, I found myself earning much more on a single gig than with all those other jobs combined. Continue reading The Golden Pencil’s Anne Wayman on Overwork