Tag Archives: freelancer

Your Freelance Lifestyle

by Catherine L. Tully

photoFreelancing can mean a hectic schedule–which can then translate into unhealthy living patterns if you aren’t careful. Scheduling interviews, juggling deadlines and trying to run errands in-between may mean skipping meals, grabbing fast food and passing on exercise.

But it doesn’t have to.

Here are five top tips for staying healthy despite feeling the crunch of freelance time-management:

  • Always have a few fruit pieces on hand in case you are hungry and don’t have time to make a healthy meal or prepare a good snack. Great examples are apples, bananas–even frozen fruit works in a pinch. Mix in a teaspoon of peanut butter and it should be enough to hold you for a while.
  • Run errands on foot or on your bicycle when you can. This may not work in the winter, but fall, spring and summer are all good candidates for this.
  • Remember that sleep is sacred. Don’t push yourself to push and stay up to get extra work finished–or if you do–take a nap the following day. Sleep keeps you on your toes mentally and healthy physically. It’s not worth the risk to skimp on it.
  • Pre-make a couple of healthy meals for busy weeks. Low-sodium broth soups, turkey chili and whole grain pasta are all good examples of healthy foods that keep well.
  • Stay hydrated. Don’t just drink endless cups of coffee to stay sharp–make sure you are getting enough water as well. Dehydration can seriously hamper your physical ability to stay on top of things.

Do you have any good, healthy tips for your fellow freelancers? If so, please do share below!

Short & Sweet vs. Long & Detailed

by Catherine L. Tully

Freelance-Zone Editor, Catherine L. Tully
Freelance-Zone Editor, Catherine L. Tully

Which kind of writer are you?

Most of us fall into one of two camps–people like me who can’t seem to add length to a piece to save their lives and…

People like my co-editor, Joe, who have to trim and cut to fit a word count.

Everything I write comes out short. I dread assignments where they want 1,500 words and think to myself, “Do sidebars count?” every time I get one. I have to go into the assignment thinking about how I’m going to stretch it. Now I can do it, but it takes some doing. It’s simply not my natural style.

Other writers (like Joe) are the opposite, penning a lengthy piece and then having to decide what they can leave out in order to fit the word count. I think they have it easier. I’d prefer to cut rather than add…it just seems to flow better.

Funny thing is…traditionally my style of writing works better for the web, and I have written mostly for print in my career. Joe’s style works better for print, and – you guessed it – he’s done more web writing. Funny isn’t it?

Which do you prefer?

(Note: I thought about adding to this post, but it’s really just as long as it needs to be. Right?)

The iPad Workflow

ipad_3by Catherine L. Tully

Well it finally happened. I got the new iPad. And I think it’s going to change my workflow.

What does that mean?

Well…for starters it makes me mega-portable. I have a great, small Dell laptop (XPS), but it’s still heavier than the iPad. And the battery is gone on it too. The iPad’s battery will last me more than my laptop did and then some. They say 10 hours. That’s four more hours than my Dell gives me. Impressive.

Also travel suddenly becomes easier. I can just tuck this little gem into my bag and go. Now that’s exciting…

I know I’ll need to add some things to make it fully functional for my lifestyle as a freelancer. For example–a keyboard is a must. I won’t be able to type on the screen for any length of time. Also I’ll need a case that can prop it up so I can use it on the go. Still, both seem like a small investment to make for the ultra-portability it will give me.

I’d like to toss it out there to readers…do any of you work on an iPad (or have you)? If so, what do you think? Am I doomed to be disappointed, or will I still be smiling ear to ear three months down the line…..

Do tell!

Blogger Advice: Are You Guilty Of This?

Joe Wallace Turntabling Rare Recordsby Joe Wallace

Last night I read yet another blogger advice post telling people how to make their blogs an “internet sensation”. By the time I was done reading it I was so annoyed that I threw my laptop across the room counted to ten and said pleasant things to myself in an effort to prevent having a major wig-out.

Here’s a bit of advice for people who want to give a bit of advice: BE SPECIFIC.

If you want to tell people how to make their blogs more noticeable on the Internet, try giving them something actionable, like “Insure the headline of your blog contains an SEO-friendly keyword related to your topic and also make sure that keyword is repeated within the first two sentences. You don’t need to stuff keywords, just make sure you have something Google can latch onto within both the headline and opening statements.”

This is much better than the nonsense I read last night, which was basically a straight-faced, humorless version of what you’ll see in this clip. Don’t be like the people in this short video…seriously.

Joe Wallace is a writer, author, social media manager, video editor, and musician. He manages to combine all these pursuits at his vinyl blog Turntabling.net. He is available for assignments–contact him at jwallace(at)joe-wallace.com.

Top Tax Advice For The Freelancer

Catherine L. Tullyby Catherine L. Tully

I’m about to share with you my top piece of tax advice. It’s very simple–and I believeĀ it will help you in more ways than you can imagine…

Hire an accountant to do your taxes.

I’m serious. An accountant (CPA preferred) will help you navigate the write-offs, assist you in understanding the latest laws, keep you informed about any changes and make the entire, miserable process of paying taxes a bit less stressful.

I love my CPA, and will never do my own taxes again. He has saved me money over the years, given super advice, and made sure I know what the latest information is for those who are self-employed. Sure, it costs me several hundred dollars–but it’s worth it knowing that I am working with a person who knows a heck of a lot more than I do about Mr. Taxman.

It’s a confusing web of information to sift through when you are self-employed. I strongly urge you to let a professional handle it. I’d love to know how many of you out there are currently getting your taxes taken care of by an accountant or CPA…ring in if you have a second…

Freelancer Friday

Catherine L. TullyToday, Joe from Freelance-Zone.com is having what I refer to as a “Freelancer Friday”. He got up, hit the work trail hard, and is then going to go out shopping with his lady.

This truly is one of the perks of having a freelance lifestyle. Having a bad day? Take off and go see a movie. Aren’t feeling the muse? Go out to lunch and linger a bit–see what happens. It really is a terrific deal overall.

That said, freelance writers also experience another phenomenon–the magical disappearing weekend. While we can take days off here and there to suit us, we also have deadlines. Sometimes that means working all day on a Saturday instead of going to your buddy’s barbecue or having lunch with your best pal.

It’s a tradeoff for sure, but I do know this–exchanging it for a 40 hour work week is just not an option for me. I’ve lived this lifestyle for so long now that the mere thought of going to work early in the morning and staying there all day, 5 days a week, actually freaks me out. No, I’ll take those weekends where I’m shut in the house. I’ll suffer through the missed lunches. And I’ll do it all so that I have the freedom to blow off an entire day and go for a drive or do my grocery shopping when nobody is there in the middle of the afternoon.

What about you?