How to Fit Freelance Writing into Your Busy Life

Carol Tice

Do you have trouble finding time to write?

So many of us have little distractions that make it difficult to get any quality writing time. Things like my three kids, that neighbor’s dog who never shuts up, and oh yeah — maybe your day job, too.

One way to think about your goal of starting a freelance writing business on the side is that right now, with your day job supporting you, it’s like you’re driving down a nice, smooth, paved highway. It’s almost effortless to just drive home at night and watch TV, kick back on the weekends, and start all over again on Monday.

It’s easy to keep going down this highway

But it’s also a little nerve-wracking, as in today’s economy you never know if this smooth day-job road is headed straight off a cliff of layoffs and unemployment.

There are offramps from this smooth road that lead to a rutted, gravel washboard road that heads off into the woods. It’ll be more difficult to travel on and it’s not entirely clear where it leads…but you have the strong sense that it connects farther on to an even better highway. On this one, you’re your own boss and are able to pay all your bills from writing.

Are you scared to take the turnoff?

If so, you have to sit yourself down and ask yourself where you want to be in five years. Will the road you’re on now take you there? If you want to be a freelancer, driving down the full-time job highway will never take you to that destination. So it may be time for a detour down that rough road.

Yes, things will be harder for while, but possibly more interesting and challenging.

It’ll be tempting to turn back when you hit the bumps

I know.

I’ve been down that road, and I can’t believe what a journey it took me on. And how wonderful it feels now to be in control of my own career and earnings.

How to find the writing time

If you’d like more inspiration, motivation, and time-management tips on how to fit it all in, take a listen to the chat I had last Wednesday with Bryan Cohen, author of Writer on the Side, about how to fit in some writing time around your full-time job. I read it and loved it, so that’s my affiliate link. (Congrats to Lin, who won a free copy of Bryan’s ebook on the call, as well as Kelly, who won a copy of my Webinar and report How to Break In and Earn Big as a Freelance Writer.)

Bryan was a fascinating guest and has a practical approach to carving out that precious writing time.

Among the questions we answered on the call:

  • What’s the missing element many writers skip that makes it harder to freelance on the side?
  • How can you avoid burnout if you write at work but want to get started on your own writing projects?
  • What’s really behind your writer’s block, and how can you get the creativity flowing?
  • How can you write when you can’t seem to find even a couple of uninterrupted hours?
  • How can you discipline yourself to get writing done when you don’t have any deadlines?
  • How did Bryan get started as a freelance writer, before he published his ebooks?
  • What’s the best way to publish your book – ebook? Print book? Both? What platforms and tools are best?

Listen to the call with Bryan Cohen.

How do you fit freelancing into your busy life? Leave us your tips in the comments.

21 Comments

  1. Luana Spinetti

    Busy or not busy a day, it’s anxiety attacks that prevent me often from writing.

    After a day spent studying at university, I’m happy to come home in the afternoon/evening, eat dinner and watch a movie or just rest my head, and then get deep into writing, be it for money or not. Spending a single day without writing is like putting me on a forced diet: I need it, it’s my hobby and an outlet for my creative ideas. However, anxiety attacks still take place when I’m anxious for some exam, lacked sleep, a bad migraine hit me or I’m simply burnt out.

    Even so, I still do my best to write at least something every day, an paid article or review, an update on my blog, or just a list of ideas for possible short stories, novels, articles and new blogs. I make list with priorities and try to get them done as soon as possible, working on a draft on paper first (to avoid those awful migraines) and then completing it on the computer before sending it to my client. That usually works, even though I go to sleep at 1AM then. But I go to sleep with a smile of satisfaction. 🙂

    ~ Luana S.

  2. Andy C.

    I love freelance writing because it is very convenient for me compared to the usual office work or teaching jobs that I encountered before. As for finding time, I think it is about knowing the priority or topic that they are dealing and discipline on sticking to their writing schedule. It is also important that they don’t forget to take a break and have a passion to write something. Thanks for the wonderful post.

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