Saturday, February 7, 2009

News and Bacon

I haven't been around Ye Olde Blogge in awhile, but anyone who reads it may forgive me when they hear my so-sad tale of woe. Actually, I'm not all that sad about it and I don't really have any woe. Sorry. My spouse was laid off since last I posted and I have had to keep us all afloat with my freelance writing.

I've been earning a good percentage of the family's income for a year now, and before that I was earning most of it. Unfortunately, spouse works in an industry that is no longer what it once was in this country and this is not the first time there's been a layoff. I don't think I expected it this time, though, even with the bad economy. But, a freelancer must press on. If you are freelance writing and don't think you could pull it off, you might be surprised by what is possible. Here's what I did as soon as I heard the word "layoff" (redundancy, for my Brit friends):

I bought a very tiny vacuum. Now I can giggle as I vacuum my desk with its retro hideousness. No kidding. First thing.

I made a layoff budget to keep things we can't live without (Netflix!) and to get rid of things that we can (McDonald's).

I figured out exactly how much that I need to earn per day in order to meet that goal. I usually work seven days a week anyway and I already had a daily goal of what I had to make before in order to meet bills, pay off debts and buy stuff we want. The new daily goal is more than double the old one, but it's still doable.

I figured out what the most lucrative gigs are that I have been doing lately and started concentrating on those more than my millions of side projects. That has increased my income and I'm really not working many more hours than I did before.

I started adding bacon to random websites to amuse myself.

If you're a freelancer and are fearing the economy, it is possible to keep going online and to earn a respectable income. Business on the Web is actually increasing, according to the latest figures. I have heard that PPC rates have gone down a little, but people are buying online, setting up websites and hiring writers just like they did before. I suspect that the Web content business is staying afloat because as people lose their jobs they are attempting to set up businesses online to replace their income.


Russell said...

Hi again L,
Sorry to hear your spouse was made redundant but glad to hear your writing talents are getting you through. Good luck and I hope your spouse finds paid work elsewhere soon.
ps. I love the USB vacuum ... whatever next!?

L. Shepherd said...

I'm certain that more work will come along, but it seems to be short lived every time it does. This is the third layoff in nine years.

They have tiny USB fans, too, that are ridiculously cute. I'm planning to get one for the summer.

Becca said...

Layoffs are tough, but they're more common than not in this economy. We're in the same boat as you and your family, unfortunately. But, you are correct, all the recent stats show that freelance writing jobs are steadily on the rise, which is incredible in the given state of the economy today. I'm not going to question it, I'm just going to cross my fingers and go with it.

Cheers and best of luck to us all!

Mel Menzies said...

It was very uplifting to hear the way you've coped. Well done! It would be so easy to roll over and let everything get you down, but I'm sure your blog will be an encouragement to others going through these difficult times (all of us, then!) Thanks.

L. Shepherd said...

I'm glad to hear that it may encourage people. It's important to stay positive and to believe that you can do it. That's one of the most important steps of all.

Cookie @ Writing for Residuals said...

Wow L. Good for you on making a living off of your freelancing.

I like the idea of figuring out how much you need to make each day and then working towards that. That is a great tip.

L. Shepherd said...

It makes it feel a lot more manageable, and I can see, day today, whether what I'm doing is earning enough.