Whether you’re a natural Shakespeare or a merely passable writer the future of your career hangs on being a financially responsible writer. Aside from logging invoices and saving copies of work – regular goal-setting and simple math can keep you in business. Here’s a few quick fiscal tips to keep you writing instead of counting outstanding balances:
Respect Your Anticipated Minimum Cost
You’re not like other businesses. You’re a freelance writer. Nearly all your business expenses come from the same cost of keeping up your home: mortgage, internet bill, computer maintenance, etc. If you’re writing as an only source of income then don’t forget to include any student debt, credit card dues, even loan balances and interest.
Even if your debut in the industry is in its infancy; don’t let employers talk you into being paid less than the minimum required to keep your life moving forward. Don’t let beginner-mentality count your starting pay.
Some bloggers will direct new writers to low-ball their entry-price to get attention from clients. That strategy may be worth running if your goal is to get your first ratings and reviews, otherwise stick your original financial outline.
Adjust Your Profit Margin
Freelancing, like most things worth doing, comes with a healthy dose of risk. The most consistent pattern of the writers market is that it’s consistently changing. Everything from formatting, to sourcing, right down to which publisher’s in business is subject to change any day of the year. All of which, can have an effect on your income.
Proofing your income for change requires diversifying your clients, and over-shooting your goals. Keeping all your eggs in one client’s basket is never a smart move. Trickle income from multiple sources so you still have momentum if one goes south.
Keeping your lifestyle dry on the shores of chance require you to keep a safe distance from the tide. Set yourself up to make at least a few hundred dollars above the cost of your lifestyle on a perfect month. That margin will soften the impact when life inevitably bumps into the details of your work life.
Save Taxable Information
Needless to say, every one of those invoices belong in a dedicated folder. Receipts and statements for internet, computer maintenance, and software all turn into tax write-offs, which the self-employed are entitled to. Even travel expenses for research can return as good tax-karma.
These tips aren’t going to full-proof your career. Quality will always be king of the market. The better your writing the better your payout, and the easier it will be to manage your budget. Creatives belong in environments where hours can be poured into the originality and impact of their content. Getting there isn’t easy, and neither is the stress that comes with financial independence. Just keep calm and follow a smart plan so you can enjoy more time doing what you love.