Ever have multiple freelance writing projects at the same time, all with tight deadlines? Here’s how to get them all done on time and still do a great job.
How to Handle Multiple Freelance Writing Projects
As some of you know, I’m a moderator in Carol Tice’s Freelance Writers Den. (Highly recommended: read my review here.). A while back, a Den member posted about having so many freelance writing projects that he wasn’t sure how he would be able to handle them all. Good problem to have, but still a problem!
Freelance Writers Den Forum Post
I recently posted about landing several new clients all at once. I’m excited, even though the work is difficult. I’ve encountered something I’ve never seen before landing ‘real’ freelance clients — projects that take multiple days to complete! What’s more, I have several of them at once.
How on earth do I balance multiple freelance writing projects? I have several that each require 8-10 hours of research and I’m struggling to set aside time for smaller projects in between.
If anyone has any tips of finding a good work flow, I’d appreciate it!
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Handling Multiple Freelance Writing Projects: My Response
This is actually a good position, as long as you have enough time to do the work and you plan well.
First — Make a plan. Make a list of all the projects and how long each will take. Then prioritize the projects by when they’re due.
Second — Pay attention to the small things that need to be done early for each project. For example, it could be you need to set up interviews now for the last piece that’s due.
Third — Get the work done. You’ll need to take care of your physical and mental health while you do so, which means eating well, getting enough sleep, and taking breaks.
Fourth — If you get temporarily stuck in one project, jump to the project with the next-highest priority.
Handling Multiple Freelance Writing Projects: Another Take
Seattle-based B2B writer M. Sharon Baker added this:
I love John’s tips. Remember that clients understand that writing takes time. Set realistic expectations for yourself and your clients. As you get used to handling more clients simultaneously, you’ll get better at knowing how long projects take and what the rough spots might be for you.
I build an extra day into all projects for review and “cooking.” Cooking?? That lets the piece sit and marinate while I work on something else. A reread after being away from a piece allows me to catch errors and tighten.
I typically juggle 8 clients a month, and yes it can get harried, but I find I often worry about delivery more than clients do. Most don’t have hard and fast deadlines but rather an optimal time for content delivery. It’s not like magazines and newspapers where they go to press and have hard and fast deadlines for the most part.
Your Take on Multiple Freelance Writing Projects
How do you deal when you feel you have too much work to handle? Share in the comments…
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I really enjoy reading your posts, at this point i’m not actually a freelancer, i just write for my own sites.
It’s quite normal for me to have to juggle multiple tasks! Have you ever considered using one of these project management bits of software?
John Soares says
I usually have only a few larger projects, so there easy for me to handle with to-do lists and Google calendar. For others, though, software can be quite useful.
Glad I found this post as this is a current issue for me. I’m trying to work on a personal site project whilst still taking the paid work. Lately, I’ve been using todoist to keep me better organised with the various deadlines and tasks. My sanity is still intact I think!