I knew when I was laid off from my hospitality job that I was going to make every minute count. I knew that my goal was to not have to go back. I wasnโ€™t sure how close I could get to replacing my income, but I would be damned if I didnโ€™t take full advantage of being at home all the time to get my writing career back on track.

Seven years ago, I was working at home full time as a freelance writer (I had to correct that from five to seven โ€” I canโ€™t believe it has been that long!). In 2013 I had a few hiccups in my career. I had two large clients. And I lost them both. One contract simply ended and didnโ€™t get renew because they decided to go in another direction. The other decided to take all their social media and blogging efforts in house and I didnโ€™t want to move back to the city.

I did try to keep my business afloat. I tried really hard. But at that time, it just wasnโ€™t meant to be. So, I ended up going back to work. And once that happened, I had less time to work on my business and even keeping up to the few clients I had left was hard. I gradually eased off and was left with one client.

Over the years, I have done some fiction writing and have found that I prefer that over anything else.

Covid-19 has given me time to work on my writing again though and Iโ€™m not going back to work. Iโ€™m going to give this a real try. And I have a plan.

The Plan

The main focus of the plan is to diversify. Iโ€™m not going to rely on just one thing to earn money. My biggest problem in the past was that I relied mainly on two clients and a handful of smaller ones to bring in the vast majority of my income. Losing those clients really ended it for me. And I was relying purely on freelance writing income.

This time, Iโ€™m building a business that will have several sources of income

#1 Freelance Writing

I work in mainstream and adult niches so I will be applying and taking on freelance writing jobs. Iโ€™m trying to go for higher paying jobs than I have in the past so that I do not have to spend a large amount of time working for other people. Iโ€™ve currently got a fairly large project on my plate that will keep be busy for about a month or so but I can take longer to do it if I need to. That gives me the option to take on other work, as well.

I need to constantly be applying for gigs and making pitches in order to bring enough income in from this source. Iโ€™d like to see this be about 50% of my income from a couple ongoing clients with some smaller clients to round it out.

#2 Fiction

Writing fiction has always been a passion of mine. Iโ€™ve been writing it since I was about 13 years old, when I penned my first romance. It was bad, Iโ€™m sure. I wish I still had it though. It would be interesting to see where I started!

I have one main genre and several secondary genres that I will write in. The main genre seems to be doing the best so the majority of my work will be there. Iโ€™ll be working to promote that pen name the most and write new stories. In fact, I am pretty sure that my first novel length story will come out in that genre.

The link in my bio goes to the site where I have all of my pen names, so if youโ€™re curious to see what I write you can check it out.

I also have a mainstream pen name and a couple of novellas that Iโ€™ve published in the sweet romance category. They donโ€™t do very well. Haha. But it is something that I can show people locally when they ask what I write. The ebooks sell like crap but I printed out paperback copies of them and local people seem to like them

#3 Medium

I genuinely like writing here. Although it is not a huge source of income for me it is a place where I can write on topics that Iโ€™m interested in. And it is a great place to publish my erotic poetry and stories that are too short for Amazon.

Iโ€™m hoping that over time, if Iโ€™m consistent, I will see the income from Medium grow.

Plus, itโ€™s just a fun place to be. :)

#4 Custom Erotic Stories

Iโ€™ve been writing these off and on for a long time โ€” maybe 15 years? Iโ€™ve written about every fantasy you can imagine almost. I donโ€™t get a huge amount of orders anymore but I figure if I start promoting it again, that will increase.

Itโ€™s a nice side income because it exercises my creativeness.

#5 Other Sources

There are a few other things I want to experiment with including:

  • Patreon
  • affiliate income
  • courses

The Challenges

#1 Money

I have savings so I have some time to reach the point where I can be completely reliant on my earned income to support me. But I donโ€™t want to have to use too much of it. If I could use $5000 or less of my savings and be completely self-sustaining from writing income within 6 months Iโ€™d be thrilled. That leaves me with a decent next egg for emergencies and I can start building it up again once Iโ€™m earning more.

#2 Organization/Time

I have never been good at this and Iโ€™m still struggling with it. I tend to have a very low attention span and unless I am completely absorbed and obsessive about a project, I have a tendency to procrastinate and to get easily distracted by things like social media โ€” and yes, by Medium!

Iโ€™m trying to find a best way for me to be most productive. I havenโ€™t found it yet but I have taken some steps to remove distractions. Iโ€™ve removed a lot of apps from my phone that just donโ€™t hold much value for me. Mostly chat and dating apps. Iโ€™m not officially looking for anyone else to date so there is no reason to have them on my phone.

Iโ€™ve also been doing daily lists. Lists are everything to me. Seriously, without a list I have no idea how much of what Iโ€™ve planned to do Iโ€™ve actually done! I need that list! I keep it fairly detailed to (including self-care because without writing down โ€œbrush teethโ€ I will forget). I have been debating doing timelines again, as well. I have done these in the past. My problem is that I donโ€™t stick to my timelines. But it does help as a guide. And it reminds me when I am supposed to get off the computer and get on my Alphasmart (itโ€™s a portable word processor that saves your work that you later upload to your computer for editing) and ignore the rest of the world to write fiction!

But I do really need to work on this. I think this will be a struggle for me for most of my life. Although I have never been diagnosed, I follow the advice of successful people with ADHD because their experiences resonate with me.

#3 Not Becoming a Hermit

You might think Iโ€™m joking but this is a real concern. I live in a small town that is about 10 miles from a bigger small town. But the town I live in is so small that I could go days without seeing anyone โ€” even when I do manage to remember to leave the house to get the mail or walk the dog. There are about 300 people in the town and thereโ€™s no shopping. Thereโ€™s a bar and a small restaurant but I never go there. And thereโ€™s a post office (but I just have to go in to check my box and if thereโ€™s no parcels there I donโ€™t have to go into the main part to see the post master).

Now that I am used to not seeing people all the time again, I am a little worried that Iโ€™ll fall back into the routine of staying home all the time and not going out. I am going to try to make plans twice a week to go into town (the bigger small town) to do errands and see at least a couple people. I need to check on my mom and I have a couple friends (ok, one) that I will make sure to see.

Iโ€™m excited.

But Iโ€™m also terrified. What if I canโ€™t do it and I have to go begging for my job back? I know Iโ€™ll likely get it back if I want it. But damn, the idea of being a waitress until I can retire scares the shit out of me. Going back means I failed.

Thereโ€™s a lot of things I can handle failing at. This is not one of them though.

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