Dawn Colclasure's Blog

Author and poet Dawn Colclasure

Monday, May 19, 2008

Return to freelancing

After I stopped doing the freelance writing, I kept wondering if I'd ever take it up again. Today I got my answer: Yup. I am officially once again a freelance writer.

There are three reasons why I quit freelancing:

#1: It was eating into my "mom time." I was freelancing for 8 hours a day, EVERY DAMN DAY, and the less time I spent with my child, the less happier I was. I am one of those moms who LOVES being with her children. (While they're still not yet teenagers, right?? LOL) So I...didn't like being away for so long. Yeah, I KNOW I was technically THERE. Just not..."there." If that makes sense.

This time, I am ONLY going to do it part-time. For 2 hours, 4 hours tops. And ONLY from Monday-Friday. Weekends are OFF limits!

#2: It was holding me back from writing books, which is my number one passion as a writer. I LOVE writing books. Books are my thing! But the freelancing and newspaper-writing was just taking up all of my writing time. It was taking me FOREVER to get any books written.

This time, I'm DEFINITELY going to keep my book projects in the foreground. I will work on my books for 1 or 2 hours after the kids are asleep. (When does Mommy get to sleep??? I wonder....)

#3: I was sick of dealing with editors who didn't pay. Or who took forever to publish an article and pay for it.

This time, NO MORE writing for mags that "pay on publication." I'll probably still have the occasional editor or two who decides they're not going to cut a check for my work after all, but this time I'm going to be more aggressive in resolving that.

There are other things I'm going to do different this time, too:

--Only submit E-queries. If I used snail mail, it'd take forever to get a response and I'll be breaking my bank account paying for postage. Granted, there ARE magazines who absolutely REFUSE to accept E-queries. I'll just query those ONLY if I want to and only one at a time per week.

--Only pitch to magazines that pay good money for articles. I'm talking AT LEAST 3 figures here, not 1 or 2. I got tired of writing for editors who paid peanuts for my work. I'm WORTH the good pay, so I'm going after the good pay.

--Be more agressive in finding sources. Because I have to rely on E-mail to interview people with, it wasn't easy trying to get sources to respond, to reply in time, and it was hard actually FINDING them. So this time I'm REALLY going to put more effort into that.

I'm going to try this for a while and see how it goes. When I was freelancing before, I made an average of $500 a month. I want to challenge myself and see if I can double that this time around. I KNOW I can do it, so I'm going to DO IT!

So why did I go back to being a freelance writer? I WAS happy just writing my books. And believe me, I definitely got caught up with my book-writing. I was happy with that. But there are a lot of medical bills to be paid, more than we can afford on our monthly budget. So I need to find some way to fix that.

Also, this is the year I work to make my dreams come true!! And part of that involves having the funds available. I know I won't be able to make enough to visit Ireland (though a girl can definitely dream!) or finish college (darn, I ALWAYS dream about that one. Sigh), but at least I will be able to do SOME things. And that's good enough for me.

Another thing is that I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE!! to travel. And I just don't get to travel as much as I'd like to.... So after the finances get better, maybe we'll have enough to take a trip somewhere! (Washington, Canada, Florida, Massachusetts, Maine and Georgia are a few places I have wanted to visit.)

So, yeah. That's why I am once again freelancing! And in addition to my "rules" above, I'm going to throw another one in there while I'm at it: NO GUILT ALLOWED.

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  • At 9:31 AM , Blogger Jana B said...

    GO YOU!!! Congrats for setting new boundaries and making a new plan!

    Mmm.. I love to travel too! Massachusets is AMAZING! I went there in October and loved it. Georgia is gorgious (sp?) and one of my all-time fav states... I ADORE the greenery and the spanish moss on the trees! But my all-time fav state so far? KENTUCKY!! The people there are SO FRIENDLY, and the countryside is gorgeous. You should add it to your list of places to visit lol Then you could meet me, since Indiana is only one state away! YIPPEE!!!!! lol

    Florida was okay but a bit over-rated. Silver Springs was WAY fun though, you should definately go there if you visit Florida.

  • At 11:52 AM , Blogger Dawn Wilson said...

    Thanks, Jana. :) I have friends both in Massachusetts and Florida, so I hope to visit with them when I go there. I have NEVER been to either state, despite a heck of a lot of travelling through this country! But, yeah, I would like to visit them. One of my good friends moved to Massachusetts recently -- to North Andover. So I'll be going out there to stalk, er, visit him. LOL :) Also, my latest book project is set in Massachusetts (I keep forgetting the city name! Boo-hoo!) so I'll get a chance to get a good look at it. Hey, maybe I can write it off as a business trip! LOL I have only driven through Kentucky but never really saw it. So I'll definitely go there someday and REALLY visit it. And come meet up with YOU, too! YAY!!!


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