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 wasn’t sure how close I could get to replacing my income, but I would be damned if I didn’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 — I can’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 didn’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 didn’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 wasn’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 I’m not going back to work. I’m going to give this a real try. And I have a plan.
The main focus of the plan is to diversify. I’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, I’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. I’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. I’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. I’d like to see this be about 50% of my income from a couple ongoing clients with some smaller clients to round it out.
Writing fiction has always been a passion of mine. I’ve been writing it since I was about 13 years old, when I penned my first romance. It was bad, I’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. I’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 you’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 I’ve published in the sweet romance category. They don’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
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 I’m interested in. And it is a great place to publish my erotic poetry and stories that are too short for Amazon.
I’m hoping that over time, if I’m consistent, I will see the income from Medium grow.
Plus, it’s just a fun place to be. :)
#4 Custom Erotic Stories
I’ve been writing these off and on for a long time — maybe 15 years? I’ve written about every fantasy you can imagine almost. I don’t get a huge amount of orders anymore but I figure if I start promoting it again, that will increase.
It’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:
- affiliate income
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 don’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 I’d be thrilled. That leaves me with a decent next egg for emergencies and I can start building it up again once I’m earning more.
I have never been good at this and I’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 — and yes, by Medium!
I’m trying to find a best way for me to be most productive. I haven’t found it yet but I have taken some steps to remove distractions. I’ve removed a lot of apps from my phone that just don’t hold much value for me. Mostly chat and dating apps. I’m not officially looking for anyone else to date so there is no reason to have them on my phone.
I’ve also been doing daily lists. Lists are everything to me. Seriously, without a list I have no idea how much of what I’ve planned to do I’ve actually done! I need that list! I keep it fairly detailed to (including self-care because without writing down “brush teeth” I will forget). I have been debating doing timelines again, as well. I have done these in the past. My problem is that I don’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 (it’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 I’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 — 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 there’s no shopping. There’s a bar and a small restaurant but I never go there. And there’s a post office (but I just have to go in to check my box and if there’s no parcels there I don’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 I’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.
But I’m also terrified. What if I can’t do it and I have to go begging for my job back? I know I’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.
There’s a lot of things I can handle failing at. This is not one of them though.