Freelancing During A Pandemic

How I am continuing to work and make money.

Jyssica Schwartz
Apr 3, 2020 · 4 min read

Humanity is going through an unprecedented time right now, thanks to a global pandemic and worldwide quarantines.

It’s a scary time — I totally get that.

I live in NYC, the epicenter of the pandemic in the United States. We have nearly 50,000 cases of coronavirus in our state.

I am on week 4 of being self-quarantined and my husband and I are not leaving the house.

It’s scary, isolating, boring, and I miss the outdoors.

It’s also necessary and vital to stay home to help flatten the curve and do our part in the fight against COVID-19. I may not like it, but I do it.

Freelancing While Quarantined

It completely sucks that so many people have lost their jobs due to the coronavirus. It makes a bad time even scarier.

The help from the stimulus package, rent and mortgage deferrals, and other programs — and the genuine compassion from people all over the world — are all great, but they don’t stop people from being scared and needing help and money.

I am very, very lucky and grateful that my husband and I are both still working.

My husband is in tech and is still able to do his entire job from home. We now share an office (with each other and our cat).

I have been freelancing as a writer and editor for the last 3.5 years. And in this time of crisis, I am extremely lucky and grateful to still be working.

When we were first being hit in the U.S., as people started quarantining and businesses closed (hopefully) temporarily, I got scared.

I had 2–3 clients let me know right away that they needed to pause/stop my services due to their own loss of income.

I got nervous and anxious. What if I couldn’t work anymore?

Almost all of my clients are entrepreneurs running small to mid-size businesses. It was a very real possibility that they would lose clients and would not want/be able to continue paying a freelancer at this time.

It’s also completely understandable.

I’m not upset that I’ve lost a few clients recently. These are unprecedented times and the economy is in freefall. I get it! That doesn’t mean I can’t be concerned, of course.

But somewhat surprisingly, I’ve actually picked up a couple of new clients in this time, too.

I’ve seen in some freelancer groups and forums I’m in that some are struggling and others (especially those who write medical/science stuff) are extremely busy.

I’m somewhere in the middle. I have work and plenty to do to keep me busy and make money but I am not sitting here so busy that I can’t take a half-hour TikTok break, either. [Side note: Only now in quarantine have I gotten into TikTok and I freaking love it.]

I have 2 new big projects I’m working on. One is in fintech and writing articles for a banking institution and another is a series of writing needed to launch a new product, including a Kickstarter campaign, landing page copy, and video scripts.

I had one client I worked with previously come back and say they need help on a new project and want to restart working together.

And I still have a couple of clients from before quarantine that have continued working with me as normal.

Some of the freelancer forums have had long threads about using this time to pitch to publications, but I still maintain that the best way to make money as a freelance writer is to pitch yourself and market directly to clients, as you’ll make more money faster and with less grinding than magazine/publication articles one by one.

How you do is up to you.

But now is not the time for me to reignite my passion for crochet or even maybe write my next book during work time (I can do these things in the evenings and on weekends).

I am focusing my workday and my time on getting new clients and trying to stay busy with work.

This is a scary time and as an entrepreneur, nothing is guaranteed. So, that means it’s all about making sure I am still marketing, still kicking butt and doing my best work for the clients I have, and trying to look for what comes next or even how I can expand or refine my offerings to fit this new normal.

I hope you are staying safe and healthy!! (And are not too bored.)

Check out my new book Concept to Conclusion: How to Write a Book and learn everything you need to know to conceive of, outline, write, publish, and market a book!

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Write Out Loud

Freelancing & writing from A to Z.

Jyssica Schwartz

Written by

Entrepreneur, writer, editor, book coach, cat lover, weirdo, optimist. Author of “Write. Get Paid. Repeat.” & “Concept to Conclusion.” jyssicaschwartz.com

Write Out Loud

All about freelancing, business, writing, editing, and entrepreneurship.

Jyssica Schwartz

Written by

Entrepreneur, writer, editor, book coach, cat lover, weirdo, optimist. Author of “Write. Get Paid. Repeat.” & “Concept to Conclusion.” jyssicaschwartz.com

Write Out Loud

All about freelancing, business, writing, editing, and entrepreneurship.

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