Hourly pay is both a curse and a blessing. It grants me permission to always “leave work at work” and it also permits me to draw a line at “this is above my pay grade.” But of course, if I fall ill, or decided to take a quick getaway vacation, the hours I’m not in the office are reflected on my paycheck and it’s often nothing I can afford to lose. Alternately, when the typical workload fluctuates either to a surplus or deficit during a pay period — both out of my control — that means I suffer the consequences of my employer not steadying the workflow.
Writing isn’t hourly. It’s also not salary, but I’ve learned to treat it that way. The benefit is that I can take my time and go with the flow of creativity and inspiration, or work to keep an even output. In the past few months, I’ve been half-consciously experimenting with workflows that, well, work for me to stay productive as a writer and achieve growth: statistics, income, my audience — but not lose sight of my vision or goals. I loosely set a measurable goal: “Earn so many dollars in a month,” or “increase my traffic by 30%.”
So far, efforts have worked. I don’t think there’s any singular plan or method, and it all depends on each person’s concept and style. But for me, learning to let go of the hourly-pay mindset and allow myself the flexibility of workload when appropriate allows me to keep my overall output even has been the biggest improvement I’ve made.
When the creativity strikes and I’m itching to get all of the words out right this very minute, I hunker down, brew some coffee, and get to work. If I’m lucky, I can get a little bit ahead, or tweak my calendar (which I treat as a guideline rather than hard-and-fast rule). But if something is weighing me down or I just don’t have the juice to write, I don’t beat myself up over it. One way or another, I trust myself to get it done… and then I do.
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