November 21, 2013 at 8:24 am #23655
or insert appropriate cliche here…
I am underemployed in a print shop…I am working on building my freelance career so it will support my family.
In the print shop on slow days we may only get 20 or so walk in customers but it seems they like to come in groups of four or five all at the same time and they overwhelm us for 20 minutes or so and then it goes back to being dead between rushes.
I have noticed the same thing happening with my writing jobs…I can go two or three weeks with only a couple Fiverr jobs (I keep a gig there just to fill in gaps and keep me writing…I wrote four last night) and then I get hit with a whole bunch of jobs all at the same time.
In the last 24 hours I got another e-book from a previous client, a 1500 word article from the same client, a 1000 word article from a new client and a 700 word article that is a continuation of a previous project. It won’t be much of a problem because I am pretty sure the same thing won’t happen in the next 24 hours…lol
This is not the first time this type of thing has happened… it seems like it is either feast or famine (another cliche)…Is this how it goes most of the time?
I want to try to figure out how to smooth the workload over time…but I do work best under pressure from deadlines.
Sometimes it is not enough to do our best...we must do what is necessary.November 24, 2013 at 9:52 am #23678
For some writers, that’s the norm all the time. It’s the feast-famine cycle. For others, it starts out that way but smooths out over time as you build steadier demand and bring in more regular clients. It can depend a lot on the kind of writing you do.
The key while you’re facing this is to set aside some of the money from the surges to help cover you when things are slow. It’s not always easy (personally I was always terrible at that early on), but it really does help.
In the meantime, keep marketing your services. It might sound counter-intuitive, but you should consider marketing more actively when you’re busy with projects than when things are slow. That’s because the marketing you do now could help you line up clients for that next slow period so you can avoid it. Enjoy the natural bursts of work. But always focus on what comes next. If you wait until you finish this work to market aggressively again, you’ll never get out of the cycle. You’ll just find yourself marketing during the slow times to lead to another surge, and the cycle keeps repeating.February 14, 2014 at 9:18 am #24367
Pretty much what Jenn said. Just remember, you are acting in the capacity of a business owner. A business owner (like the owner of your print shop, for example) isn’t going to pay himself and his employees all the earnings the shop makes in a month. Instead, he’s going to have everyone on a payroll/salary that remains less than what the shop earns. You have to do the same with your freelance earnings.
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