It is so easy to get bummed out by the lack of a promising income when you begin a writing career. Sometimes it can take a few months or even a few years until you discover the right methods, the best schedule, and the perfect publishers to help you reach your income goals.
For me, my biggest problem was procrastination. I have been a full time writer for over a decade, but it took me several years to figure out how to break through my procrastination and gain the sincere motivation I needed to bring in a good income each month.
Procrastinating the Monthly Goal
When I first attempted to make a livable salary from my freelance writing, I had a heck of a time trying to meet a monthly goal. I knew I had to bring in a minimum of $3,000 US a month, but I was falling short.
The hardest part about having a monthly goal was that I would put writing off until the last possible moment. On that last week of the month I would begin a mad frenzy of writing and maybe only reach about a third of the income I needed to survive.
The monthly goal schedule was not working for me and I was thoroughly disgusted with myself. I moved on to try the weekly goal, but I procrastinated again.
Sure, I would always start off the month or week strong, but after a day or two I would start pushing off assignments to do other, unrelated things. It wasn’t until I switched to setting a daily goal that I was finally able to break through my procrastination and bring home the income I needed.
Daily Goal Solution
After so much failure at reaching a monthly or weekly goal, I decided to light a fire under my seat and set a daily goal for myself. I had to do at least $100 of work each day to reach the $3,000 I needed for the month.
Two things happened when I switched to daily goals. First, I did not give myself time to procrastinate. The goal had to be reached by midnight each day. If I reached my goal early in the day, I had the rest of the day off. Second, the daily goal forced me to concentrate on writing for more pay.
Writing short blogs posts at $20 a piece took up too much time and energy, so I began writing articles for publications that paid $100 or more. One article a day met my needs. If I was up to it, I might write a second or third article to double or triple my money.
The only problem I had with this schedule was that it relied on me working every day of the month to meet my monetary goals.
Creating Time Off
I worked through an entire month without a day off. I knew I would get burnt out fast without a few days off each month.
I also noticed that I exceeded my $3,000 monthly goal because I was doing more work than I planned on doing originally. I could have taken 10 days off and reached my monthly goal.
Instead of working every day, I made a bargain with myself. For every $200 extra I made each week, I could schedule in one day off.
It worked like a charm. I continued to bring in extra money above my base amount and I was able to schedule mini vacations for myself to rejuvenate my thoughts and get my kids out of the house.
Upping the Daily Earnings
Making more than I originally planned and getting vacation time off, I knew that I could push myself a bit further. I decided to aim for $200 a day and bring in $6,000 a month.
I was already aiming for higher paying jobs, plus I picked up a few contracted writing jobs along the way. They each paid anywhere from $45 to $50 an article.
My daily schedule involved writing two articles for the contracted jobs, bringing in $95 to $100 a day. Next I would write another two freelance articles to reach a total of over $200 a day. I was working a full eight-hour day.
I kept my time off schedule so that for every extra $200 I made, I could get one day off. I was pushing myself harder than ever, but I was excited by the money I was making. It kept me going and I worked on whatever job I could get, from writing listicles to doing a bunch of ghost writing jobs for popular websites.
The more I worked, the easier it became to get more work lined up for the coming month. I managed to break free of my procrastination by giving myself smaller, reachable goals on a daily basis. If I hadn’t made the switch, I would still be struggling month to month making ends meet.
Elizabeth is a full-time freelance and contracted writer. She enjoys traveling, visiting historical monuments, and meeting people from different walks of life.
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