Freelance Writer’s Sick Days

Freelance writers get sick, too. One of the downsides to working from home as a freelance writer is that you don’t get the benefit of paid sick days. Either you finish the work or you don’t get paid. Granted, most clients will understand if you let them know that you are sick. If they can wait an extra few days to get things done, it’s not a problem.

I have definitely worked through sickness before and it is not fun at all. Everything  gets done, only in slow motion; typing every word is almost painful; thinking becomes a strenuous task.

How can a freelance writer get sick time?

First of all, make sure that you have a cushion of funds in case your payment is delayed. Plan ahead, unless of course you are immune to everything or you are always swimming in money.

Alert your client(s) if you think there is a possibility that your work will be late. Even if you think you will make it on time, let them know that you aren’t feeling well. I like to make sure that they know I am trying my best to meet the agreed deadline. If their needs are urgent, they will express appreciation for meeting their needs.

If the client can wait, they will tell you to take care of yourself. This approach is better than waiting until the last minute and telling the client, “Sorry I’m late with this assignment. I was sick.”

Your other option is to outsource the remainder of the project. This may not always work, and I only recommend doing this if the client needs the work on time and is not flexible. Otherwise, make sure that you edit so that the voice is unified and the language is cohesive and consistent.

It is important to be careful with any work that you do when you are not feeling your best. I know for a fact that I make numerous typographical errors when I am sleepy or under the weather. Double check to make sure your work is clean or, better yet, have an editor look at it. It is better to be safe than sorry.

My final piece of advice is to take good care of your health. Do what you can to prevent sickness. If you do get sick, make it a priority to get better. At the same time, don’t let your service fall behind too much.

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3 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I’ve been fortunate that I rarely get sick. However, when unexpected things arise I always tell my clients as soon as possible that there could be a delay.

    One way to minimize the possibility of missing deadlines is to finish work early.

    • Excellent point, John. Doing things ahead of schedule is one way to be prepared for those unexpected delays.

  2. […] more than thinking and typing. It is important to take care of your health so that you can avoid sick days. As I discussed yesterday, being sick can take you away from your work at the most inconvenient of […]


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