"Required reading" for today's smart writer.

"Required reading" for today's smart writer.
Information & inspiration to hone your craft and increase your cash...Since 2009

Monday, January 5, 2015

How Working a Few Hours During the Holiday Can Pay for Next Year's Vacation!

For some it seems sacrilegious.
Working and writing during the holidays screams misplaced priorities, disregard for tradition, family and friends, and even the true meaning for the season. For some.

I get that. But, get this. Respectfully.
There's no better way to knock out year-long debt, not to mention the bills accumulated from playing "Santa Claus" to the ones we love.

A few strategically planned projects and the right connections can end the year on a high note that even an opera singer would envy.

Sure, I agree that "money can't buy happiness." But, I promise you this: it can make a pretty good down payment on it.
Hello? :-)

Here's a case in point. From Thanksgiving to New Years, I made it a point to keep the "virtual doors" to my business open.
Though an over-indulgence in holiday music,  decadent desserts, and a little "bubbly," kept me in the spirit, I didn't totally abandon my need to stay on my "financial feet" long-term and to think strategically about 2015.

  • I read my emails periodically to check in with clients, in case my services were needed.    
  • I briefly touched base with former clients via email "pitches" to find out if there was a possibility for potential projects in 2015.
  • I took a blog break to devote more time to paying projects and to do a year-end analysis of where I was vs. where I wanted to be.
  • I sent gifts to my most valued clients, to show appreciation, and to "woo" them for next year.
  • I visited other blogs to evaluate what others had to offer, got a few creative ideas, and even signed up for some new ones.   
  • One former client re-hired me to "ghost write" a book, negotiated a 6-month contract, and sent a deposit to begin.
  • A new client, who is one of my blog readers, (Wall Street Executive) reached out to me for assistance with his blog. What started out as a general question posed via blog comments, turned into a phone consult and content strategy session. He was great to work with, paid for the entire project within 48 hours of being invoiced, and hopefully will remain on my roster.
  • I wrote and sold a 600 word "how to" article to Writers Weekly; it paid 60 dollars on acceptance.
  • A writer/poet signed up for me to update his blog content for 90 days. The work begins in January.

  • Balance is key. Though I worked over the holidays, I didn't over do it. I still managed to spend time with family and friends. I babysat for relatives. I contributed to the festivities by baking my famous ham, pot roast, and candied yams. I opted NOT to try the turkey and dressing again this soon.
  •  I attended parties and holiday gatherings as desired. And you should too.
  • It's okay to sometimes mix business with pleasure. Actually holiday shin-digs can present opportunities to meet new friends and potential clients. Mention what you do if it is appropriate and applicable.
  • Kick back, but don't disconnect completely. 
  • Sometimes the end of year is when businesses and non-profit organizations plan their budgets and goals for the following year. Keeping the lines of communication open and being "creative" can mean that you and your business will be factored into that equation.
  • If you'll be taking a blog break anyway, why not spend some of that time building your business? 

These practices and principles can make all the difference between having a "stay-cation" at home and perhaps taking the kids to Disneyland next year. It's time for a paradigm shift.

 Unless you are religiously and/or morally opposed to working over the holidays, I highly recommend it.
After all, there's great truth to the expression...

"You snooze, you lose!"

Thoughts? Agree or disagree?
Thanks for joining me in this new year!


  1. I agree. This is often a reason I take a break through the year, whether during the holidays or otherwise. With the right balance, it can really pay off. And it can offer some great down time too. :) Congrats on your productive time!

  2. Jennifer Brown BanksJanuary 7, 2015 at 4:27 AM

    Thanks so much, Karen. And this just in...I just received an acceptance for a guest post feature at Tiny Buddha. Yay! :-) they have about 4 million readers.