Ah, summer. A time for barbecues, celebration, and lazy days. It’s also a time when editors, managers, and publishers are among those taking vacations. This can mean you won’t get responses to queries or pitches as quickly as before, which can slow things down for your freelancing career.
This slowdown shouldn’t hurt if you prepare in advance. Most seasoned freelancers will tell you to save up for lulls in work because, unfortunately, securing any work in the summer is completely out of your hands when editors are out of the office. Some freelancers have also developed passive streams of income to keep the money coming in but, if you want other options, there are ways to manage.
Aside from saving for the summer slowdown, consider these options to help you stay afloat:
• Teach an online course
• Secure an editing job
• Offer proofreading services
• Become a writing coach
• Offer to spend the summer as a ghostwriter for someone’s blog, book, or website
Meanwhile, use the slowdown of work to your advantage. While the following tasks may not result in income, they can help you prepare for when everybody is back in the office.
1. Submit your work to new markets. When your regular clients are unreachable during the summer, there are other editors, judges, and college staff staying busy. Several contests and anthologies accept submissions, and have deadlines during the summer. You can find these in newsletters like HorrorTree. Duotrope sends out newsletters of markets all year long. And, WritersWeekly features paying markets and jobs for freelance writers every week.
2. Plan ahead. When things get busy again, markets are going to want work several months in advance (Back to School, Christmas, New Year’s, etc.). So, write queries on those topics. Brainstorm for ideas, and write queries for those as well.
3. Take care of your (writing) business. Take advantage of this slowdown to check in with your own business as a writer. Catch up on filing, prepare for tax season, organize your documents, go over your progress, research new markets, etc. Once everything is in order, you’ll be able to hit the ground running when it’s time to get busy again.
4. Learn something new. There are always new skills you can bring to your freelance writing. There are free online courses in SEO writing, copywriting, scriptwriting, and even music writing. If you are a freelance writer, consider learning a new niche or trade to help you break into new markets. It never hurts to take a refresher course on a topic you are already an expert in. New and updated knowledge will boost your chances of getting more work and scoring more clients when everybody is back in the office again.
5. Keep writing! No matter what happens, when the work is going well, or not so well, keep writing. The more material you have to bring to the table once vacation season ends, the greater your chances of getting more sales and acceptances right off the bat. You can also use any summer-themed articles or pieces you write to submit to markets looking for such material now.
Most editors and publishers may slow down during the summer, but you should not have to slow down, too. For the freelance writer who prefers to stay busy during the summer, there are definitely ways to be productive, and gear up for when markets are ready for submissions again.
Take advantage of the summer slowdown to keep writing, fine-tune your skills as a writer, and get your business matters in order. Once the summer has come and gone, you’ll thank yourself later for showing up for work better than ever.
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- How To Make Money As A Freelance Tutor – by Louisa Eunice
- Freelancers! Here are 5 Ways to Increase Business During Slow Periods – by Charlotte Grainger
- I HAD to Make MONEY! – How a Family Emergency Helped Me Increase My Writing Income! – by Mariana Abeid-McDougall
Dawn Colclasure is a writer who lives with her husband and children in Oregon. Her articles, essays, poems and short stories have appeared in several newspapers, anthologies, magazines and E-zines. She is the author and co-author of over four dozen books, among them BURNING THE MIDNIGHT OIL: How We Survive as Writing Parents; 365 TIPS FOR WRITERS: Inspiration, Writing Prompts and Beat The Block Tips to Turbo Charge Your Creativity; Love is Like a Rainbow: Poems of Love and Devotion; Parenting Pauses: Life as a Deaf Parent; On the Wings of Pink Angels: Triumph, Struggle and Courage Against Breast Cancer; A Ghost on Every Corner; The Yellow Rose and her latest novel, Imprint. Her websites: https://dawnsbooks.com and https://www.dmcwriter.com
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