Good morning #WriteNow community!
We’re in the midst of the holiday season. One of my favorite days of the year is the Sunday after Thanksgiving. It’s our day to bring the Christmas decorations upstairs, hang the lights and the stockings, and put on the famous Christmas playlist (don’t judge! It’s been carefully-curated for a few years now). The kids love it and, let’s be frank, I love it too.
The holidays are a nice time to reflect and offer gratitude for the things we have and to forgive the things we do not. It’s a season filled with festivities and revelry. We pack on a few pounds. We see old friends. It’s truly magical. But it’s also the most difficult time of a freelancers year.
There are a few reasons for this: (1) Our motivations are elsewhere. We’re trying to ensure a great, stressless season, and if that means skipping out on writing/pitching/emailing in favor of some holiday shopping and a mid-day beer, so be it; (2) Our editors are also busy. They’re slow to respond. They’re doing year-end stuff just like we are; (3) You feel fresh out of ideas. It’s the end of the year. You’re not one for those holiday gift idea articles. You’ll jump back into the fray after the season is over; (4) [insert your own rationale here].
Before you know it, it’s been a month since your last commision. Yikes. So here are my tips for staying productive as the holiday season interrupts:
- Keep pitching. Keep your eye on January ideas, if you must, but keep firing off those pitches. Even if the usual output is down (and that’s okay), make sure to get out a few a week. Don’t get complacent.
- Keep on editors. They’re busy, too. But they’re also still working. And there are definitely some writers who are letting the end-of-the-year malaise beat them. So fill their beats!
- Do some clerical work: Do your end of the year miles & expenses. Check out your invoices (Are they all paid? Are there any unsent invoices?). Do some maintenance to your contact list. This is all boring, but important work.
- Start something larger. You know that book that’s sitting in a folder you haven’t opened since July? Open it up. Work on that. No one is going to write it for you.
- Try to spend an hour a day working on something that may make you money down the line.
- Get on Fiverr, get on Freelancer. There’s work to be had. Go get it!
What other helpful hints do you have for the freelance community during these hectic holiday months?