Strategic Sunday Pt. 7: Finding My Rhythm

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I secretly wish we could learn things like Neo and company did in the Matrix. The first thing on my list would be to download “time management” in my brain. Within seconds I’d be a master at prioritizing the to-do list of my life.

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Since that’s not in the cards, I am learning to find balance between work and life. It’s not an easy feat seeing as I’m a habitual over-thinker who can’t seem to shut off her brain at times. That said, I have indulged in a few pastimes like taking Abbey to the park and crocheting. In fact I’m working on a few blankets as everyone I know seems to be pregnant (I’m not sure what’s in the water but I’m sure as hell not drinking it).

For now, my biggest focus for this week is:

  • Blogging regularly
  • Finishing projects before the deadline
  • Exercising
  • Reading!

So that’s what’s on the docket for now. I hope everyone has a swell Sunday and a wonderful week! 🙂

Freelance Friday: Content Mills & Shady Clients

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I’m not one to get fired up by much, but if there are two things that grinds my gears, it’s content mills and businesses/people that exploit unsuspecting writers. In my opinion, marketing is the hardest part of freelance writing for new writers. They’re not sure where to start, who to target, and if they even want their services. So it’s not surprising that a significant portion of writers spend all of their time working with mills or people that pay subpar rates. So here’s a list of reasons why writers who are looking to freelance long term should avoid these types of endeavors.

The Problem with Hourly Logic

So the content mill/client you write for has assigned you 500 word assignments at $15 a pop. They tell you that “great writers” can do 2 each hour. $30 an hour, not bad at all right? Nope it’s way wrong… wayyyyy wrong. If you’re a writer who is freelancing full time slowly but surely, you’ll realize that it’s not sustainable. No one can churn out (well-written) articles of that size for 8 hours a day. You’ll end up hating what you’re career.

No Benefits, No Problem… PSYCH!!!!

As a 1099 worker, you bear the responsibility of taking care of your benefits, 401k, healthcare, vacation, etc.. You must also factor in that you are not accruing paid time off and that health insurance premiums are not cheap. So while you may believe you’re being offered a “steady supply” of work, when you’re not writing, you’re losing income in more ways than one.

The Burnout Struggle is Real

One thing that is for certain is that you will experience burn out and you’ll want to stab your eyes out. If this is your only means of income, you’re stuck running the rat race until something better either falls into your lap (if you’re lucky) or you start marketing your writing services and get better prospects.

The Quality of Your Writing Diminishes 

Perhaps the biggest problem of all is that the quality of your writing will diminish. Imagine, the very thing you’re doing all day is hurting you simultaneously, the irony is not lost on me. Anything worth writing takes time. Plus half hour puff pieces do not hold up as solid clips to send to publications. Lastly, you’re so burned out from writing all day to even want to try and improve your skill set.

What to Watch Out for

Steer clear of businesses that say “great assignment for those starting out (unpaid), “you’ll get great exposure” (i.e. you should feel grateful to be writing for me, let alone even think about getting paid, nope!) or my favorite “great writers can do this in “x” amount of time” (if that was the case, why aren’t they doing it)

The Takeaway

Bottom line, you’re seldom (if at all) going to find the writing clients you want in content mills and job board postings. Why? For starters the market is so saturated that companies/clients put out lowball prices knowing full well that some poor schmo will gladly take the assignment. Moreover, let’s not forget about the dozen of other unsuspecting writers waiting to take your place. It’s a fantastic crap cycle.

Well that’s my content mill rant. If you’ve learned anything from this, it’s best to put in the work of marketing yourself, pitching clients/editors, etc. You’ll have better pay and work with clients that understand your time and worth. So that’s it for this week. Anyone out there that wants to share their content mill experience? Let me know!

2 Year Blogaversary

Sheesh, it’s been 2 years since I started this blog! I created it because I was at a crossroads in terms of doing what I love to do (writing) as a profession or to keep the status quo which was my soul sucking corporate job.

I can say after 2 years, I’ve done the former and am having some success with it! It’s not always easy or a ray of sunshine and rainbows (invoicing anyone? ha) but ultimately, I am better and happier with the change.

Also thanks for sticking with me through my caffeinated adventures! I’ve made some solid blogger friendships throughout these 2 years. So here’s to many more years of blogging and shenanigans, cheers!

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Strategic Sunday Pt. 6: Good Vibes

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This past week has been a great one! I’ve taken on some new projects that I’m absolutely excited about. I love that I enjoy the subject matter I’m writing on. Continue reading “Strategic Sunday Pt. 6: Good Vibes”

The Relapse

It’s no secret that I love Starbucks (particularly their caramel macchiatos), just take a look at my blog name, ha! I get a lot of work done there as well, so if you want to rationalize my addiction, it technically pays for itself. Starbucks– however– is not the reason for this post. I have darker, more predatory addiction that I’ve relapsed from. Continue reading “The Relapse”

What if something bad happens?

I’ve experienced some awesome growth in my writing career. The fruits of my labors are blooming and I am very ecstatic for what’s to come. While I am over the moon, I can’t help but overanalyze the future.

As someone who’s experienced loss on a deep level, it’s tough for me to allow myself to be truly happy. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a positive person, but on a scale of personal fulfillment, I go up to 75% and then crash and burn. Like a fail-safe switch, I begin to self-destruct once I’ve reached my optimum level of mediocrity. After spending some time soul-searching, I’ve come to realize that I’ve taught myself to stop trying. After all, you can’t get hurt if you weren’t expecting happiness to be the end target right?

My point is, the mind is an incredibly scary place to get trapped in. Understanding that I have to actively deconstruct these mental barriers in my brain on a day to day basis is daunting, but worth the effort. I want to take the world by storm and really be happy and proud of my life. And, what if something bad happens? I’ll just pick myself up and get back on this horse called “Life”.

Whether I’ participating or not, life is happening. Just because I avoid it doesn’t mean I freeze in time and  press play when I’m ready to get back out there. I don’t want to one day find myself old and miserable because I was too scared to make an effort. So to all of my fellow bloggers/readers, take care of your mind and do away with the negative thoughts that cause you to freeze. Life is for the living and we should cherish the time we have on this beautiful planet. That said, I hope everyone has a beautiful week!

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