there's never been a better time to be a freelancer. But how do you make the leap from writing as a hobby to full time freelancing? the freelancer's year has all the tips and tricks you need to be a successful freelance writer.

November - the month I hit $100K

November - the month I hit $100K

There’s no beating around the bush. I’ve had a massive month, and one that tipped my total commissions for the year over $100K. Much of that has been earned through feature writing for magazines and newspapers  – something I never thought was possible. Especially given this is my first year of full time freelancing and until now I have never earned over $20K in a year from my writing.

November – the month I hit $100K

Hitting 100K

I’ve had a hard time saying no this year – in fact, I didn’t really even think that it was a possibility to refuse work until a few weeks ago. So while I thought I was going to have a quiet November, I’ve had a hectic one with lots of work coming my way. 

In terms of feature articles for magazines and newspapers, this month I:

Pitched: 4 (this includes re-pitching ideas that have been rejected)

Commissions from pitches or query letters: 4

Rejections: 2

Offers: 8 (where the editor approached me with a commission)

Filed: 27

What I got up to in November

Yep. I filed 27 articles in November. I’ve also had at least three pieces come back to me with requests for fairly substantial revisions, so I’ve submitted and re-submitted 30 articles this month.

One article a day.

If that’s not madness, I don’t know what is.

I haven’t had time for many things other than writing this month – though after receiving a few requests I have started mentoring and coaching freelance writers – I’m still getting my processes ironed out but it's been so great to talk to other freelancers, find out what they are struggling with and come up with strategies on how to help. 

After one of my sessions, the writer I was mentoring said:

“When you’re working alone without feedback you sometimes believe your mind’s most horrible thoughts about your work and writing prospects. Getting your feedback made me realise how much I’ve already done, and that I’m closer than I thought to achieving some of my other writing goals. Overall I feel much more positive and confident.

 I really like that you’re open to discussing anything that helps your client – there were a bunch of things I’d been wondering about (and worrying about) for months that were cleared up in the first half of the session.

 I just want to reiterate how much more positive I’m feeling. I feel more than ever that writing is something I can make a go of. I usually worry it’s just a pipe dream.”

I felt so happy when this writer emailed me this - I want to be realistic about the possibility of earning a living from freelance writing and I really understood where she was coming from because I had similar worries at the start of the year.

Could I really sustain a full time career from writing?

It's totally possible. It's bloody hard work. It's totally possible.

I also met with my mentor again this month – she set me the (HUGE!) task of developing a business plan for the next 5 years and working backwards.

I’m not a huge goal setter, but I know that when I want to achieve something I need to have a target in mind or else I’ll never reach it.

This has never been truer for me than this year – I set my monthly income target and it has made a huge difference for me to see where I’m aiming.

I really credit that little excel spreadsheet as playing a huge part in keeping me motivated and on-task with hitting (and exceeding) my income goals for the year. 

My income for November 

At the end of October I had a feeling that it would be a slow start to November. Boy, was I wrong.

By the 7 November I had $8,000 worth of work commissioned with no sign of it slowing down.

In November I was commissioned over $14,500 worth of work.

I invoiced for just over $14,000.

And just to compare - in November 2016 I invoiced for just over $1,000.

My income for the year

I knew I was getting pretty close to hitting six figures for 2017, so I tallied up the work that has been commissioned. 

By the end of November, I had $105K worth of work commissioned.

I feel a bit stunned typing that figure. 

I tend to hold three figures in my head at any one time - the amount of work that has been commissioned, the amount I've invoiced for and the amount I've been paid.

At the end of next month I'll share all those figures with you because I think it's easy for people to claim they are a six figure freelancer, but you never really know exactly what they are counting. 

So I’ve nearly made it. 11 months down into my year as a full time freelancer.

It’s been exhausting but also exhilarating. I’ve never felt more motivated in what I’m doing .

In the next few weeks I'm going to be reaching out to you - I want to hear how can this blog be the most use to you in 2018.

I've been totally humbled by the response I've had to The Freelancer's Year. Each week writers get in touch and so I wanted to say thank you - thank you for reading and thank you for being such an awesome, engaged readership.

Freelance writers make the best community.

How was your November? What are you hopes for December and beyond?

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My biggest failing as a freelancer

My biggest failing as a freelancer