Published on 2nd Dec., 2016

Staying Productive During Slow Periods

Traditionally, the workload for writers starts to slow down during summer months and the Christmas season every year. As we approach this next slow period, you might already be seeing clients reducing their budgets and editors getting ready for vacation. However, you don’t have to stand by twiddling your thumbs and waiting for things to pick up again. We’ve got a few suggestions to keep you productive during the quiet periods.

Check in With Previous Clients

There’s a common theme with your previous clients: they’re already a fan of you and your writing. A slow period is the perfect time to check in with them. Simply send a friendly email saying hello and asking if they have any projects that you can take off their plate. Alternatively, see if they’d be willing to refer you to their colleagues or write a quick testimonial.

Polish Up Your Portfolio

Your writing portfolio works hard for you, showcasing your best articles and attracting potential new clients and employers. Use your downtime to give your portfolio some love by polishing it up. Add your latest articles, update the images, and maybe even try out a new Journo Portfolio theme. If you’re feeling really keen, update your website and social media profiles too!

Connect with Other Writers

Being connected to other writers has many benefits: being able to ask for advice, vent about frustrating situations, or refer potential new opportunities to each other. Join a Facebook group for like-minded freelance writers and journalists. Get more active on Twitter and join a Twitter chat for writers. Search Google for a group of freelance writers that meets up in your area. Remember, writers are stronger together.

Improve Your Writing Skills

While your skills are improving naturally as you continue to write, a slow period is an opportunity to focus on leveling up your skills. Find an online writing course or read a couple of books on writing. Try writing something fun in a new voice or style. Even better, learn how to write something specific that you can add to your available services, like whitepapers or case studies.

Work on Your Creative Projects

Do you have an idea for a novel burning a hole in your brain? Or maybe it’s a memoir, screenplay, or blog you want to pursue? There’s no better time than now. With less freelance work on your plate, you can focus on bringing your creative projects to life.

Take a Break

If all else fails, give yourself a break. Whether it’s for a day, a week, or even an entire month (wouldn’t that be nice!), allow yourself to take a break from writing work. Set up an out of office reply, turn off your social media notifications, and use this time to recharge.

Slow periods are a natural part of a freelance writer’s lifecycle, so don’t worry when your inbox gets a little quiet over summer and winter holidays. Stay productive with your downtime and your workload will be back to normal, or even busier, sooner than you think.

Robyn Petrik is a freelance writer from Vancouver, Canada, and specializes in writing blog posts and social media content for creative small businesses. Along with writing, she also spends time painting on her iPad, reading, hiking, and eating too much peanut butter. You can learn more about Robyn at and connect with her on Twitter.

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