Are you a freelance writer? Then let’s consider ourselves already friends. Because we’ve all had to face these four stressors, and they’re doozies:
“I’m Waiting For a Check”
JHubbs is already sick of hearing this from me. If I’m not home, I eagerly ask him to check the mail because… dun dun dun… “I’m waiting for a check!”
It never comes… at least, it never comes when I think it will. It’s usually when I’ve given up the hopes of it arriving that it surprises me in the mail.
The best thing you can do to eliminate this stressor is to learn how to manage your variable income and stop waiting on checks to pay bills. Waiting for checks to pay bills has two awful consequences:
1. You never feel like you have any money — it comes in and goes right out the door.
2. You become dependent on taking whatever work comes your way — not on deciding which jobs are in your best interest and which meet your required rate.
Building up a freelance buffer and putting incoming checks directly into your tax account or your savings account will save you headaches and poor purchase plans.
“I’m On a Deadline”
This is perhaps the most repetitive phrase from Sex And The City I can remember. It seems like it’s Carrie’s excuse for everything from avoiding a date to getting out of boring friend-duties…. and as a freelance writer you’ll start to use it, too.
For me, Tuesdays and Fridays are my chosen deadline days. Whenever I have one, I try to land them on those days. That way my weekend is (usually) more stress free because I know I have Monday as a buffer and anything that was due was turned in on Friday.
“I Got Neutral Feedback… So I’d Better Quit”
Everyone in freelancing warns that you need to develop a thick skin, but it never fails to cut to the quick when I get not-positive or neutral feedback. And that’s the most ridiculous part — it’s not bad feedback. It’s just neutral feedback.
This is feedback that says “I liked this and this, but had to change this to make it work better.” That’s not You’re Fired language, and it’s certainly not You Suck language, but to a writer it always feels that way.
In my heart of hearts, I want everything I do to be absolutely perfect. But that’s just not going to happen. First, because I’m not perfect, I’m just trying to be. And second because editors need to earn their keep by providing insight, direction, and edits. Sometimes the writer simply doesn’t make the most perfect point or includes too many adverbs. It just happens. And so, you’ve got to let it go and accept constructive criticism with a humble pen.