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Old 03-12-2015, 04:19 AM
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Question Not even started and Overwhelmed with burnout

After a series of career setbacks in my 20s, I finally decided to freelance full-time for a steady income. I planned to work 8-5 (1 hour lunch), writing 8 articles a day. At present, 500 words take me an hour and I'm sure to speed up in a couple of months.

But writing 8 back to back articles seems so overwhelming that I can't even start. I think, even with my best speed of 500W/half hour, there's no way I can write 8 articles every day. And given the rates in my location, anything less than 8 articles would never pay my bills.

I could really appreciate your advice here. I'm in a tough spot as I have been sitting on 5 articles for 3 days and the deadline is tomorrow!
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Old 03-12-2015, 05:52 AM
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Hello,
I know this may not help your current situation, but you need to look for higher paying gigs. This way you don't have to try to write 8 articles per day. There are various websites that post jobs for freelance writers daily. Do some research and apply to some of those jobs so that you can still do what you love without being overwhelmed. I hope this helps.

EGI
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Old 03-12-2015, 05:59 AM
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Yeah... writing isn't something that's easy to just "sit down and do." Not every day, anyway. If you have bills to pay, though, then there's your motivation right there. You have to find a balance between sucking it up and getting it done vs. not driving yourself insane.

I do agree that looking for higher-paying gigs, as well as work that you find more interesting, might be the way to go. I try to diversify what I'm writing about and the style of writing I'm doing so I don't get terribly bored... You could also try working from different places (library? coffee shop? park? beach?) or changing up your hours. Sometimes I will get up really early and get some work done so that by 9:00, I have a big jump on my day and I can look forward to doing something fun after lunch instead of working. Or whatever.

Good luck! It takes a while to get into a groove, but it will get easier.
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Old 03-12-2015, 11:14 AM
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I agree with the others. Writing at that rate can burn you out.

There are also lots of other ways to make money from home. The telecommuting section of the forum for example has many work at home postings in other areas such as customer service.

Maybe you can try a mix of different money making activities so you don't have to write all the time?
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Old 03-12-2015, 11:47 AM
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I used to write articles for Yahoo, and a very good day was three posts accepted. Doing 8 per day with any level of quality just isn't really realistic for most people.

Instead of feeling overwhelmed, would it be possible to simply create a queue and tackle one at a time. As you write more, I'm not sure you'll get a lot faster, but if you write with some of the major sites, you'll likely be eligible to charge more for your work.

I think the real benefit of freelancing working is the flexibility of working in between other less flexible work. If you're looking for something you can dedicate 8 hours per day with a set schedule, I second the idea of looking for some telecommuting jobs.

Just my two cents...
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Old 03-12-2015, 01:38 PM
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I've been freelancing full-time for 5 years and I rarely write 8 articles per day, nor do I regularly work 8 hours. I would definitely get burned out at that rate, so you're not alone! I learned that I needed clients who paid well enough that I could work for 3-4 hours per day, usually writing 2 to 3 articles, maybe with some social media updates or other easier work thrown in.
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Old 03-13-2015, 06:02 AM
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I think it's also easier to write about things you enjoy and thus know. For instance, if I'm not writing for TB I only write about 5 things: education, pets/animals, spirituality, health, and frugal living. These are things that I can draw from my own knowledge base on plus I also know what sites to turn to for information without having to search all over the Internet for what I need.
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Old 03-13-2015, 10:55 AM
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1. Higher paying gigs are a nice, but that won't stop the burn out.

2. A schedule is nice, but if you make it your slave driver, you WILL burn out. I am a big advocate of schedules (particularly to those new to the writing industry), but you have to know what you should be doing during those times.

3. I'm presuming that you are writing for content mills since you want to do eight articles in a row. You need some variety if you want to avoid burn out. Also, get private clients. The pay is way better (trust me).

I try to start my freelance day (this is all I do) every day by 9 am...but life happens. I have editing, writing in different forms (from blogging content for others to link building), and then the actual business activities that it takes to run a business. I also take liberal breaks. This morning I worked on editing for two hours. Then, I took a break. I planned on starting the link building by now, but my five year old son (special needs) isn't having it. So, I'll do it a little later when he's with his birth mother. It can make for some long days, but it is totally doable.
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Old 03-13-2015, 10:58 AM
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Oh, and for the record I probably work a total of 20 or 25 hours per week (sometimes way more and sometimes less, but that's my current average). I make a hefty chunk of change. It's full time because of the actual business related tasks that must be done or in the fact that I am always thinking about work projects.
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Old 03-13-2015, 02:04 PM
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Burnout is way too common for freelancers, even those with private clients, if those clients are the picky, demanding type. I think it just takes time to settle into a good routine and find the balance of high paying gigs that don't sap you mentally every day that you work them.

I am among the many who fell into the trap of sticking with the content mills for way too long. I got to the point where I couldn't face even grabbing one article, because I was just too frustrated with the same keywords, strict revision standards, and overall effort I was putting in for not nearly enough money.

I tried to do the opposite, and work *just* for myself, ignoring the fact that there are some great private clients out there, if you take the time to look and apply, every day. I basically floundered working solely on my own stuff, because I felt so bad about not earning money to pay the bills.

I recommend aiming higher, looking for clients outside the spectrum of the mills, and maybe writing for yourself at the same time. If you are consistently putting out decent content for an article mill, you can do that for a private client, so maybe approach some businesses whose blogs might be something you could easily contribute to, and see if they'll hire you to write content for them.

Hang in there, because working online for yourself is not easy, but it gets less tedious once you find your "pace".
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