The Go-Getter Writer’s Guide to Ramp Up Your Freelance Business

Ramp Up Your Freelance Business. Makealivingwriting.com.Build a thriving freelance business as a writer. That’s the goal, right?

But just about every writer discovers that the path to get there includes twists and turns, dead-ends, roadblocks, and delays while trying to build a freelance business.

And sometimes, you might even get lost along the way. Been there, done that?

But if you’re the go-getter type who’s willing to hustle, develop discipline, and learn the business and craft of freelance writing, you can do this.

Whether you’re just starting out, or you’re ready to move up and earn more, there’s a few critical skills you need for long-term success.

And they don’t have anything to do with the craft of writing, but everything to do with the business of writing, planning, finances, and marketing.

Ready to ramp up your freelance business? Check out these five go-getter strategies to help you earn more, get a steady stream of clients, and create a long-term game plan for freelance business success.

1. Two Easy-Fun Ways Freelance Writers Can Find Great Clients

If you’re freaking out about trying to survive a marketing marathon to get hundreds of letters of introduction or queries out the door in a month to grow your freelance business, take a chill pill. Those are effective marketing strategies. But they aren’t the only way to find clients. Here are two more ways to make connections, find clients, and get referrals.

2. Cash Flow 101 for Freelance Writers: Or How to Never Feel Broke Again

If you plan to run a successful freelance business as a writer, you can’t ignore the need for generating enough income to pay your bills and enjoy a certain quality of life. But too many writers fall into the feast or famine trap. And it doesn’t have to be that way.  Here are 10 ways to improve your cash flow.

3. 7 Ways a Freelance Writer Can Create Retirement Income

Want to retire from your freelance business someday with money in the bank, residual income streams, or writing assets you can sell? It’s not as hard as you might think. These freelance business strategies for writers will help you save for the future.

4. Why Writers Should Know Their Daily Rate

If you want to make a living writing, you’ll probably need to charge more than what you’d earn at a J-O-B. Want to make $100/hr? Sounds pretty good, right?

If you want to run a serious freelance business, knowing your hourly rate will help you:

  • Bid on writing projects
  • Weed out clients that can’t afford you
  • Make the most of your time for writing and marketing

Check out this post for all the factors to consider to calculate your daily rate.

5. Five Ways to Make Your Flaky Client Pay Up

What happens when a writing client doesn’t pay? The simple answer: It has a direct impact on your bottom line as a freelance business. But that doesn’t mean you can’t get paid. These five get-your-attention moves typically get slow-to-pay clients to cut a check.

Freelance business strategies for writers

If you want to make a living writing, there’s more to it than just being a great wordsmith. You also need to be a go-getter who makes smart freelance business decisions to land great clients, make more money, and enjoy the freedom of being your own boss.

What do you need help with to grow your writing business? Let’s discuss on Facebook and LinkedIn.

FREE VIDEO REPLAY: How Freelance Writers Double Their Income. Presented by Carol Tice, Freelance Writers Den Founder and Coach. WATCH NOW

The post The Go-Getter Writer’s Guide to Ramp Up Your Freelance Business appeared first on Make A Living Writing.

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What Are The Five Love Languages?

What Are The Five Love LanguagesGary Chapman PhD is the author of one of my all time favorite books, the best-seller The Five Love Languages. It created the concept of individuals giving and receiving love in specific ways that are measurable and determine how we act and engage with the world and those we love.

Based on his work, each of us falls into a love category (love language) that determines how we prefer to express and receive love. This benefits us by better understanding ourselves and why we feel the things we feel. It also goes a step further when we apply the concepts to those that we love such as our spouse or children. Identify their love language helps us better understand how they give and receive love as well. It helps us understand how best to love them and show that love for them. Love is not a word or a feeling, it is action or a series of actions that display the deep feeling we have.

The things that we personally like/need to feel loved might be completely different for our family and friends. What if the ways in which you show love and affection have always been about you and not them? Wouldn’t you want to change that? Of course you would!

So, let’s take a look at the five love languages:

  1. Words of Affirmation- This love language is essentially based in giving and receiving nurturing and positive feedback. Words and communication of your love and admiration via words are key here. Silence is not golden in this case. This love language is represented by seeking understanding, asking for forgiveness when wrong, sharing kind and encouraging words, and giving and receiving meaningful compliments. This person wants to hear I love you, be told they are beautiful/handsome, be told they are hardworking, a good parent, etc.
  2. Quality Time- The quality time love language is all about togetherness. The distinction being the time is focused and centered on the relationship; time is uninterrupted with no distractions. This is shown by putting away devices, maintaining eye contact during conversations, active listening, and participating in activities meaningful to the relationship. This person needs date nights, family movie/game nights, and other special one on one trips or events. Time spent together is what makes them feel loved.
  3. Receiving Gifts- Receiving gifts is a timeless gesture of love and respect. Those who have it for a primary love language are uplifted by the sentiment of the gift-giving more than the gift itself. It is all about what the gift represents and the effort that was taken by the giver that means so much. It shows that you were thinking of them and that you mean so much to them they bought you a gift.
  4. Acts of Service- This love languages is all about doing things for others that they appreciate. Whereas the above people like physical gifts, these folks like to be served in some way as an expression of your love. No, I don’t mean that they want their feet rubbed all the time I mean they want to see the “work” you put into your love. A wife can fill her husband’s car with gas or pack him a lunch. A husband can vacuum the floor or make his sick wife some chicken soup. Acts of service are expressions of love…more than words or baubles are needed because those are not what they value.
  5. Physical Touch- This love language goes way beyond the obvious idea of sex. This language is saturated in the warmth that comes from being present and being in touch and in tune with the other party. Holding the hand of a friend in distress. Making sure to hug and kiss your spouse hello every day after work. Sitting side-by-side with an anxious child. These are acts of love that mean the world to a physical touch love language receiver. Those moments of contact are what make them feel loved. And yes sex is very important to a spouse with this love language as well.

You can take a simple test at 5LoveLanguages.com and discover your hierarchy of languages. You may have a dominant language or a blend of more than one. Generally speaking, how you prefer to express your love is also the same as how you prefer to receive gestures of love. Check out your ratings and get more familiar with the concept to enhance your interpersonal experiences.

My husband is a combo of physical touch and words of affirmation. He needs to hear often about how wonderful, handsome, and amazing he is. He also wants to be hugged, touched, kissed, and his hand held often. Physical touch to him means ‘I love you”. As a quiet and not overly affectionate person myself…these are things I have to constantly work at but I do because he needs these things.

My love language is acts of service. For me nothing says love like someone caring enough to be of service to me. I appreciate a clean house when I get home from a trip, someone offering to fold laundry with me, or someone filling my car with gas when I have to work the next day. Hugs, kisses, gifts, and words of love are nice but not what actually makes me feel deep inside like that person really loves me.

That is what it is all about folks. What makes you feel loved deep down? What makes those around you feel loved deep down? Are you going about showing your love for those people in effective or ineffective ways? Find out!

Also read: The 5 Love Languages of Children: The Secret to Loving Children Effectively

The post What Are The Five Love Languages? appeared first on Nature Moms.

May the forest be with you: GEDI moves toward launch to space station

GEDI (pronounced like ‘Jedi,’ of Star Wars fame) is a first-of-its-kind laser instrument designed to map the world’s forests in 3-D from space. These measurements will help fill in critical gaps in scientists’ understanding of how much carbon is stored in the world’s forests, the potential for ecosystems to absorb rising concentrations of carbon dioxide in Earth’s atmosphere, and the impact of forest changes on biodiversity.

Never Say Never Bridger

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Living and skiing in Big Sky, Montana, we often see a bumper sticker that says “Never Bridger”, a cheeky dig at Bridger Bowl ski area north of Bozeman. Bridger is less than a two-hour drive from Big Sky, but it’s amazing how many Big Sky skiers have stubbornly never skied Bridger. In fairness, it’s pretty hard to drive away from Lone Peak and many of us don’t leave our mountain town bubble for weeks or months at a time in the winter. When you have the “Biggest Skiing in America” in your backyard, topped off with world-class backcountry skiing in Beehive Basin, why go anywhere else?

As much as I love our mountain home, I make a point to leave Big Sky at least a few times a winter to explore other ski mountains. Earlier this winter we skied Lost Trail Powder Mountain south of Missoula and a few weeks ago we made the trek up to Whitefish Mountain Resort, outside of Glacier National Park. This winter, I really wanted to make it to Bridger because our friend and former roommate Al joined the ski patrol squad there this winter and he was offering to show us the classics, including the Bridger Ridge: a 2.5 mile long ridgeline hike across the top of the Bridger Mountain Range. I also wanted to put an end to my partner Dan’s 8-year “Never Bridger” streak.

Yesterday after a warmup lap on the “Fingers”, we followed Al onto the Bridger lift and then strapped our skis to our backpacks and bootpacked straight up about 500 feet onto the ridge. From there we hiked north along the windy, corniced ridge to an area called the Apron, where we clicked into our skis and dropped into Hidden Gully, a steep, narrow and snowy chute on the east side of the ridge. And then we did it again. Never Say Never Bridger Mission Accomplished!

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We have about three weeks left of skiing in Big Sky before the lifts stop spinning April 22. Then we’ll be taking our skis to Iceland! In the meantime, Aerial Geology is back in stock! Signed copies direct from me are $30 plus $5 shipping. Read more about my book here.

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Freelance Juggling Tips from Work at Home Moms

Juggling Tips for Work at Home Moms. Makealivingwriting.comEver wonder how work at home moms balance freelance assignments, family life, a day job, and everything else?

If you’ve ever thought, “What’s the point? It’s just too hard,” you’re not alone. Trying to juggle diaper duty, day-job deadlines, grocery shopping, and freelance work can be a challenge.

But work at home moms tend to have a few things in common when it comes to carving out time to get freelance work done.

They’re scrappy. They know how to multi-task. They know how to network with other moms. And when push comes to shove, work at home moms can turn a 15-minute block of time into a productive work session.

Know any work at home moms like this you can model?

In a recent Freelance Writers Den podcast, we talked with two work at home moms who have built thriving writing careers in the middle of busy lives. Here’s how it’s done:

Lessons from two work at home moms

Freelance writers Shannon Salinsky and Meagan Francis both know what it’s like to be work at home moms.

  • Shannon Salinsky is a mom who’s building her writing career while working full time as an inspector for the Federal Aviation Administration.
  • Meagan Francis is the author of four books, a contributor to big-name publications like Salon and Good Housekeeping, the founder of the Life, Listened podcast network, and a mother of five.

They’ve figured out their own ways of doing things to make it all work, like:

  • Moving through mistakes and setbacks
  • Balancing work and parenting
  • How to keep writing when life gets crazy
  • Finding longer blocks of time to write

Want to get better at your own freelance juggling act? Find out how in this Q&A:

Q: What child care arrangements have you made, and how did you manage the costs?

Meagan: I’ve done different things. My brother and I switched off child care at one point.

There are lots of creative solutions. It doesn’t have to be day care. You can get a teenager to come in after school.

When I made just a few hundred dollars freelancing, child care ate up a good chunk of that. I always focus on earning more because that makes questions like, “How would I justify paying for child care?” moot.

Q: As a parent with a full-time job, how do you make time for freelancing?

Shannon: I pretty much juggle up. I do interviews on my lunch hour, and I write anytime I have a free moment.

We’ll take our daughter ice skating, and I’m sitting with my laptop writing furiously while they’re having daddy-baby time. Or for 15 minutes that she’s engrossed in a video at home, I’m frantically doing my writing and research.

When I have to get out of the house, I go to Starbucks and write.

Q: How did you write when you didn’t have child care?

Meagan: I did a lot of driving around until the little ones fell asleep. Then I sat outside a hot spot to have wi-fi in my car. I did all kinds of crazy juggling.

Once my kids were inside the car watching TV, and I’m doing an interview in the parking lot outside because it was the only time we could connect.

When you want something badly, you’ll go the distance to make it work. Either I made it as a writer or I had to go back to an office. I was willing to be scrappy.

Q: How do you handle constant demands for attention?

Meagan:Sometimes if I set the computer aside and give them my attention, it reboots the afternoon. They’re happy to play by themselves, and I don’t feel so conflicted.

My kids have gotten good at respecting my schedule. I’ll say, “Mommy has to work. After that, we’ll do something special. How can I get you set up so you’re happy for a while?”

Q: How do you keep from taking on too much freelance work?

Shannon: I haven’t learned that lesson yet! I don’t say no to anybody.

But I do stick with easy assignments. Most of my work is with one regional publication. It doesn’t require a ton of research or interviewing, and the deadlines are manageable. It’s a good comfort level for me as a new writer.

I’ve refused to get into blogging. I don’t have time. I get clips in other ways.

Q: How do you cope with afternoon interruptions when school-age kids come home?

Meagan: As freelancers we can’t emulate someone in an office who works until 5:00. I try to not work from the time they come home until dinner. I wouldn’t get anything done anyway.

Q: How do you handle sitting all day at work, then going home and sitting down to write?

Shannon: I recently got a treadmill desk. I’m three weeks into it and I probably walked 25 miles. I highly recommend it. You can type and walk much faster than you think.

Q: How do you get kids to understand you’re working and not playing online?

Meagan: My son actually told husband, “Mommy’s job is just emailing with her friends!” You have to educate them. Shutting my office door helps them realize, “Oh, this is work.”

I need to be on social media, so that can be confusing to them. You have to be clear that this is your work and they need to respect it. The more I hammer that point home, the more they get it.

Q: What’s the biggest mistake you’ve made as a freelancer?

Shannon: I gave too much information about my day job when I pitched a blogging gig at an airport. They got scared when they learned I was a federal aviation inspector.

These are two different gigs. I am a writer. Period. They don’t need to know everything I do during my day job.

Also, if you mention your full-time job a new editor, they’ll get nervous that you can’t complete your assignment. They don’t need to know. You may write for them for months before the cat’s out of the bag.

Q: How do you avoid spending so much time meeting your family’s needs that you never write?

Meagan: When you’re starting out, you’re not making money, and your spouse may not see any benefit yet. It’s hard to get them on board and say, “I need you to handle the morning driving.”

But you have to treat your job like it’s non-negotiable. You might need to simplify your life temporarily. Once you have momentum, it’s easier to keep it going. Kids don’t stay babies forever, either.

When we have little ones we feel like we have to take them lots of places. But if I’m running around, I never have the focus I need. So there are just two days a week that we go out.

The time fairies won’t wave their wands and grant you eight hours. I’ve been waiting a long time, and it doesn’t happen.

The secret to success for work at home moms

Shannon and Meagan face different challenges, but both of them make writing a priority in spite of all the distractions. They’re proof that you don’t need endless uninterrupted hours to make it as a freelancer. You just need to take full advantage of the time you’ve got.

How do you balance freelancing with the rest of your life? Let’s discuss on Facebook and LinkedIn.

Maria Veres juggles freelancing, motherhood, and two side jobs in the Oklahoma City area. She contributes regular Q&A blog posts to Make A Living Writing.

The end of Free HuffPo: What to do? Grab this inspiring tip-filled free e-book: 6 Writers' True Stories of Breaking Out and Earning More!

The post Freelance Juggling Tips from Work at Home Moms appeared first on Make A Living Writing.

Freelance Juggling Tips from Work at Home Moms

Juggling Tips for Work at Home Moms. Makealivingwriting.comEver wonder how work at home moms balance freelance assignments, family life, a day job, and everything else?

If you’ve ever thought, “What’s the point? It’s just too hard,” you’re not alone. Trying to juggle diaper duty, day-job deadlines, grocery shopping, and freelance work can be a challenge.

But work at home moms tend to have a few things in common when it comes to carving out time to get freelance work done.

They’re scrappy. They know how to multi-task. They know how to network with other moms. And when push comes to shove, work at home moms can turn a 15-minute block of time into a productive work session.

Know any work at home moms like this you can model?

In a recent Freelance Writers Den podcast, we talked with two work at home moms who have built thriving writing careers in the middle of busy lives. Here’s how it’s done:

Lessons from two work at home moms

Freelance writers Shannon Salinsky and Meagan Francis both know what it’s like to be work at home moms.

  • Shannon Salinsky is a mom who’s building her writing career while working full time as an inspector for the Federal Aviation Administration.
  • Meagan Francis is the author of four books, a contributor to big-name publications like Salon and Good Housekeeping, the founder of the Life, Listened podcast network, and a mother of five.

They’ve figured out their own ways of doing things to make it all work, like:

  • Moving through mistakes and setbacks
  • Balancing work and parenting
  • How to keep writing when life gets crazy
  • Finding longer blocks of time to write

Want to get better at your own freelance juggling act? Find out how in this Q&A:

Q: What child care arrangements have you made, and how did you manage the costs?

Meagan: I’ve done different things. My brother and I switched off child care at one point.

There are lots of creative solutions. It doesn’t have to be day care. You can get a teenager to come in after school.

When I made just a few hundred dollars freelancing, child care ate up a good chunk of that. I always focus on earning more because that makes questions like, “How would I justify paying for child care?” moot.

Q: As a parent with a full-time job, how do you make time for freelancing?

Shannon: I pretty much juggle up. I do interviews on my lunch hour, and I write anytime I have a free moment.

We’ll take our daughter ice skating, and I’m sitting with my laptop writing furiously while they’re having daddy-baby time. Or for 15 minutes that she’s engrossed in a video at home, I’m frantically doing my writing and research.

When I have to get out of the house, I go to Starbucks and write.

Q: How did you write when you didn’t have child care?

Meagan: I did a lot of driving around until the little ones fell asleep. Then I sat outside a hot spot to have wi-fi in my car. I did all kinds of crazy juggling.

Once my kids were inside the car watching TV, and I’m doing an interview in the parking lot outside because it was the only time we could connect.

When you want something badly, you’ll go the distance to make it work. Either I made it as a writer or I had to go back to an office. I was willing to be scrappy.

Q: How do you handle constant demands for attention?

Meagan:Sometimes if I set the computer aside and give them my attention, it reboots the afternoon. They’re happy to play by themselves, and I don’t feel so conflicted.

My kids have gotten good at respecting my schedule. I’ll say, “Mommy has to work. After that, we’ll do something special. How can I get you set up so you’re happy for a while?”

Q: How do you keep from taking on too much freelance work?

Shannon: I haven’t learned that lesson yet! I don’t say no to anybody.

But I do stick with easy assignments. Most of my work is with one regional publication. It doesn’t require a ton of research or interviewing, and the deadlines are manageable. It’s a good comfort level for me as a new writer.

I’ve refused to get into blogging. I don’t have time. I get clips in other ways.

Q: How do you cope with afternoon interruptions when school-age kids come home?

Meagan: As freelancers we can’t emulate someone in an office who works until 5:00. I try to not work from the time they come home until dinner. I wouldn’t get anything done anyway.

Q: How do you handle sitting all day at work, then going home and sitting down to write?

Shannon: I recently got a treadmill desk. I’m three weeks into it and I probably walked 25 miles. I highly recommend it. You can type and walk much faster than you think.

Q: How do you get kids to understand you’re working and not playing online?

Meagan: My son actually told husband, “Mommy’s job is just emailing with her friends!” You have to educate them. Shutting my office door helps them realize, “Oh, this is work.”

I need to be on social media, so that can be confusing to them. You have to be clear that this is your work and they need to respect it. The more I hammer that point home, the more they get it.

Q: What’s the biggest mistake you’ve made as a freelancer?

Shannon: I gave too much information about my day job when I pitched a blogging gig at an airport. They got scared when they learned I was a federal aviation inspector.

These are two different gigs. I am a writer. Period. They don’t need to know everything I do during my day job.

Also, if you mention your full-time job a new editor, they’ll get nervous that you can’t complete your assignment. They don’t need to know. You may write for them for months before the cat’s out of the bag.

Q: How do you avoid spending so much time meeting your family’s needs that you never write?

Meagan: When you’re starting out, you’re not making money, and your spouse may not see any benefit yet. It’s hard to get them on board and say, “I need you to handle the morning driving.”

But you have to treat your job like it’s non-negotiable. You might need to simplify your life temporarily. Once you have momentum, it’s easier to keep it going. Kids don’t stay babies forever, either.

When we have little ones we feel like we have to take them lots of places. But if I’m running around, I never have the focus I need. So there are just two days a week that we go out.

The time fairies won’t wave their wands and grant you eight hours. I’ve been waiting a long time, and it doesn’t happen.

The secret to success for work at home moms

Shannon and Meagan face different challenges, but both of them make writing a priority in spite of all the distractions. They’re proof that you don’t need endless uninterrupted hours to make it as a freelancer. You just need to take full advantage of the time you’ve got.

How do you balance freelancing with the rest of your life? Let’s discuss on Facebook and LinkedIn.

Maria Veres juggles freelancing, motherhood, and two side jobs in the Oklahoma City area. She contributes regular Q&A blog posts to Make A Living Writing.

The end of Free HuffPo: What to do? Grab this inspiring tip-filled free e-book: 6 Writers' True Stories of Breaking Out and Earning More!

The post Freelance Juggling Tips from Work at Home Moms appeared first on Make A Living Writing.

Freelance Juggling Tips from Work at Home Moms

Juggling Tips for Work at Home Moms. Makealivingwriting.comEver wonder how work at home moms balance freelance assignments, family life, a day job, and everything else?

If you’ve ever thought, “What’s the point? It’s just too hard,” you’re not alone. Trying to juggle diaper duty, day-job deadlines, grocery shopping, and freelance work can be a challenge.

But work at home moms tend to have a few things in common when it comes to carving out time to get freelance work done.

They’re scrappy. They know how to multi-task. They know how to network with other moms. And when push comes to shove, work at home moms can turn a 15-minute block of time into a productive work session.

Know any work at home moms like this you can model?

In a recent Freelance Writers Den podcast, we talked with two work at home moms who have built thriving writing careers in the middle of busy lives. Here’s how it’s done:

Lessons from two work at home moms

Freelance writers Shannon Salinsky and Meagan Francis both know what it’s like to be work at home moms.

  • Shannon Salinsky is a mom who’s building her writing career while working full time as an inspector for the Federal Aviation Administration.
  • Meagan Francis is the author of four books, a contributor to big-name publications like Salon and Good Housekeeping, the founder of the Life, Listened podcast network, and a mother of five.

They’ve figured out their own ways of doing things to make it all work, like:

  • Moving through mistakes and setbacks
  • Balancing work and parenting
  • How to keep writing when life gets crazy
  • Finding longer blocks of time to write

Want to get better at your own freelance juggling act? Find out how in this Q&A:

Q: What child care arrangements have you made, and how did you manage the costs?

Meagan: I’ve done different things. My brother and I switched off child care at one point.

There are lots of creative solutions. It doesn’t have to be day care. You can get a teenager to come in after school.

When I made just a few hundred dollars freelancing, child care ate up a good chunk of that. I always focus on earning more because that makes questions like, “How would I justify paying for child care?” moot.

Q: As a parent with a full-time job, how do you make time for freelancing?

Shannon: I pretty much juggle up. I do interviews on my lunch hour, and I write anytime I have a free moment.

We’ll take our daughter ice skating, and I’m sitting with my laptop writing furiously while they’re having daddy-baby time. Or for 15 minutes that she’s engrossed in a video at home, I’m frantically doing my writing and research.

When I have to get out of the house, I go to Starbucks and write.

Q: How did you write when you didn’t have child care?

Meagan: I did a lot of driving around until the little ones fell asleep. Then I sat outside a hot spot to have wi-fi in my car. I did all kinds of crazy juggling.

Once my kids were inside the car watching TV, and I’m doing an interview in the parking lot outside because it was the only time we could connect.

When you want something badly, you’ll go the distance to make it work. Either I made it as a writer or I had to go back to an office. I was willing to be scrappy.

Q: How do you handle constant demands for attention?

Meagan:Sometimes if I set the computer aside and give them my attention, it reboots the afternoon. They’re happy to play by themselves, and I don’t feel so conflicted.

My kids have gotten good at respecting my schedule. I’ll say, “Mommy has to work. After that, we’ll do something special. How can I get you set up so you’re happy for a while?”

Q: How do you keep from taking on too much freelance work?

Shannon: I haven’t learned that lesson yet! I don’t say no to anybody.

But I do stick with easy assignments. Most of my work is with one regional publication. It doesn’t require a ton of research or interviewing, and the deadlines are manageable. It’s a good comfort level for me as a new writer.

I’ve refused to get into blogging. I don’t have time. I get clips in other ways.

Q: How do you cope with afternoon interruptions when school-age kids come home?

Meagan: As freelancers we can’t emulate someone in an office who works until 5:00. I try to not work from the time they come home until dinner. I wouldn’t get anything done anyway.

Q: How do you handle sitting all day at work, then going home and sitting down to write?

Shannon: I recently got a treadmill desk. I’m three weeks into it and I probably walked 25 miles. I highly recommend it. You can type and walk much faster than you think.

Q: How do you get kids to understand you’re working and not playing online?

Meagan: My son actually told husband, “Mommy’s job is just emailing with her friends!” You have to educate them. Shutting my office door helps them realize, “Oh, this is work.”

I need to be on social media, so that can be confusing to them. You have to be clear that this is your work and they need to respect it. The more I hammer that point home, the more they get it.

Q: What’s the biggest mistake you’ve made as a freelancer?

Shannon: I gave too much information about my day job when I pitched a blogging gig at an airport. They got scared when they learned I was a federal aviation inspector.

These are two different gigs. I am a writer. Period. They don’t need to know everything I do during my day job.

Also, if you mention your full-time job a new editor, they’ll get nervous that you can’t complete your assignment. They don’t need to know. You may write for them for months before the cat’s out of the bag.

Q: How do you avoid spending so much time meeting your family’s needs that you never write?

Meagan: When you’re starting out, you’re not making money, and your spouse may not see any benefit yet. It’s hard to get them on board and say, “I need you to handle the morning driving.”

But you have to treat your job like it’s non-negotiable. You might need to simplify your life temporarily. Once you have momentum, it’s easier to keep it going. Kids don’t stay babies forever, either.

When we have little ones we feel like we have to take them lots of places. But if I’m running around, I never have the focus I need. So there are just two days a week that we go out.

The time fairies won’t wave their wands and grant you eight hours. I’ve been waiting a long time, and it doesn’t happen.

The secret to success for work at home moms

Shannon and Meagan face different challenges, but both of them make writing a priority in spite of all the distractions. They’re proof that you don’t need endless uninterrupted hours to make it as a freelancer. You just need to take full advantage of the time you’ve got.

How do you balance freelancing with the rest of your life? Let’s discuss on Facebook and LinkedIn.

Maria Veres juggles freelancing, motherhood, and two side jobs in the Oklahoma City area. She contributes regular Q&A blog posts to Make A Living Writing.

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