This article is not intended for novelists. While novelists are certainly welcome to read it, I doubt you’ll find anything useful to your calling here. This article is intended for those who write magazine articles, blog post/web content, and perhaps short stories or brief memoir pieces.
While the admonition of “write faster” may seem self-explanatory on the surface, it goes way beyond just hitting the keys at a higher rate of speed. Although that too can help. Isaac Asimov was once being interviewed by Barbara Walters. In between two of the segments she asked him, ”But what would you do if the doctor gave you only six months to live?” He said, “Type faster.”1
One of the things I like best about being a freelance writer over being a cubicle dweller or factory worker is the aspect that it’s up to me to decide how much I work and how much I earn. As a corporate employee I worked so many hours a week and got a paycheck for a certain amount every two weeks. Other than the rare opportunity for overtime, I had little to do with how much time I put in or the pay I took away.
As a freelancer, it is entirely — well, mostly — up to me to decide when I work and how much I get paid. No work: no pay, work hard: get paid well, simple as that. Mostly. But it’s more than just keeping my nose to the grindstone longer. I can eek out more profit by making that time count for more by working smarter, not just longer. Here’s how that works.