December 3, 2014

Balancing Your Schedule: How Busy Is Too Busy?

In the world of freelancing, one of the often-cited cardinal rules is “Never turn down a job.” This mind-set is a necessity for some writers; jobs can be few and far between, but bills and your mortgage are not. Staying busy and taking on projects seem like surefire ways to make a freelance career work. But quantity does not always mean quality.

Let’s start with ghostwriting projects. How many should you have going at one time? Most writers prefer to work on only one or two; this helps them focus on the book at hand and not spread themselves too thin. Sticking to one or two projects means you can devote the appropriate amount of time to your manuscripts without having to pull all-nighters. Furthermore, being selective about your work means you can pick the projects that interest you instead of saying yes to every subpar proposal that comes your way.

Clients also like to be the center of your writing universe during a project and often feel more at ease when they know you aren’t too busy to meet their needs. Some potential clients will also wait until you are available if they know you are good and come well recommended. The best way to ensure you’re on the good side of word of mouth? Do excellent work that isn’t rushed or cheapened by a too-packed schedule.

Of course, some writers can juggle three, four, or even five books at a time. Each project is different and will require a certain amount of time and effort. If you already have two books on your plate and are approached by another potential client, be sure your schedule can support the added work. How soon would you need to have a manuscript ready? How much will the author be doing or providing? Biting off more than you can chew may mean you don’t have the time to do your best.

Now, if you have one ghostwriting project in the works, that doesn’t mean you can’t do anything else. Many ghostwriters also work as freelance copyeditors or proofreaders or serve in other writing or editorial roles. For anyone, the key to loving what you do and never being bored is diversity. Having a few small side projects can help you gain new clients, earn some extra cash, and stay sane during the (sometimes tedious) ghostwriting process.

Each writer will have a different threshold for how much is too much, but maintaining a full schedule will help maximize your career. Find your own balance of ghostwriting and other projects by trial and error. Start slow and add projects as you become more comfortable and confident in your ability to plan your time and work.

Contact the Jenkins Group and tell us about your project.

1 comment:

  1. Very nice blog post! Very informative and interesting. Thanks a lot. Have you ever worked for resources like this one What do you think about it? Are they reliable? I want to start ghostwriting at writing service just to try my hand at it. Is it bad idea?