If you want to make a living as a writer at some point you’re probably going to do a little freelance work. That work may be writing an article, accepting a work-for-hire gig, or even ghostwriting. And as these opportunities present themselves you’re going to have to decide if you want the job or not. Because trust me, you aren’t going to want (or have time for) every one.
So how do you decide which jobs to accept?
I’ve been a freelance illustrator and writer for over eight years. I’ve slugged through pitfalls, failures, and soul-sucking jobs, wondering if it’s all really worth it. But one simple tool has made all the difference. Before accepting any job, I now ask myself these three questions:
1) Is the job good money? Will the client pay me what I’ve asked them to pay me?
2) Will I be working with good people?
3) Will I be creatively challenged and inspired?
If the answer to all three of these questions is YES, then it’s a great job. I should take it!
If the answer to two of these questions is YES, then it’s a good job. It’s definitely worth considering. But, I need to decide how important the question that came up as a NO is to my current situation.
If I came up with one (or fewer) YES responses, then this isn’t a job I should take. Move on to better things!
I know it may seem odd to pass up a work opportunity. But if you take too many jobs that only fulfill one of the criteria I’ve mentioned, you’re going to burn out really quickly. The last thing you want to do is give up on something that was once your passion. Be sure to ask yourself these three questions. It will help to ensure that you always love writing.