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Conflicted...

December 4th, 2011 at 01:10 pm

I've been struggling a lot lately with my freelance work, both with the lack of free time I have because I can only work when the kids are asleep, and with the low pay.

My first thought was to give up one of my weekly gigs, but realistically I probably won't. I really like it when the check comes, and now that we have a mortgage, we kind of need it to get where I think we need to be financially.

But, I am going to try to put my head to it and instead figure out how I can be more efficient in getting things done, and maybe free up more me-time as a result.

Anyway, on top of this. One of my friends owns a small marketing/ pr company and she called yesterday wanting to know if I'd help her write press releases for $22 an hour. At first I was dead set against it, but as usual, I let her talk me into it. I have one due on Wednesday. It's probably not going to be strenuous work, but it is more work at a time when I feel like I'm already not doing what I really want to-- which is finish my novel! Plus, it will probably only take an hour to 1.5 to write, so it isn't much money.

Not sure what to do about it. Not sure if having to squeeze one more thing into my schedule is worth the $25 or $30 I'd get out of it. It won't be a steady thing, just helping out another working mom for a little bit of extra cash. But still. That novel is gathering dust, and I really would like to go to bed early SOMEDAY! But alas, I have a hard time saying no, because in the freelance world you just never know if project will come back to you if you do.

It's the freelancer's curse. Usually, it's a once-shot opportunity, and if you don't say yes, it's gone.

I don't know. What do you think? Any ideas on how I can better manage work when I have to do most of it when the kids are in bed? I'm maxed out on childcare.

I'll post more thoughts on making better use of my time later.

5 Responses to “Conflicted...”

  1. Amber Says:

    Hmmm I'm not sure, but I found myself being overwhelmed with my Young Professional meetings, school, work and famy and basically what I did was wrote everything in my planner with a time to do things and let me tell you, it helped. I don't feel overwhelmed any more. I simply check things off my list.
    Me, I'm looking for anyway to make some extra cash so I probably would squeeze in the extra job. However, as my BF always says "All money ain't good money". If you really want to get back to your novel, I say do it. Good luck

  2. My English Castle Says:

    Dear Thrift:
    You're talking to a woman with far too many freelance gigs herself. One disappeared this year, my rich folks book club, and while I miss the extra occasional $150, I really don't miss the anxiety of it all. But for me, prioritizing the best ones is really important. You're not flat broke, and you don't need to take rotten jobs. I don't do anything that pays under $50/hr. Nothing. If I were you, I'd consider setting a limit, and just turning down things that aren't worth it. It's hard. But I push myself into overload too easily.

  3. ThriftoRama Says:

    I haven't had a $50 an hour job for two years. Unfortunately, I do consumer writing-- as in for newspapers and magazines that the average joe reads, and they don't pay hourly/. It's a flat rate per story, and my gigs for the newspaper basically pay me for two stories a week ($250 a week for both, total), but expect me to manage that like it's a full-time job, with all the calls and keeping up with the "news." It's difficult. The pay is low, but it adds up by the end of the month. I keep telling myself that it's to keep my hands in the game while I'm at home with toddlers, but the reality is there are no full time journalism jobs on the other side. Unless I move. Not happening. And, now I kind of need the money, so I just put up with it. Ugh. So depressing!

    Any tips on how to branch out into more lucrative areas?

  4. My English Castle Says:

    Hmmm--if you do editing, getting on a list of freelance editors often helps. Our university runs one. Likewise I've seen people get editing work by providing name and background info to department admin--especially in departments that do masters and doctoral work--and particularly in fields that are known for needing writing help like the sciences and engineering.

    I see all my journalism students--and retired journalists struggle like you. It's hard work, isn't it?

  5. ThriftoRama Says:

    Journalism used to be a nice living, but now, it's not. Thanks internet!

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