Monday, October 03, 2011

Giveaway - Full-Time Income in Part-Time Hours

Gretchen Roberts has been freelance writing for eight years. She writes about wine, food, home, and gardens for national consumer magazines and websites like Better Homes & Gardens, Real Simple, Woman's Day, health, Cooking Light, MyRecipes.com, HGTV.com and more. She also does marketing development and copywriting for national companies including Rich Products, Kroger, Lowe's and Costco. And she only works 15-20 hours per week as a writer . . . with three kids in tow!

At her other site, WritePartTime, she professes that a person can write part-time and earn $30,000 to $80,000 a year. And she's living proof it can be done. In 2008, she made $70,000. In 2009, $60,000. In 2010 she went through a "vicious pregnancy" and still earned $40,000. Wow. Especially when you consider that 27 percent of those responding to a writing survey conducted by Kelly James-Enger professed to earning less than $20,000 in 2010.

In her e-book Full-Time Income in Part-Time Hours, she talks about three main concerns if you want to be a writer earning a decent income - time management, money management, and client management.

Time Management - Specializing is key. So is maximizing your up time per your biological clock, then every little piece of in-between moments you can snatch. Finally, don't over-commit, unless you want to work full-time, and then don't over-commit to where you are working overtime. In other words, plan.

Money Management - Say no to low-paying gigs. Where have you heard that before? Also, the shorter pieces result in less income per hour spent writing it. You almost do the same research as you would for a feature. And avoid reprints. Too little income for the work chasing the markets. Set income and production goals. Again, plan.


Client Management - Develop anchor clients. Ditch the iffy clients who aren't reliable. Be a perfectionist in your work. Specialize (again) but diversify to a certain degree, especially when it comes to media to write for. Again, plan.

I've made it sound easy. Gretchen goes into more detail about how it's so possible to earn a living freelancing. She answers questions you might ask in another section and covers examples from other writers in another called Tales from the Trenches. This last one is a goldmine section, friends.

I like this lady. She's genuine. Full-time Income in Part-time Hours is a nice addition to your resource list of e-books. . . unless you just write for the fun of it and have decided it isn't about the money.
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Giveaway Time!  Kate Staron is the lucky winner of Full-time Income in Part-time Hours.

This is getting to be a regular Monday morning event! Leave a comment about why you'd love to write part-time and make a decent living, and you'll be in the drawing for a free copy of Gretchen Roberts' Full-time Income in Part-time HoursDeadline Thursday, October 6 at 5:00 PM. Winner announced in Friday's blog!

46 comments:

gargimehra said...

Sounds very interesting. I'd love to read this ebook.

Sioux said...

Hope--

I would love to read this, as I sometimes work for 2-3 pennies per word on a part-time basis.

Civil War Horror (Sean McLachlan) said...

She has some good advice here. I work as a writer full time and make a decent (but not great) living. This is because of certain choices I made at the beginning.

I went into writing to only write what I want to write, namely history, travel, and fiction. This means I pass up many lucrative copywriting and advertising jobs. I've also turned down editorial jobs. I think it would be very hard to make the sort of income she's making without copy and ad writing, and that holds no interest to me. Sounds too much like an office job and I'd rather being rummaging through old archives and traveling to Somaliland.

I don't mean this as a criticism. Her choices are simply not my choices, and in the wide world of publishing there are a lot of paths you can take.

Carlos Rioja said...

I'd love to write part-time and make a decent living in order to keep on writing my fantasy saga :)

Stella Jones Myers said...

I have a hard time deciding what I want to do with my writing. I want more money, but without changing my time with my husband. We have been a together pair since we met 49 years ago, and he doesn't write, so pairing the two seems hard to me. This sounds like the perfect fit. I would love the book.

Carol J. Alexander said...

I do write part-time, Hope. I can't afford any more hours because I homeschool my children. But I barely pay for the groceries. Would love to win this book.

Kelly Robinson said...

Oh, the dreaded time management. ya think my plan for the day was to read blogs? :-) I'm with her on low-paying gigs, though. I still fool with some just to keep some options open, but the bigger magazine pieces not only pay more, but they require more from my writing. I find I learn more and write better when I have a lengthy piece to chew on and a high-profile client to satisfy.

Kathleen Basi said...

It's so interesting that you posted this today because I was thinking about it this morning, whether the time I'm putting in is offset by how much I'm making. I'm really interested in this book!

Stacy S. Jensen said...

I'd love to read this book, so I can find ways to add income to my other occupation: Mom, who writes during naptime.

Janice Gable Bashman said...

Sounds like a great book. Would love to know her techniques and incorporate them into my writing life.

Kate said...

I am writing part-time now...it's the money part that isn't happening yet. One gig netted me about $2/hr. Another want me to write on spec, for a business! I would love this book. I need to find clients who are wiling to part with some money when they like my work. I'm also trying to write with two small kids in tow.

Kate said...

I am writing part-time now...it's the money part that isn't happening yet. One gig netted me about $2/hr. Another want me to write on spec, for a business! I would love this book. I need to find clients who are wiling to part with some money when they like my work. I'm also trying to write with two small kids in tow.

Hope Clark said...

Gretchen is phenomenal. I'm hoping she can blog for us on Friday. The book is an easy, down-to-earth, practical read.

Anonymous said...

I also write part-time,but I would like to diversify and increase income. I would love to read this book to learn how!

lindaeaves@sbcglobal.net

Mary Ellen Carmody said...

The book sounds like a miracle - and about now I could use one - I live in the flood ravaged part of Pennsylvania and New York - my home was damaged and my barbecue business under water - we are rebuilding both and I am trying to keep my writing going - could really use to win the book - Mary Ellen

Lisa McManus Lange said...

Would love to write part time to not only avoid the commute, but to also do what I love!

Lisa McManus Lange
www.lisamcmanuslange.blogspot.com
email: lisamc2010@yahoo.ca

Bloodsugar Journal said...

I am a writer wannabee... maybe that doesn't sound very positive but I am not yet making any income with my writing. Since I was a young child, I have been writing and I have so many ideas for books, plays, films even, yet they just collect space on my hard drive.
Working part time during a difficult pregnancy this woman made more money than I do working 45 hours a week... I want that. I want to be home with my child, and taking care of my family doing something I love and I'm good at.
I am sure that I am good enough to do this, I just have to get out there more and keep believing!
This is a wonderful post by the way!

Barb Hodges said...

I have the time to write.
Yes, I really do.

I need to get in gear and just follow through.

Adding income to my retirement would be a joy for me.

Gretchen's book sounds like the perfect remedy.

Suzanne Klein-Overmeer said...

I would love to learn to live as a freelancer. My work now is very stressful and I love words and writing. I have not yet embarked on writing for a living, but I doing the research now to learn how. I think this book would be a valuable asset to me in this capacity.

Stephanie Allen Crist said...

I'm the mother of three children with special needs and working on my graduate degree, while trying to make a living as a writer. I'd love to learn some better ways to do this!

MaDonna Maurer said...

This sounds like a great resource! Sign me up! I am a stay-at-home mom, who is breaking into the writing market little by little. Would love to have more tips of the trade in freelance work, since part-time work from home is right where I am in life right now.

Kelli Robinson said...

Hope,
So just this week I'm contemplating how much of a reality this freelance writing career can be for me, and viola, this post is on your blog.

Coincidence?

I'm one who would be okay with part-time income working part-time hours, so Gretchen's book sounds like a must read!

Laura Roberts said...

I would love to leave behind the piecemeal world of "freelancing" and make a real living by specializing... I guess my only question is what to focus on? Would love to read Gretchen's advice as a fellow Roberts (no relation, honest!).

Kathleen Roberts said...

After losing my biggest client, I am certainly writing part time now but not earning nearly enough income. With two kids to support as a single mom, I am starting to worry about how I will put food on the table. Having connective tissue disease, I know I can't get a regular job. I always appreciate tips to improve my writing business so I can take care of my family.

June Freaking Cleaver said...

Since the economy tanked, and I got laid off, I have not had a fulltime job. I was a technical writer for corporate America, in companies large and small.

I've done some poorly paid freelance work this year, and I'd like to find clients who are willing to pay for my experience and positive attitude.

And part-time would be great, as it would still allow me to spend time with family, and ferry my special needs son around to his various appointments.

Fiona said...

Who wouldn't want to earn a full time income with part time hours? it would leave me with so much extra time to pursue other dreams, both in writing and in life.

Chris K said...

You can make money writing?!? I've been been writing for years now and I get published plenty but only make enough to maintain a pretty solid Doritos habit. I would love to know how to turn my writing into a money-making endeavor. As my kids get older and are now in full time school I'm looking at losing writing time to return to work outside the home. How wonderful it would be to be able to make money at home instead!

Jeanna said...

I am really interested in reading this book. As someone who is currently expecting, I'm particularly interested in learning how you were able to go through your pregnancy and still pull in $40,000. That would be nice. :)

Diva J. said...

Hope, I'd love to write part-time and earn full-time wages because writing is what I dream about doing every day. Security to pay bills and having enough time to write my newest novel are both something I'd love to have.

This e-book sounds so interesting. Thank you for sharing!


-Diva J.

Anonymous said...

I need to supplement a very meager disability income and writing part time would be perfect.

Karen said...

Gretchen's book would be a huge help to me. I was downsized in 2005 when they shut down my work unit, and could only find part-time employment after that. I needed more income so I started freelancing for low paying clients to get some writing clips and experience. I'm working longer hours than I should for that amount of income.

I'm especially interested in writing for trade magazines and companies. Thank you, Gretchen for sharing your knowledge with the rest of us!

annlouisetruschel@yahoo.com said...

I'd love to work part time because it would leave me more time to volunteer. My church has a number of projects that I'd like to become more involved in.

Lee said...

My reasons could qualify as relatively simple ones: primarily, because I love to write, believe that what I write can assist others in the art of enjoying life and living well, and I possess a strong desire to increase my income while working from home.

That's it!

May you and those you love enjoy the week,

Lee

Hallie Sawyer said...

I am a stay-home mom that needs to find a way to use my love of writing as a way to supplement the household income. All three of my children are now in school full-time and I want to have the flexibility that writing part-time would allow.

This book looks like a perfect source of information for me. Thanks for offering this giveaway!

*fingers crossed*

Janny said...

Interesting how this pops up today when I just put on Facebook this morning that I've decided to stop writing for ____ pay (fill in the uncomplimentary term of your choice!) and want to find people who will truly understand what a good writer SHOULD be paid for quality work. Time to make the full-time income to keep all the plates spinning and still have time to write novels...

I really could use this book!

Janny

Rekaya Gibson said...

Nice article. I would like to write part-time so that I can produce more work a year.

iDella Woods said...

I would truly like to earn a (more) decent living writing part-time as it would not only give me more time to pursue other writing aspirations BUT it would also give my eyes a rest. Sound weird? Not really. I have partial blindness on one side and it makes looking at the screen for long periods (which I know you shouldn't do anyway) a challenge. Looking at a BLANK screen is even worse - on the eyes and the morale. :-) I think writing part-time would help me hit my freedom goal with what I call the Pareto Principle WorkWeek - 80% results from 20% effort. Leverage, baby!

Miss Chivuss said...

Hope, this couldn't be more fantastic timing!

I'm actually in the process of starting my own writing business (focusing primarily on business and marketing writing, but with some creative). I say starting, but I have been working toward this for nearly a year and am now starting to get clients that I'm proud to work with!

I'm learning lessons the hard way (ditching unreliable and iffy clients...boy, if that isn't the understatement of the week) and I think this book would make a GREAT addition to my library. I'm out there every day networking, brainstorming, writing, and promoting, but I'm not great at planning and time management. I could really use the help!

Thanks for this incredible giveaway. You're truly an inspiration (and motivation!) for writers.

Bex said...

This book sounds very informative and right up my alley. I am a stay-at-home mom who is trying to break into the writing profession. I need tips and pointers. This looks like the kind of book I have been searching for!

tlcobb said...

I'd like to do some freelancing and this book would be a great guide.

Alix said...

This is perfect timing, but not for me. I'm actually writing to promote Miss Chivuss's comment. Not just as a person hoping to work with and for her; but as a friend, roommate, and general bystander in her life. She's trying so hard, and this book could really help her focus that energy exactly where it needs to be.

Nancy Adams said...

I am chomping at the bit to leave my full-time job and do what I love: write! Count me in for your drawing.

Thanks, Hope, for all your help to other writers

SND said...

In a little over two years I have learned how to not write my memoir. There have been so many stops and starts. Now, if I measure by words (over 68,000) I see that I am learning how to write it. I am happiest when I am writing, producing the pages of my life. But having no income for more than two years is difficult, and it's time I learn how to earn while I'm writing what I am so committed to write about and have fallen in love with. I experiment with many genre of writing, but am most focused on my memoir right now. If I could write and get paid for it while finishing up this book, I'd be ecstatic!

Shawndra Russell said...

Thanks for the information. Which book would you recommend more for a freelance writer that needs to boost her income--Part-Time Writing or Tales from the Trenches? Thanks.

Hope Clark said...

Shawndra - Tales from the Trenches is IN Part-Time Writing, so you get them both!

MDiskin said...

I'm super late to this party, but if anyone needs encouragement:
- i started writing at 35 when child #1 was born
- I wrote through 3 more hyperemetic pregnancies in less than 3 years
- those years included a miscarriage, a broken foot (mine), and 2 knee surgeries (my husband's)

I got up at 4:30am to write every day, til 7:30. I had a spreadsheet of work assigned, with due dates, payment terms, and whether they'd been paid or not. Color-coded spreadsheets meant I only had to worry about the stuff in yellow for that day! (Good when little babies don't let you sleep.)
- I spent Friday mornings invoicing and doing all that admin stuff I hated. Scheduling it and getting it all done at once made it doable.
- I market much less now that I have 3 kids. I have exactly 6 child-free hours a week, so now I let work come to me and I do it. But my first 2 years I did much more marketing to get to this point.
- Family came first, always. I had to be realistic about what I could accomplish and when.
- I started with smaller pubs to build up my confidence and went where they took me (in some surprising directions).