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Writer. Traveler. Queer. Passionate about self employment, LGBTQ finance and the writing life. Visit me at http://www.lindseydanis.com
Image by S. Hermann & F. Richter from Pixabay

A child of divorce, I was raised by my single mother and spent every other weekend with my father, who remarried and had two new children. Growing up, I didn’t know anyone else who was divorced. I was ashamed of my broken family and uncertain where I fit. I spent my childhood, teenage years, and early adulthood alternately retreating from a place where love was conditioned on variables like academic performance or respect and auditioning for the role of only daughter over family meals. A therapist called it a command performance, one intended to satisfy the illusion of the happy…


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I talk about productivity a lot, but I thought it might be time to break down what productivity means to me and, more importantly, what it doesn’t mean.

How I Define Productivity

Productivity, to me, is a set of habits and routines that maximize the amount of free time in my schedule to work toward my goals of getting my novel published. It’s one part crossing things off lists (I love a good list) and one part investing in routines and systems that eliminate a lot of the tasks that might be top-of-mind when you think about productivity.

There’s a straight line relationship between…


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I always mean to follow up with editors after I pitch them, but I am really, really bad at it. I’ve heard so many writers recommend following up as the key to building relationships, getting assignments, and essentially winning the freelance jackpot, but what usually happens with me is a pitch will be on my mind for the first few days after I send it, then my inbox is crickets and I shift focus to other things, then weeks go by and I feel like it’s way too late or I’d be bothering the editor if I checked in since…


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Last month, I wrote about my submissions strategy in the context of why it’s important to have a system for chipping away at your goals. But I didn’t actually go into a ton of detail in outlining how I decide where to submit and (just as important) where not to. Here are 7 things I think about when determining which outlets are right for me.

#1 Does it pay writers?

The answer isn’t always yes. For me, I care more about getting paid for a long story (1,500 words or greater) than for a 500-word flash piece. Generally speaking, if it’s a piece I can…


How a test that’s nearly a century old will penalize freelancers

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California’s AB5 bill was meant to protect gig economy workers who were misclassified as independent contractors by the likes of Lyft and Uber. Instead, the law penalized freelancers by limiting the amount of work they could do for clients to 35 pieces per year.

Companies, of course, balked at the law and instead fired California freelancers, so they could hire workers based in other states. After the disastrous rollout, California eventually excluded certain professions including freelance writers from AB5.

Now Congress is currently considering a law that would basically take AB5 nationwide with ZERO exceptions. The PRO Act, as it’s…


and how to know when not to invest your time in free labor

Photo by Javier Allegue Barros on Unsplash

I’ve had some pitches rejected lately where the editor has asked me for some other ideas. Both times, I set the email aside intending to get back to it but flaked, and now too much time has gone by for me to follow up with more ideas! What are some tricks I can use to quickly find good ideas the next time an editor asks me to send something else?

— -

I’ve been in that position, too. It’s always encouraging when someone else asks for other ideas–but, like you, if nothing comes to mind immediately, I might not respond.


A simple script to grow your earnings and hold your boundaries

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Communicating about rates is such THE WORST that I’ve made scripts for basically every scenario I’ve had to deal with, so I can copy/paste the relevant text and edit as needed.

Having a script in hand prevents me from:

  • Overthinking what to say and wasting time
  • Agreeing to a project for a lower rate than I want to accept out of FOMO, imposter syndrome, a previous working relationship with a client, or any other factor
  • Saying yes when I knew at the time I should have said no
  • Saying nothing and frustrating the client

In an ideal world, maybe you’d…


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“Today’s freelance reminder: hourly rates devalue the end product and punishes contractors who are efficient, and encourages dawdling. Project rates are a much nicer place to live (and project rates can be calculated based off an estimated hourly rate, who the client is, etc.)”

Journalist Wudan Yan encapsulated my thoughts on hourly rates in her tweet. You should be following her if you aren’t yet (so much wisdom), but here, as we’re all thinking about the change we hope to see in 2021, I want to push on this with my take.

Newbie freelancers have no idea what to charge…


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I’m wrapping up my annual review this week and I thought I’d share a few takeaways from my freelance writing business.

How I earned my money in 2020

I wrote 62 articles this year varying from 500–3,000 words and 272 pieces of content marketing–blog posts, newsletters, etc–ranging from 250–2,000 words.

I sent 256 pitches and spent 82 hours pitching assignments, researching publications and browsing recent coverage, so I could tailor my pitches to have the best shot. I got a ton of nos and no responses, but I got yeses from total dream pubs!

I had several editors come to me with ideas or respond to a…


Hint: to find clarity, zoom out

Photo by Keenan Constance on Unsplash

Someone asked me recently:

I’ve been freelancing part time for a couple of years but got furloughed then laid off so now I’m trying to make it work full-time. Lately I’ve been feeling really overwhelmed and would love your input. I feel like there is so much I could be doing that I struggle to identify what I SHOULD be doing and then beat myself up if I spend too much time trolling job ads or networking in Facebook BINDERS groups or TKTKTK. Bottom line is, I have a good idea of 27 different…

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