Freelance Writer’s Vacation

I recently went on a nice vacation and I thought about my freelance writing work a lot. Below is my personal advice related to vacationing and freelance writing.

Do take a vacation. You will need more than a quick break after a while. You should take a minimum of a four day vacation from writing once or twice a year. If you are like me, you will find it difficult to let go of it all, and at least check your email while you are on holiday, but try not to write. You could just take a leave and stay home, but if you work from home, be sure to get out of the house for at least part of the time. You’ll come back really refreshed and ready to tackle your projects.

Plan ahead. There are two ways that you need to plan ahead. First, think of the money it will cost. Setting aside money for a vacation that is six months or a year in advance is a wise thing. It try to save money where I can on travel deals and set a limit to how much to spend on the trip. You may need to take on an extra assignment or two to cover expenses or to make up for the lost time. (Freelance writers don’t get a paid vacation, unfortunately.)

Second, you should consider the timing. My husband and I book vacation at least six months ahead. This gives me plenty of time to gauge my promotional efforts so that I don’t end up with too much new work right before we leave. As I get close to the vacation hour, I access my workload again and outsource whatever I know I won’t be able to complete in time. There is always the option of slowing down promotion and turning down work, but I have great writing assistants who can cover me.

Try to finish any incomplete projects before you go. Unless the deadline is well after your expected return, it is only courteous to make sure your projects are wrapped up before you leave town. I know that this is not always possible, but do your best. Never miss a deadline and then ignore the client while you relax in the sunshine for a week. Which brings me to another point…

Let your clients know you will be out of town. There is no need to make a huge announcement, or tell them where you are going, but don’t let them think you are working. An automatic vacation reply email message will suffice. Most clients will understand your need for down time. If you are in the middle of a project, communicate directly with the client and arrange the deadline so that it will not interfere with your extended break. (this is another part of planning ahead)

Freelance writers deserve a vacation, too. Take one, it’s worth it.

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3 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. […] Original post by Daily Freelance Writing Tips […]

  2. Vacations are very important for writers. I do take one or two long vacations a year, but I also take many short ones of the 2-3 day variety.

    And I always do the autoresponder for e-mail; rarely do I specifically contact editors. If I’m hiking out of phone range for days at a time, I’ll have my message machine announcement state that so clients (and friends and family) know they won’t hear from me for a while.

    • Short vacations are really great, too. I actually just had one of those as well. 🙂


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