A few years ago when I first started writing on a freelance basis, I didn’t have any type of set schedule.
I only had one regular client and a few pieces that came in occasionally.
For the one regular client, I used to deliver the work within seven days and I would generally give the same time scale for any ad hoc work.
Working like this, it was easy – even as a new freelance writer – to realise that it would be best if I got the work done as quickly as possible, in case any additional work came in, but that if need be, I could simply divide up how much work I had on by seven and ensure that I completed at least that amount each day.
As my client base and order amount grew, I followed the same principle and although I would give clients between 14 and 28 days as a deadline (unless they requested otherwise), I applied the same logic of dividing how much work I had on by the number of days I had to complete it in and ensured that I finished the per day figure each day, if not a little extra.
This was working particularly well, up until this year.
It wasn’t straight away in January, but as many of you know, I’ve taken on different projects and types of work in recent months and it’s made me realise just how disorganized I was as a freelance writer.
I don’t think I was terribly disorganized previously, as the practices I had in place worked, but since my workload has varied – and I think it’s this that has proven to be the main reasoning for changing my organizational habits, rather than the volume – I’ve had to be more organized than I’ve ever had to be.
As fantastic as I initially thought being particularly organized is, I’ve realised that it does, somewhat surprisingly, have its down falls and the primary one is that I’m certain it’s the culprit behind my lack of creativity.
When I had a pretty open schedule, I essentially wrote when I wanted to, be it 6am in the morning or 11pm at night. Whenever I felt like writing, I would.
Now I’m being more rigid with my time, saying that I have to work from 9pm to 10.30pm on certain writing projects, I’m finding that I sometimes don’t want to work then, but because I have to, it’s as if I’m forcing something that doesn’t want to come.
This could just be because things have changed a lot in the past few weeks and I’m still trying to get used to it all and on top of it all, but I’ve got a feeling it’s a negative by-product of being so organized and it’s one that I’m simply going to have to get used to.
Do you have a set freelance writing schedule that you stick to rigidly or are you a little less organized than you think you should be?
Image: vnlain (Flickr)