the month in review

August – my biggest month yet

By September 6, 2017 June 29th, 2019 10 Comments

You might remember that I entered August in a bit of a spin – I had a heap of work to catch up on after going on a press trip and a family holiday back-to-back in July. In the first two weeks of August I had 11 feature articles for magazines and newspapers due. And the work kept coming. When I tallied up my income, I was stunned. It’s been a bumper month.

August – my biggest month yet

In terms of feature articles, this month I:

Pitched: 9 (this includes re-pitching ideas that have been rejected)

Commissions from pitches or query letters:  3

Rejections: 3

Offers (where the editor approached me with a commission): 15

Filed: 19

August was a super busy month. I’ve been pitching a bit more than usual, but editors have also been regularly approaching me with commissions.

I had one day in August where I had three feature articles due – all were over 1400 words and coming into the week that they were due, I hadn’t started two of them and with one, I didn’t have the key case studies confirmed. Panicked, what? Me? You betcha.

It’s not the way I usually like to operate but my goodness, I put in some long hours and all articles got filed. I was so close to asking one editor for an extension but I knew that if I did it would push back all my other deadlines the following week. So I just grit my teeth and did the work. 

I also had to make a hard (and lets face it, embarrassing) decision in August. I pulled out of a project half way through. Months ago I was approached to undertake this big, lucrative project and I was flattered. Soon after I started the project I had a sinking feeling that I was out of my depth. But did I say anything? No. I just kept on going, sure that I would be able to use my PhD skills and research my way out of it. But I couldn’t.

So I pulled out. I couldn’t do their project justice, I didn’t have the deep content knowledge they were after and while I’d made a great start, I couldn’t drill down to the level of detail they needed. They were very gracious when I told them I couldn’t continue, but I must admit I still cringe when I think about it.  

But this freelancing life is full of lessons. And this was my lesson. Always, always, listen to your gut.

But in less cringe worthy news, I’ve also been working on pitches for new editors this month – an editor of an inflight mag I have written for several times introduced me to her colleagues and I’m working with them on a couple of story ideas. Hopefully this will see me take my first overseas press trip in the coming months.

After my famil or press trip in July, I was keen to get as many stories out of it as I could. So far, two articles have been commissioned and filed, another one commissioned and a pitch that is under consideration.

I’ve also been back in touch with my contact at the tourism board to let her know where I’m up to with my pitches and stories. I think this is so important to maintaining a good, ongoing relationship. 

Ok that’s all good, but how much money did you make in August?

I know from your comments and emails that many of you appreciate this part of the monthly blog post when I tell you how the month has been financially for me. So let’s get to the figures:

In August I invoiced for just over $12,000 worth of work.

And I was commissioned well over $11,000 worth of new work.

So yes, it’s been a huge month.

$1400 of the work commissioned was research work, but all the rest was feature writing for magazines and newspapers.

Oh, and I made an enormous (!) $1.43 from my Amazon affiliate link that was in this post

So don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t make a good living from feature writing. You can. I’m proof!

I’ve also just written a guest post for Carol Tice’s site Make a Living Writing about how I earned $50K in my first 6 months of freelancing. Her blog is one of my favourites – it’s full of great advice and strategies for freelance writers.

Keep your eyes peeled for my post – it’ll be up in the next couple of weeks. 

Right, bring on September! 

How was your August? 

10 Comments

  • That’s amazing, Lindy. Massive well done to you. Rather than you interviewing other people about their writing, people will be interviewing you about your success!

  • Michaela Fox says:

    I am SO excited to learn more about this press trip. And so many offers from editors – whoa!! Surely you need a SMM/photographer/assistant/partner in crime for this famil????? 🙂

  • CJ says:

    I love Carol’s blog as well, I’ve learned so much from it. It’s inspiring but without being unrealistic as to expectations. I shall look forward to reading your post there. You had a really great month, hard work really paying off I think. It’s so encouraging to see someone doing so well writing features. August was pretty much a month off for me, although I did get given four ebooks to write which is good. Now that September is here and the children are back at school I am sat here with a sharp pencil and a new notebook (there’s always a new notebook) ready to storm ahead.

    • Lindy Alexander says:

      Four ebooks? That’s fantastic CJ! There’s nothing quite like a quiet house and new stationery to motivate and inspire!

  • Tanya says:

    Thank you for sharing the full reality of your month; not only the successes, but also the projects that did not go so well. It is always good when successful writers keep things real and for me it makes you even more inspiring to follow.

    • Lindy Alexander says:

      Thanks Tanya, that’s really encouraging to know that you want to read about my stuff-ups as well as my success. That’s the thing about freelancing – you can claim 99% of the success, but you also have to claim 99% of the responsibility when you make mistakes!

  • Karla says:

    Hi Lindy, I really love your blogs on freelancing. There’s so much information out there on freelancing but people tend to either make it sound easy or flawless. Really like your real take on things. I’ve had one foot in freelancing for awhile while holding down in-house roles so I haven’t had to really chase work. Now I’m having to do this and your experiences are so helpful. And wow, congrats on a bumper month. Thanks!

    • Lindy Alexander says:

      Thank you Karla, that’s music to my ears! It’s definitely not easy or flawless – in fact, I’ve never worked harder in my life, but I love that I’m solely (mostly!) responsible for how well or how badly I do.

      Hope your work-chasing is going well – as I’m sure you know, once you have established relationships with editors it’s SO much easier. Good luck!

Leave a Reply

There’s never been a better time to be a freelancer. But how do you make the leap from writing as a hobby to full time freelancing? The Freelancer’s Year has all the tips and tricks you need to be a successful freelance writer.