Current IT field related information

25 Jun 10 Freelance Writing and Work hours

This is one of the most common questions asked by freelance writing aspirants. They want to know if a freelance writer has to work from morning till evening, or just couple of hours a day will be sufficient. Another thing that bothers them in this regard is when one should write? These are valid questions, and need proper consideration before you embark on the freelance writing ship.

When to work?

There is no definite answer to this question as one can work whenever one wants as long as one meets the given deadline. I know many freelance writers that write in the morning, right after they wake up. Upon asking, they told me that writing in the morning is more fun as the mind is fresh and ideas keep coming.

I also know freelance writers who work in the deep darkness of the night. They feel they can produce good quality work in the night as there is seldom any distraction at that hour; no phone calls, no people coming over to meet, and kids and wives remain asleep then.

There are freelance writers who want to work during the day because for them working regular hours – from 9 or 10 in the morning till 5 or 6 in the evening – and maintaining a fix work schedule is important. They feel by working a regular hour they can take time out for family.

There are people who say they do not have any fix timing. They can work randomly at any hour without compromising the deadline or quality of the work to be delivered. They believe that the “hour of the day has no effect on their output”.

All of the people I talked to are excellent writers, and they produce excellent output for their clients. In the light of discussions I had, I believe working hour is not important. What is important is the quality of the output and timeliness of delivery. I must mention here that I do not endorse “working random hours” , as it affects the quality of output.

How long one has to work?

This depends where you are in your career and what your financial goal is. If you are starting out then you have to work long hours to meet your financial obligations, but if you are a veteran then you can work just for 3-4 hours and meet your financial goal, provided it is not very lofty.

I know people who worked for 15 to 16 hours (even more) when they started out, but as they gained experience and got good paying clients they reduced the number of working hours.

If you are starting out as a freelance writer then expect to work for more than 12 hours in a day, but as the time will pass you can reduce this to 4 to 6 hours a day.

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28 Mar 10 Is Outsourcing Business Process a Good Strategy?

The answer (to the above question) depends upon whom you are asking this question. But, for the sake our discussion, I will tackle this question from a business owner’s point of view—also because I do not want any political controversy on this blog.

For a business owner, outsourcing any business process that is not its core is a not good but great strategy. I am not saying this to put bread on a family’s table in a third-world country, I am saying this because doing things that you are not good at will cost you doubly— (a). You will not be able to produce quality work, (b). And you will end up wasting time that could be invested on doing things that you are best at.

I do not play baseball nor do I play golf. I even do not know their terminologies. How do you think I will fare, if I take a baseball bat or club in my hand? I may hit a home run by fluke, but I cannot repeat it. So, if I were wise, I would have played chess or cricket, instead of going for baseball or golf. By not doing so, I have not only made fool of me, but I also end up wasting precious time I should have invested on games that I know.

It holds true for business processes as well. If you are a programmer who has started a small company, or if you are an existing small business owner that is good at manufacturing and marketing then you should outsource designing, SEO, marketing works to outside vendors whose core competencies lies in these fields. They will do better job at significantly lower cost. And the cost incurred will be even less, if you outsource your work to the third-world countries.

Did you say quality? Don’t worry, not everyone is bad there.

Benefits of outsourcing

  • It frees up your time that you can devote on doing things you are good at.
  • It can get you better result at a fraction of the cost incurred if you had worked on that.
  • The work quality is often good.
  • It will help you speed-up the process of product creation, testing, and delivery.
  • You will get a bigger team to think on the problems that your customer’s face. Who knows, you may get a brilliant insight from there.

Above, I have just a few of the benefits. I do not claim here to know all the benefits, and I am sure, you can suggest countless more benefits of outsourcing. Why do not you post your comment here?

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28 Sep 09 5 More Ways to Improve Your Writing Part-VIII

The actual process of writing is indeed a lonely undertaking, but many things happen before you sit and start writing, and these many things shape your writing, therefore going out is as important as is sitting alone to write. In this part of the 5 Ways to Improve Your Writing series, I will talk about the benefits of socializing.

Writing group

Join a writing group in your neighborhood. Make sure it is not very far because distance works as a deterrent for many new writers. If you could not find a writing group in your neighborhood, form one.

Book reading club

Become a member of a book reading club. This will help you refine your existing ideas, and it will also help you get new ideas. Reading is the best advice that can be given to a writer. A writer who does not read cannot produce a good quality work for long. If there is not any book reading club in your neighborhood then form one.

Socialize with writers

Talking to fellow writers will help you unearth many hidden issues, and it will also help you find answers of many unasked questions as well. A practicing writer can become a better guide in telling you how to write, how to use different writing tools, and how to keep your writing simple yet powerful.

Meet someone who is not like you

Meeting a person who is not like you, and who has different point of view, desires, values, etc., will give you a good understanding in human nature. Meet a person of such standing and reflect on the experience you have by meeting him, and the experiences he or she shared with you.

Leave your couch

This is important. Your couch has become your comfort zone, or is it your chair that has become your comfort zone? Challenge yourself and break free. I am asking you to leave your comfort zone, and try meeting new people, and experiencing new things. The more experience you will bag, the better accomplished writer you will become.

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