Setting Your Prices and Deciding Which Applies

From my last post on Payment Policies, Anne Wayman gleaned that there are basically four ways for writers to charge: per hour, per word, per page, or per project. Pricing methods might differ, but the price should equal about to about the same.  In other words, your hourly, per word, per page, or per project rate are just different ways of saying the same thing.

Writing When You Just Can’t Write Anymore

The wall. The block. It exists for all of us, and in my tired brain it seems to be hitting harder than it used to. Normally I don’t run out of things to say when I hit writer’s block – I run out of energy to say them. How can I get fired up to write something amusing or brilliant when I’d much rather be

Do You Have a Standard Payment Policy?

Having a standard payment policy not only makes you appear more professional, it also makes it easier to manage your business and get paid. With a documented payment policy, you don’t have to come up with payment terms each time you do a project nor do you have to rely on your client’s payment terms. I considered my own payment policy and looked at a

Freelancing Makes You…Cocky?

Those of us who have found success working in freelance writing or freelance anything are bound to have at least a little bit of arrogance. After all, we’re the ones who’ve figured out how to make the system work for us. We’re not cogs in a giant machine anymore – or if we are, it’s by choice. We’re successful business owners. Ah, independence. Declaring Arrogance

Using Your Freelance Earnings to Earn More

Being a writer is one thing, having a writing business is another. Read any business book, magazine, or blog and you’ll quickly figure out that growing your business means reinvesting your business profits. Big businesses do it all the time and they even have a fancy finance term for it – retained earnings. Growing your business isn’t the only good reason to reinvest your freelance

Essential Ingredients of a Work-at-Home Parent

I ran out of patience the other day and I should have run across to the neighbor to borrow some more. After all, this working mom doesn’t rise to perfection without a liberal dash of patience. I must treat my children with patience. I must wait days or weeks patiently  for a free hour to watch my favorite show. I must patiently wait on clients

What You Can Do Today To Secure Your Future

Here’s a lesson I’ve been trying to teach my almost-four-year-old: you have to plan for tomorrow today. Of course, I keep it age-appropriate for her, especially since the concept of today and tomorrow are still kind of vague. You know, if you eat all the goldfish today you won’t have any to eat tomorrow. Let’s lay out your clothes tonight so they’ll be ready tomorrow.

The Complete Freelancing Mom Office (Finally!)

As we discussed in the comments of another recent post, every freelancer has a different ideal office situation. Usually we just have to make do with something less than desirable for a time, especially if we’re trying to play mom while also enjoying a home career. Personally, I’ve had a long-time dream of a cozy library style office, but it didn’t seem to be coming

Don't Skimp on the Things That Count

Over the years, I’ve become increasingly more frugal and more DIYish. I blame self-employment for enabling me to figure out just how much I can do on my own. I never buy frozen dinners because, besides the health factors, I can make the same meal for less money. I have decent sewing skills and I’m always passing up clothes because I think I can make

Stand Up for Your Rates

To make a good living from writing, you must (must MUST) charge a rate that you can live on. Years ago, when I first started freelance writing, I routinely accepted jobs for just one or two cents per word. I had a full-time job that paid handsomely, I was just happy to be paid to write, and I didn’t know better. Now, I wouldn’t dream

Building the Perfect Freelance Office

The environment I’m in influences the quality of my work, or at the very least how I feel about the work. For example, I can’t write in bed. I can’t sit with a laptop in bed and expect to create great things. I’d rather just sleep so long as I’m there. I need a real office space where I feel empowered and professional in order

The "Live on the Rest" Budgeting System

For many self-employed workers, taxes and savings are the two hardest expenses to keep up with. I think it’s because there’s no immediate benefit or consequence to either of them. A lot of people mentally plan their budgets based on a certain dollar amount that often hasn’t been adjusted for taxes or savings. So you might end up spending all your money and not having

So, You’re a Working Mom?

There was an interesting comment in a recent article of mine that made me think. Another mom-who-happens-to-work-at-home mentioned that she “just can’t call herself a WAHM.” It made me smile for a couple of reasons. One – I smiled because I suspect I know exactly why that particular title makes her uncomfortable. And – Two –  because I use that particular term on purpose here

The Financial Side of Becoming a Freelance Writer

Did you start 2012 with the goal of becoming a full-time freelance writer? For many people, the writing part of a writing business is the easy part. The business part – making a living and following the necessary tax rules – is harder. Income & Taxes To be a successful freelance writer, you need to make enough money to pay your taxes, save money, and

New Business, New You

I’m not sure how much of a mother’s personality comes from her career, her children, her life perspective or her own personality traits that have been recessed since everything else came along. I have plenty of friends who don’t have a career inside or outside of the home. I have ample friends who are highly educated professionals in their fields as they work for “the

Making Plans for Next Year

It’s the end of another year and that means it’s time to make financial plans and goals for next year. Most of the financial advice you’ll read this time of year revolves around getting your taxes together. But, there’s more for freelancers to think about. Reflect on what you’ve done well and not so well this year, and decide what you’ll do differently next year.

Is Your Writing Business a Sinking Ship?

Whenever I think about sinking ships, I think of the movie Titanic and how so many people stayed onboard the boat and denying its – and their – fate. Don’t ignore the signs that your writing business is sinking. You don’t have to call it quits, but you do need to make changes to ensure your business keeps going. Has your monthly income been declining

Go Ahead, Take the Day Off!

Happy Holidays to everyone out there (who celebrates the American Thanksgiving)! I sincerely hope that you’re not working right now. Hopefully you’re stuffed to the gills (as we say in the South) with plenty of delicious food items and maybe a few glasses of wine. I’m sure you’re reading this as a way to end your Thanksgiving day, because you’re surely not reading in anticipation

Considering a Business Checking Account

It’s a good idea to keep your business finances separate from your personal finances and you might do this by opening a business checking account. Having a separate account makes it easier to track your tax-deductible expenses and helps you manage your money better. But, business checking accounts are a little more complex than personal checking accounts. For some of us, they’re not the best

Working with Kids: Boosting Productivity

I’m split at times about how kids affect my working life. In many – okay most – cases I feel very limited by having kids underfoot or in the house when I’m working. But other times I wonder if I’d be as effective as I am if my children didn’t already have me so well trained. It takes a lot of dedication and discipline to

The IRS Demands to See Your Paypal Transactions

Some who use Paypal to receive freelance writing payments may have noticed them asking for your Tax ID number. That’s so they can meet the new the IRS rule that requires third party payment processors to send IRS notification if you receive more than $20,000 in gross payments and exceed 200 payments for goods or services in a calendar years. This goes for part-time and

Freelance Lessons Learned the Hard Way

I am so very not perfect. I would never claim to be the best writer around, the best mother around or the best teacher around. I do like to think I work hard at all of my various life choices, and I have some nice successes to show for that work. But even if you’re an amazingly awesome writer coming into this career or you’re

Should You Hire An Accountant?

Having an accountant isn’t a requirement for running a successful freelance writing business. In fact, you can save money by doing your own accounting. But, there are certain situations where hiring an accountant makes more sense than doing it yourself. You’re too busy to focus on bookkeeping and other financial tasks. As your freelance business grows or your life outside of work changes, you may

If You Worked for Free…

If I were going to list some favorite movies, Princess Bride would be near the top. Forrest Gump would be up there, too. But the movie that really defined where I am now is Office Space. I spent my time in a cubicle with a boss who would peek in over our heads to see what we were up to. I even had a consultant

Biggest Lessons of My Freelance Career

I can’t believe I’ve been freelance writing full-time for three years now. When I first started writing for pay (a few years before I went full-time), I was only getting a penny per word (and sometimes less!). I never thought I could command the rates I’m being paid today, much less leave my full-time job for a dream career in writing. Things have changed dramatically

I’m No Longer a Rock Star Writing Mom

For years I’ve been a total rock star. But I’m retiring as I approach the ripe old age of thirty-two – how very rock star of me. I’m still writing – don’t get me wrong – I’m just not going to be working toward superstar status any more. Some of the most interesting advice I ever had was from a professor in my library program.

Finance Fail: Increased Income, Increased Spending

I realized something kind of depressing today. I’m spending 30% more now than two years ago and the extra 30% isn’t being spent on new shoes. I was reviewing my budget earlier and it occurred to me that it’s taking a lot more money to pay for living expenses than it used to. I’m going over the numbers thinking there should be more leftover, but there’s

Tips to Manage Those Large, Periodic Expenses

Some expenses only happen a few times every year: car maintenance, certain insurance premiums, birthdays, holidays, etc. Because these expenses happen so infrequently, it’s hard to budget for them. You may not be able to add a budget line item in your January budget for $600 car maintenance or in July for the $2,000 property tax. You have to prepare for large, one-time expenses, preferably

The Two-Hour Career: Making WAHM Work

Every now and again I think about what it must be like to have all day to work on the writing career. How much more could I do in a day? How much more could I make? If only I’d started all of this writing before kids! But here I am, just like so many of you, a freelance mom working from home. I’ve done

What's Your Backup Plan?

“What am I going to do if this doesn’t work?” The first few months of freelancing full-time, that question was always in the back of my mind. I wondered what would happen if I couldn’t make it as a freelance writer. Looking back, I can’t believe I ever doubted, but even if I had to do it all over again, I’d still keep a backup