“Balancing Freelance And Fiction: Seven Tips For Finishing Your Manuscript Without Sacrificing Content”

As a professional freelancer, how do you find a balance between keeping up with your own projects and maintaining your freelance business?


Unless you have discovered the secret to creating more hours in the day and magically enhancing your writing stamina it can be difficult. Your personal projects, your novels, your short stories, or your blog is itching to take center stage. It’s always there begging to be finished or worked on.


 Full-time fiction writers, who spend all their time on their works and personal projects have their own unique set of challenges. But for full-time freelance writers who write magazine articles, blog posts, and website submissions dealing with everything from self-help to travel guides, here are seven little tidbits that will help you keep your business and personal projects going.


  1. Set Your Priorities

Take a minute and make a to-do list. Do this every morning, writing down all your tasks you hope to work on that day, including your blog, freelance gigs, pitches to send, and personal projects. Usually, this is the last item on the list.


  1. Make Time For Your Fiction Every Day

Try and set aside an hour or so every day, just for fiction. If you want to get your novel out there, you need to finish it, and you’re not going to do that waiting for the muses to strike, and writing in spurts of creative momentum. Cultivate the habit of working on it a little every day.


  1. Don’t Stress

If you end up looking at a blank cursor, blinking away with nothing coming out then it’s time to step away and do something else. When this happens to you, take about 20 minutes to stretch, go for a walk, color (one of my favorite de-stressing activities,) or anything else that would clear your mind and help you to refocus. Then start again, maybe switching to another project, or going back to an article with a deadline coming up.


  1. Paying Gigs First

For freelancers, paying gigs come first. As much as we would like to spend more of our time on our fiction, and other satisfying creative projects, the truth is, we can’t. We need to focus our time on where the money is coming from. And that means getting pitches out, getting articles submitted, sending emails, and working with editors.


  1. Find Your Maximum Word Count

What’s your maximum word count? The usual amount of words you can write per day without exhaustion or frequent breaks? Not only is it another way to manage your goals and to-do list,  it’s also helpful because then you will know what you can and can’t do. If you can get out 2,000 words most days, and you know you have two 1,000 word articles due, it will take about 2 days to get them “submission ready”.


  1. Have a Weekly Routine

Some people work really well with scheduled days. For instance, Monday and Tuesday are pitch and cold email days, Wednesday is when you focus on your own works, Thursday you write for your clients etc. Try it for a month and see if it works for you, but allow yourself some leeway and flexibility. Some people enjoy having a more focused approach, while others may need more variation.


  1. Balance the Books

Get your budget figured out. It’s tedious, it’s boring, it’s the least appealing part of having a freelance business. But determine the weekly or monthly amount you need or want to make. When you have a good amount of income coming in, and your budget starts balancing out, you’ll have a better idea how much time you can devote to your own projects.


These are the tips that may be helpful in your journey to freelance success. Everyone’s personal routine is different and what works for one person might not work for you. The main thing to consider is that your fiction and freelance both deserve your time, and hopefully these tips can help you find that balance.


Related Posts
Filter by
Post Page
Featured Fiction New Fiction Essays/Articles (all) Fiction Craft Editing/Publishing Reviews Corner Post: A Guide to Creating a Writing Life Advice / Suggestions Most Popular
Sort by

“My Father”

My father never smiled or laughed. No greeting as I came home from school, just continued cutting or watering
2020-01-15 19:39:07


“Story Dissection”

Here’s all that is needed to dissect the story: Thematic Elements 1) The man loves his wife, as in t
2019-07-10 09:35:19


“A Writer, Not Writing”

Except for a sneeze muffled into the crook of an arm, a sigh here or there, an occasional cough, or the sandy
2018-10-01 17:39:41


“Editing’s Many Layers”

Small presses don’t have the reputation that larger presses do of maintaining high editorial standards. But my e
2018-07-25 19:17:46


A Balance of Corruption and Innocence: Jordan Harper’s ‘She Rides Shotgun’ Review

In 2015, a debut short story collection impressed me so much that
2017-07-17 12:00:35


Corner Post: “The Intangibles”

  In my last essay, I talked about the practical side to creating a writing life—balancing money, time, a
2015-07-05 00:31:42


“What Is Your Daily Word Count?”

Many fiction writing experts advise writers to set a daily writing goal, usually 1,000 words per day. There are
2015-05-25 06:10:36


“Family In Flames”

He lived in the burning house, frantic, for fifteen years. He kept trying to tell his parents the whole place was on
2020-02-24 13:55:39



I. They stand side by side facing a row of dining room cabinets. Audrey examines each one carefully, looking
2020-02-17 07:43:02


“The Love for Writing”

I do not know why, but I do not see any demarcation line between classics and pulp fiction: both are, in my opinion,
2020-02-14 09:33:54


About Kay Vandette

Kay Vandette is a freelance writer with an eclectic collection of interests. She loves writing critical reviews of pop culture, sharing stories of people she meets on her travels, and promoting her area through the local tourism board. As well as currently working on her various fiction works. She also runs a website catered to all things freelancing and writing where she offers tips, tricks and helpful hints for beginner bloggers and writers looking to turn their passions into profit. www.kaywritesstuff.com