The Intuitive Freelancer: How to Do Things Your Own Way and Succeed

    If you’re looking for exact instructions on how to do everything in your freelance writing career – from setting goals to setting schedules – well, you’re looking in the wrong place.

    In this video, I describe why you sometimes need to go with your gut when making important freelance decisions.

    For example: Are you hoping someone will tell you how much to charge for a particular case study, article or press release?

    I don’t even have a strict hourly rate anymore – I just go with my gut to determine how much it will take to make a project worth my while. (And, I almost always end up earning $250 per hour that way.)

    And when it comes to weekly schedules, off-the-shelf organizational systems, and 1-, 5-, and 10-year goals, I don’t have them.

    Of course, it helps to have an idea of the rules laid out in books and blogs, and the business tools available to you, but in the end, you have to choose what works for you. Have a look to find out why – and how – you may want to let your intuition rule your writing career.

    That’s the beauty of freelancing — in short, you can do whatever you want! Don’t waste that opportunity by blindly following other writers’ systems and rules.

    Are you an intuitive freelancer — or do you hope to become one? What tips and experiences do you have to share with other writers? Please post in the Comments below.

    About the author

      Linda Formichelli

      Linda Formichelli is the author of The Renegade WriterShe has written for more than 130 magazines and is the co-author of The Renegade Writer: A Totally Unconventional Guide to Freelance Writing Success. She is also the author ofHow to Do It All: The Revolutionary Plan to Create a Full, Meaningful Life - While Only Occasionally Wanting to Poke Your Eyes Out With a Sharpie.

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    • wala says:

      Hi, I am Wala’ from Jordan, I like writing very much, But when I want to write something All of my ideas Go away, And the anther problem I have it Is that I am a beginning writer So when write my Articles in internet I do not get promote! So I don’t Know I am A good writer or Not … can you tell me another way to know that?

      So please help me to be A beg writer As I dream,

      Thank you, And sorry for my bad English language 🙂

    • I really appreciate your candid thoughts, Linda.

      What I found most valuable from your video is that we should use
      other writers’ workday models as direction – not instruction.

      I’m the type of person who likes to plan my work the night before.
      That way, I can jump out of bed the next morning knowing exactly what
      needs to be done. The actual order doesn’t matter. As long as it
      gets done, that’s the most important thing. It’s about results,
      not procedure.

      Regardless of how we choose to work, the most liberating thing
      about freelance writing is that we reserve the right to change our
      minds whenever WE get ready. No bosses looking over our shoulder
      mandating what we should do. If that’s what I wanted, I could always
      go back to the job market…..um, NO THANK YOU!!!!

      Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts, Linda. I wish you much success!!!

      P.S. I just realized where I know you from — The Writers Den!!! I’m on the list
      to get in, so I hope to connect with you soon…

      • Thanks, Michael! I’m with you…results, not procedure. And yes, I’m the Other Den Mother. Hope to se eyou there when it opens again!

    • this article – video is very refreshing!

      I have been having a difficult time with procrastination. Seems like the more I know I should do the less I do anything at all.

      The only thing that works for me is to set my timer for an hour and go for it – one hour at a time.

      I really like doing what you want to do first! It seems like that would be counter productive – and it is counter to the old school “get the bad stuff done first” way of thinking. BUT if it means writing rather than procrastinating – that would be a whole new story.

      I am going to try this.

      • Thanks for your insights! I love the timer idea, actually. But you’re right — if by doing what you want to do you’re actually getting SOMETHING, ANYTHING done, then you’re ahead of the game. 🙂

    • Hi Linda,

      Loved seeing your video- made me feel inspired and relieved at the same time. I have been practicing an ‘intuitive’ approach all along! Having a task list but no schedule works best for me- I prioritise in the moment.

      The only downside is that it can leads to overwork- nights and weekends. This doesn’t worry me if I’m passionate and being paid well, but I always have to be mindful of setting healthy boundaries with myself and when there are multiple jobs on the go at once (normal state of affairs!), I do tend to need a bit more discipline/scheduling which is the right thing to do for me during those times anyway!

      I do have an hourly rate, but this is fluid, depending on the client and the size and type of the job. I love working in this way, but sometimes I simply do not generate enough income. I live in a small coastal/regional town in Australia, so my rates are different to those working in the city, but the types of jobs I’m doing are very interesting and varied- I am a jack of all trades!

      Love that I’ve found your little ‘community’ of writers,

      Elizabeth 🙂

      • Thanks for sharing your experiences! Yes, my “do what I want hen I want it” credo has definitely led me to working on some weekends! However, I love what I do so much that it’s fine with me. I still get a ton of time with my 4-year-old since I only work 20 hours a week in any case.

        As for the money — have you thought of setting a minimum rate you’ll work for and then sticking to that? I’m fluid with what I charge, but I STILL won’t go below a certain rate.

    • mickholt says:

      My issues have less to do with finding or following a system and almost everything to do with just finding work outside the “article mills” that the pay does not fit time invested. Any help in that area would be appreciated.

      • I know — I hear that from SO many aspiring freelancers! I think you’ll find a lot on this blog to help you break out of the content mills, and also my blog (The Renegade Writer) and Carol Tice’s Make a Living Writing blog also have a bunch of resources and posts to help you earn more. In short, though — instead of going to where the assignments are laid out for you to take, do the legwork to dig up well-paying gigs. Takes more work, but the best gigs from the best markets typically aren’t advertised or posted on content mills.

    • Great post, Linda!

      I recently did a post responding to the question “What do clients usually want?” because I get it so much. My answer: When you’re asking this, it’s time to reframe the question. What’s usual doesn’t matter — all that matters is what YOU find acceptable.

    • I think this is SO important. I can tell from comments on blogs that people are indeed looking for a scientific formula that they can plug into and get the same results every time.

      But it actually sound more fun to go the intuitive route! I’ve also tried schedules etc, but every single day is so different for me, and that’s what I love about freelancing! So why try to mimic a 9-5?

      I think I’ll progress faster going the intuitive route, because it’s often stifling (or an excuse to not do the work) waiting to figure out the prefect industry formula.

    • Excellent Linda,

      The only thing I would share about order of tasks is to make sure you complete the promotion activities FIRST.

      That way new traffic and leads will come to your throughout the day.

      Have you ever had to deal with clients that want to control your time more than you would like?

      • Thanks for your comment! It sounds like doing promotion early in the day works for you. I schedulemy blog posts for 7 am — but I actually WRITE them whenever I feel inspired to.

    • Julie Luek says:

      I remember reading The Renegade Writer and having the “ahhhhaaa” moment. The concepts freed me from many rules, allowed me to take more chances, and yes, trust my gut a bit. I too try to avoid rules or specific goals, instead seeking opportunities and open doors. I’ve found much more writing opportunities by not getting so hung up on the proper way to do everything or worrying about whether I meet every qualification for an assignment. So far, so fun!

      • Hi, Julie~ I’m glad doing your own thing has worked for you and that you got a lot out of The Renegade Writer! Thanks so much for letting us know about your experiences.


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