ABCs of Freelance Writing: P is for Pitfall

Notice the title isn’t “ABCs of Freelance Writing: P is for Pajamas.” Okay, now that we’ve cleared that up, let’s prepare other freelance writing hopefuls for some of the perils of choosing such a career.

I’ll start by creating a list of bad things that can happen to a freelance writer—a list born of my own trying experiences—and the lessons I learned as a result.

Consider the comments an open thread for discussing your own trials and tribulations.

Freelance Writing Pitfalls

Falling on a banana skinThe Disappearing Document: More than once I’ve lost entire documents and have been forced to start over. I have MS Word set to save backup copies. I use Dropbox for remote storage and access to my files. I save religiously as I write. And yet, I can think of at least three times in the last year that I lost a document. No warning, just poof! When it happens to me now, I give myself 30 seconds to whine. Then I take a big breath, and start writing again. Because a deadline’s a deadline.

Lesson: Sulking won’t bring your words back.

The Phantom Dry Spell: Sometimes legitimate contact form submissions get lost in the ether. I was down on myself for weeks because no one was asking me for quotes on their writing projects until I discovered several website queries had not been forwarded to my Gmail account (they were hung up in my domain’s hosting webmail mailbox thingy*) and a few others had been sent directly to my spam folder. Funny how three weeks later, those people had already found another writer.

Lesson: Check under the hood every 3,000 emails.

The Burnout Bitch: Churning out 25 plus 500-word articles in a week for a single client while you work full-time and maintain other projects can be done. But I dare you to pull it off with a smile on your face. I double dog dare you to pull it off without disrupting your sleep cycle. I triple dog dare you to do it without threats of break-up or divorce from your S.O.

Lesson: When you have money for movies and concerts and fancy-ass dinners, no one is willing to hang out with you.

*I know! I’m so technical.

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About Emily Suess

Emily Suess is a technical marketing writer by day and a freelance copywriter by night. And, no, she's not related to Dr. Seuss.
  • http://www.peaceableliberal.blogspot.com/ Peaceable Liberal

    1. Developing an e-mail blast in Chrome, pressing the undo button and losing the entire thing…. over and over again.  Why is it so difficult to remember that the program hates Chrome and prefers IE?  2. Clicking Save instead of Save As when you still need the original document.  

    • http://blog.emilysuess.com Emily Suess

      Oh yeah, I’ve done the ‘Save’ instead of ‘Save As’ thing more times than I care to admit.

      Also, it boggles the mind that anything would prefer IE over Chrome.

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