Many writers dread the finances part of their freelancing career because it seems like drudge work, and sometimes end up procrastinating as a result. Financial coach Jenifer Madson says attitude is everything when it comes to financial success. "If we see it as
drudgery, it will be. However, if we look at money from the standpoint of
how it supports us in doing the writing that we love, as another partner or
tool for our success, we are more likely to treat it with the respect it
needs if it's to serve us better. As writers, we know that words convey
meaning, which then influence the direction of a story or piece. It's the
same with managing money; choose a meaning for that process that is strong
and empowering, and you will have better results."
A Financial Minute
Jenifer is the author of A Financial Minute, whose tagline is "From money madness to financial freedom, one minute at a time." Jenifer emphasizes that a freelance writer's finances don't have to be complicated. "I am a great proponent for using the computer and Internet
technology available to us for tracking money, but that doesn't mean you
can't also do things by hand," says Jenifer. "It just takes more time that way, which takes
away from writing time! I have very particular places for bills to land,
then weekly I enter them into a money management program and pay bills. Once
I'm done with them, I have an easy place to file them.
"As much as I enjoy hanging out on the creative side of my brain, I know this
more technical process is necessary if I'm to continue as a writer. So, I do
things in the process of working with my money that feel creative: I use a
swanky letter opener to open the bills, play high-energy music while I'm
doing it, and bless the money on its way to its recipient. That way it
doesn't feel so different from how I engage in my creative processes of
writing and consulting.
"Also, it's important to keep your business money separate from your personal
accounts; treat your writing like a business and it will pay you like one.
Just be consistent in how you check in with your finances and how often, and
soon you'll find a rhythm with it that makes the process easy and efficient."
Other useful resources:
Don't forget my earlier column on Tax tips for freelance writers.
Moira Allen has some useful articles on handling income and getting paid in Writing-World.com.
Finances For Freelancers: Notes from a panel discussion at PWAC (Periodical Writers Association of Canada), Toronto Chapter.
Taxes and Finances for Writers by Tara K. Harper
Handling Your Finances: Lessons from an author in transition by Lynnette Khalfani