Optimism and growing motivation with a little touch of apprehension.
That may sum up my outlook towards my freelance writing career as a new year approaches. This year has been a pretty good one. I’ve stayed busy with writing projects and assignments, although I know it might have been better if I’d done more marketing and networking, getting my name out there some more.
I’m optimistic I have a good idea about where I want to go with my writing in the coming year. I’ve mentioned before on this site that my goal is to get a full-time work-at-home writing job so I can continue to enjoy the freedom and efficiencies of not commuting. I think this will continue to be the direction many professions move in the coming years. It just makes sense for employers and employees.
So I plan to seek out these opportunities next year, along with increasing my story pitching to publishers and outlets that pay well. That can also be a route to a full-time position.
I know this isn’t a ground-breaking plan. Many, many writers want — or have achieved — the same thing. So there’s competition. But I think I can stack up my writing and wordsmith skills and talents with anyone and not feel too lacking. In fact, I read some stories these days and easily see how I would have written a better story.
My motivation to create new opportunities in the coming year has been recently growing. After I relocated from one side of Colorado to the other four years ago, I was driven to see my career move in different directions. In several areas, though, I underestimated the competition and — at least in my mind — bias against those beyond a certain age by companies and industries. So I returned to what I do best and decided to see if I could make freelancing a solid career move.
The apprehension comes from the unknown of how much I will have to pay in taxes owed. As an independent contractor, I haven’t paid any taxes on the money I made this year. In the few years previous to 2018, I worked full-time for a while, so did pay taxes on that money and managed to get by fine. This year, I set aside what I think might be a fair amount to cover what I will owe, but it’s a different situation than I’m used to in my career.
I recall reading some advice that contractors should pay estimated taxes each quarter of the year, but was a little unsure if that had been necessary. I made it a goal to set aside a few checks each quarter, so hopefully won’t be hit with a huge amount to come up with after I finish the paperwork.
Overall, though, I’d say I’m on good footing and ready to start climbing higher. My goal is to take solid steps toward more stable income and potentially a full-time, remote, writing position. I appreciate all the clients I have now for their support and encouragement. I look forward to continuing to work with them as long as possible.
So as someone probably said a long time ago, onward and upward. The journey continues…