Weekend Reading: Preparing for Emergencies and Other Freelance Woes

This weekly roundup post is coming a bit later than planned. First there was a work delay.

No biggie. I figured I'd post on Saturday evening instead. But minutes before I thought I could head to my office to put together a roundup on building an authority blog, I got it in my head that something might be wrong in our basement.

So I asked my husband to take a look. (Our basement creeps me the hell out.)

It was a good thing I did. It turns out something went wrong with our water heater. There was a crap-ton of water on the floor. (Crap-ton is a legitimate unit of measurement here. Really.)

It managed to go under the wall separating the machinery from the finished portion of the basement. And it got under some of the flooring, ruining about half of it.

We were up half the night calling the insurance company, working the shop vac, and then calling a restoration company the insurance folks recommended (trying to get someone here early on Superbowl Sunday).

They did come. They stopped the leak. So we could at least turn the cold water back on (meaning I can make coffee, which is all that really matters). And we'll have the new water heater installed in a couple of days, as soon as we're dug out from the big snow storm coming tonight.

Fun times.

I'm not telling you this because I want your sympathy. In the grand scheme of things this was no big deal. No one was hurt. Nothing stored in the basement was damaged. And one way or another, it'll soon be dealt with.

I'm sharing this because it's a good reminder that sometimes, things just happen. And many freelancers are less prepared than they should be for even minor emergencies like these. If something like this happened, could you deal with it right away? What if you became gravely ill or injured to the point where you couldn't work for a few months? Would you be able to get through it?

With those questions in mind, I'd like to share three articles that can help you prepare for unexpected challenges and freelance emergencies.


4 Steps to Prepare for the Instability of the Freelance Life

By Alexa Mason at TheWriteLife.com

Alexa offers a few tips that will help you through unexpected downtimes. I especially like her term "salary fund" and its emphasis on being able to pay yourself consistently even when work is slow.

Read the post.

How to Set Up Your Freelance Business for Emergencies

On the Envato Studio Blog

It's not uncommon to think about the financial side of emergencies. But when you work as a freelancer, there's much more to it than that. What if you can't contact your clients? What if you can't finish a project because you're in the hospital? As awful as it sounds, what happens to everyone and everything involved with your business if you die? This article covers the importance of having an emergency contact to help you sort things out, and what kinds of information you should leave for them.

Read the post.

Freelance Finances: The Math That Makes Freelancing Work

By Kevin D. Hendricks at iThemes.com. 

While you might already know that you should have some kind of savings when you freelance, this post gives a great broader breakdown of freelance finances. It shows you where things like emergency funds should fall within the larger financial picture.

Read the post.

Have you ever found yourself in a tight spot as a freelancer because of an emergency or unexpected dry spell? How did you handle the situation? And would you do anything different now?

Jenn Mattern is a professional blogger, freelance business writer, consultant, and indie author. She runs numerous websites & blogs including All Freelance Writing, Freelance Writing Pros, NakedPR, and Kiss My Biz.

Jenn has over 20 years' experience as a professional writer and editor and over 20 years' experience in marketing and PR (working heavily in digital PR, online marketing, social media, SEO, new media, and thought leadership publication). She also has 19 years' professional blogging and web publishing experience (including web development) and around 17 years of experience as an indie author / publisher.

Jenn also writes fiction under multiple pen names and is an Active member of the Horror Writers Association.

Subscribe to the All Freelance Writing newsletter to get freelance writing updates from Jenn in your inbox.

4 thoughts on “Weekend Reading: Preparing for Emergencies and Other Freelance Woes”

  1. I like to think that, being disabled, I am more prepared than most for the potential of ill-health interrupting my work. However, when it hits – or some other crisis – it always seems to be at the worst possible time. That means I’m not as prepared as I like to think I am!!

    A few months ago, I had two weeks without broadband at home. I had some planning time in advance, and wrote a post about how freelancers can cope with trying to work while offline. There may be some relevant tips for your readers in a similar situation: http://www.philippawrites.co.uk/freelancing-offline-can-work-without-web/

    • There are some great tips in there! 🙂

      Thankfully our internet service in general has been reliable. But when we lose power every now and then we use our mobile connections. So far so good. But having to rely on that entirely would be tough given the sheer amount of data transfer we’d need (mostly due to hubby’s development business). Unfortunately we’re in a pretty rural area where there aren’t many, if any, public hot spots. But it’s another important consideration for sure. I’m glad you were given some notice at least. Two weeks would be brutal.

  2. Love this roundup! These are definitely things I worry about, and having a complete emergency plan in place would relieve a lot of those worries. One of my major goals for this year is setting up a salary fund like Alexa suggests in your first link.

    • That sounds like a great idea KeriLynn.

      Another great resource that can help with some of this (and which I didn’t think to include in the post) is The Money Book for Freelancers, Part-Timers, and the Self-Employed by Joseph D’Agnese and Denise Kiernan. I’ll include the Amazon link below for anyone interested. But basically, it’s all about dealing with money when you don’t have a steady salary. And it touches on issues like emergency funds and paying yourself. Great resource.



Leave a Comment