Paul Lima - Toronto Freelance Writer, Copywriter, Media Interview Trainer, Writing Coach

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Much Ado About Time Management
By Paul Lima

To succeed in the freelance corporate writing business, you need to possess the three D’s: Desire, Dedication, and Discipline. If the three D’s sound too new age for you, look at them in practical terms.

The fact that you are, or aspire to be, a freelance writer represents desire. To start or expand your business, you need to dedicate time in a disciplined manner every business day to marketing and promoting your services.

Do you find that internal voice saying, “Yes, but...”? Yes, but there is not enough time in the day to do that. Yes, but I am a born procrastinator. Yes, but I don’t know how to manage my time.

To manage your time, you have to know what to do with your time, and then you schedule your time based on business priorities. Your business priorities should be based on:
  • Billable (client-driven) tasks
  • Non-billable tasks that generate billable work.
In short, you should spend your business day working on paid gigs, or looking for, and quoting on, gigs that pay.

The reason most writers believe they have time management problems is simple: When they are not working on paid gigs, they do not know what to do with their time.

Most writers do not have a business plan that outlines the writing service they can offer, the corporate sectors they should target, or the companies and organizations within those sectors they should sell their services to.

Most writers do not have a marketing plan —a road map—for generating work through cold calling, repeat business and referrals, networking, or advertising and promoting their services.

If you don’t know what services you can offer, and who you can offer them too, then it is impossible to create a business plan. If you don’t have a business plan, then you don’t have a marketing plan. And if you don’t have a marketing plan, then you are probably not managing your time wisely.

In other words, you are not dedicating non-billable hours in a disciplined manner to the work of finding billable work. And that means you are not fulfilling your desire to become a freelance writer or to expand your writing business.

Paul Lima is a freelance writer, writing coach and author of The Six-Figure Freelancer: How to Find, Price, and Manage Corporate Writing Assignments. Visit him online at

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