Freelance Writers: Making Time for Fiction Writing

Evelyn Lafont
Evelyn Lafont

All hail and well-met fellow freelancers (that has to be the dorkiest opening line ever written on any guest post, ever)! I’m here to talk to you today about transitioning from a nonfiction freelance writing career to an awesome career as a fiction novelist, filled with days of dreaming about fire breathing dragons, sparkly vampires, dead sexy demons and historical sinful shenanigans.

Huh? What’s that? What do I know about transitioning from freelancing to fiction?

Uh, okay, so I’ve not been successful at it yet—but hey, give me time. I’m only on my first novella here, folks.

Alright, so instead of acting like an expert about something I’ve yet to do myself, let me talk about something I do know how to do—how to fit fiction writing, marketing and branding into a freelance schedule.

3-Steps To Fictionizing Your Day

As a freelancer, not only are you uniquely suited to the life of a fiction writer, but you also have the ideal schedule flexibility to be one. Consider all those people who work regular jobs; from 8AM until 5PM they are stuck in their cube, with a boss looking over their shoulder. If they want to write, they must fit it in covertly between bouts of actual work, or sneak around at lunch to get a couple of thousand words in. They can also fit writing in during the morning hours while getting ready for work and in the evenings while cooking dinner, doing laundry and sweeping…or whateverthehell responsible adults do at night.

Vampire Relationship Guide: Meeting & Mating
Vampire Relationship Guide: Meeting & Mating

As a freelancer, you have this beat. All you have to do is devote yourself to the act of writing. I’m not big on restrictive schedules, so I’m not going to tell you that you have to work from 5AM to 12PM on freelancing then you can write fiction from 12PM until 2PM. I mean, if that kind of thing works for you then great, have at it. Me? I’m a bit more haphazard about how and when I do things.

  1. Set deadlines on certain days only. I like to set deadlines on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays only. That leaves me four days a week to work on outlining client pieces and brainstorming without stress. I can also use any of those four days to write fiction, since I’m not all stressed out with due dates.
  2. Write when you want to…and when you don’t. While I don’t force myself to write fiction on the days that I have deadlines, I do force myself to write on the days that I don’t. It’s way too easy to create the dream of being a fiction writer, and assure ourselves that we are ‘working it out in our head’ before we actually put finger to keyboard. Make yourself write fiction or you are not a fiction writer—you are a dreamer.
  3. Market every single day. Whether you’re taking the same route I am and self-publishing your fiction or you are going with a traditional publisher, you need to market yourself in order to gain readers. I’m a big believer in separating your fiction persona from your freelance persona. You may disagree, and you are certainly welcome to, but I don’t think the twain should meet. I think you should have separate blogs, Twitter and Facebook accounts for freelancing and fiction marketing. After all, you have two completely different target markets for your novel and for your freelance work. Why try to hit both of them up with the same account?

I truly believe that if you really want something, and have the courage to try to achieve it, you will find a way to make it happen. Hopefully, some of these tips will help, but at the end of the day you really just need to pony up to your keyboard—and write.

Profile image for Evelyn Lafont
Evelyn Lafont is an indie author and freelance writer. Her debut novella, The Vampire Relationship Guide, Volume 1: Meeting and Mating will be available on Amazon and Smashwords March 31st. You can read the first chapterhere and see the book description on Goodreads.

1 thought on “Freelance Writers: Making Time for Fiction Writing”

  1. I have many ideas for fiction and YA stories. I’ve also loved storytelling and love spinning ideas. The only problem is, which one do I write first? I’ll need to meditate on it.


Leave a Comment