Thursday, December 3, 2009

Freelance Writers Don't Get "Sick Days"

Well, the Thanksgiving holiday came and passed...and I am officially exhausted!

Don't get me wrong - I had a wonderful time with my family and's just that there was a lot of catch-up work to do once it was over. On top of that, my children have caught yet another virus, and have been running fevers and throwing up. And of course, they didn't both get sick at the same time - first, my son started complaining that he didn't feel well a few days ago, and then my daughter's just really kicked in last night. So I have a feeling that this is going to get dragged out for the rest of the week. This has definitely been a crazy flu season around here for us...the worst yet, in fact. Hopefully, we'll be done with all this sickness soon!

In short, my computer time has been quite limited as I've had plenty of laundry to wash (due to non-stop vomiting by people that are too small to understand the concept of leaning over a toilet), soup to make, and sad, uncomfortable little munchkins to tend to. These are the times when freelancing can be tough because I don't have the option of a "sick day" from work. I have deadlines, and clients who are relying on me to meet those deadlines.

Another downside of not having "sick time" as a freelancer is the fact that during weeks like this when both of my munchkins are sick, I spend most of my time taking care of them, and any spare time after that is used to complete assignments...which leaves little or no time to spend on marketing (finding new markets for my work, sending out LOI's, writing queries, networking, etc.). And when I don't spend time marketing, I don't have as much work coming in, which will definitely be reflected in my earnings in the months to come.

Although I have to say that despite these disadvantages of freelancing, I wouldn't give it up for anything. In my opinion, the benefits far outweigh the few downsides of this business. The simple fact that I get to spend my days at home with my kids is enough to convince me that this is the life for me.

I would love to hear how you manage to get your work done when you have sick kids at home. Do you just do the bare minimum of meeting deadlines as I do or are you able to squeeze some marketing in, too?

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