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I like money. I like the idea of making money, especially for writing because it’s something I do. When I think about my freelance work, I like to play this little game. I like figuring out how much I want to make and work my way backwards.

I set the goal a little high, $15,000 a year seems a little steep. Then I work in ball park figures backward. By December next year I’ll have made $15,000 freelancing. $15,000** divided by 12 is $1,250. I divide 1,250 by 4 because there are usually 4 weeks in a month. That’s 312.50 a week, so I round-up to 313.

Many of the freelancing assignments I’m looking at are $250 an assignment. 4 times 250 is 1,000 which is 250 short my monthly goal, so I can do one of two things. I can do another assignment a month, making that 5 assignments a month instead of 4, or negotiate for more money per assignment.

Five assignments a month is a lot. I don’t know if I can do that. It requires a lot of organization. One assignment takes energy and commitment, times that by 5? Once I get more assignments under my belt, I will feel more comfortable negotiating for more, nothing outrageous, but enough to bump me to my goal. (There are other ways to supplement this income but I’m focusing on freelancing for this discussion). (“This discussion?” Who writes like that?)

Again these are ball park figures. I’m not taking into consideration taxes. Kelly James Enger has a cool system for working out how much you’re worth an hour, your hourly rate. Then you can weigh assignments that way. Do I want to take an assignment I can bang out in a couple of hours or couple weeks? There are other things to consider, like who you’re writing for and where your name will be published.

I’ll take another look at her system, especially since I get to submit an invoice for a current assignment I’m working on. This is just a game I like to play. Math is not my area of expertise, but I like dividing things down. Goals are much more attainable when you break them down into smaller steps. 15,000 sounds really high but when you break it down by month, by week, and by assignment you see how it can be reached. It’s a fun way to get your spirits up and pretend, “What if?”

**I know you shouldn’t start sentences with numerals. Mea Culpa. I apologize. As an English major, I’d be twitching if I was reading someone else’s post and be concerned they wanted to make money writing, but were failing to adhere to basic grammar rules.

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