I’ve always been an advocate of not putting all of your eggs in one baskets. I learned that lesson when the last newspaper that I worked full-time for closed up shop. It came as a bit of a surprise, but luckily, I had already started doing some freelance writing. It wasn’t near what I was making as a newspaper editor, but it helped supplement my unemployment.
Since that time, I have worked to have a variety of income streams (article writing, book writing, teaching) from a variety of customers. I can count on monthly checks from eight clients and probably just twice as many that I do regular work for just not monthly and dozens more clients that I do occasional writing for.
Sometimes juggling so many clients can be confusing, but it’s a trade off for not getting too stressed if I should lose a client. That has happened in the past eight years. One business, one newspaper, and four or five magazines have either closed or decided to stop using my services. I’ve been able to take each hit without too much of an impact.
The reason I decided to write about this is that I had another example of the need for variety this past weekend. I attended a huge festival where I made five percent of my total income last year. However, this year, Saturday was marred by rain that kept many people indoors. Sunday was sunny but cool with gusting winds, which may have held down the crowds a bit. I only did a third of the business that I usually do.
It was a big income hit, but I’ve got festivals to attend the next two weekends and a class to teach and a presentation to give later this month. They are all indoors so if the crowds hold, I should be able to make up some of my losses from this past weekend and then make up the rest with Christmas events.
Where one door closes another opens.
Writers should do their best to diversify their writing income because you never know where the next big hit will come from.