Taking Time Off When You Freelance

Monday, June 13, 2016
Southport, N.C.
My kids have been on summer vacation for about a week and a half, and since then I've struggled with keeping up my regular work-from-home hours while keeping them (somewhat) entertained. I told myself not to worry about settling into a routine because this summer is shaping up to be probably the most hectic one I’ve had since my kids were born. Tomorrow the kids and I are leaving for a visit with relatives in Texas. This is a great thing, because I don’t get to see extended family regularly, but when you freelance, it’s hard to fully take vacation time, unless you are super organized, which I’m not.

For example, for one of my main clients, I’m responsible for putting out a weekly “things to do” article on Mondays, and another “Things to Do this Weekend” article on Fridays. These articles are contingent upon me making sure local events are uploaded into the backend of the website regularly. Because of its time sensitivity, it’s difficult to put together these articles well ahead of time. I also have regular blog posts (such as this one) on my schedule and if I’m traveling to a place I might not have regular access to WiFi I need to make sure I have those written, edited, and posted so I don't miss any deadlines.

However, there's also benefits to traveling when you’re a freelance writer/editor. One of the trips we’re getting to take this summer (courtesy of a conference my husband is attending) is to Washington, D.C. I haven’t been there since a school trip years ago and my kids have never visited there. I already let one of my editors of a parenting magazine know about the trip and she mentioned they haven’t run anything on that area in awhile. So it looks like I’ll be researching an article idea while on the trip, which is great for tax purposes and for future article sales if I can come up with a few new angles (and some good photos!)

So in between shuttling my kids to their various day camps, music lessons, and play dates so I can work and they can stay active, I’ll be trying to stay ahead of my various Google calendars and trying to keep track of my notes and receipts at the same time. Summer is the time of year when I’m most grateful for being able to take charge of my own schedule.

How does your writing schedule vary during the summer months? If you have regular writing and editing projects, how do you make sure your assignments are completed before vacations?

Renee Roberson is an award-winning freelance writer and editor who also works as a Blog Tour Manager for WOW! Women on Writing. She is still looking for a few more blogs to join in on Michael French's "Everybody's Talking About" Tour on July 6. See this post for details.


Judy H said...

Look into geocaching on your trips. Just started it with my daughter and grand daughter. Might be an interesting angle to try.

Angela Mackintosh said...

Great post, Renee! In the past, I've taken on short freelance projects over the summer so I can get a lot of little jobs completed and still have time for trips. But this summer I'm doing the opposite. I took on one large project--designing a catalogue, including full layout, graphics, photography, copywriting--and scheduled the timeline throughout the summer, with the finished product being completed at the end of August. This way I can work it around my schedule and get paid at various milestones (half up front, a mid-way payment and a completion payment), and not worry about a bunch of small deadlines (except for wow stuff). Parts of the catalogue I farm out (like photography and some design), so there's close to a straight month during the summer I can focus on fun. :)

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