Sometimes there is a slow down in who’s hiring in your area. Maybe the magazines you usually write for simply have had to hold enough stories over that they can fill whole issues. Maybe your technical writing clients are just taking a break themselves. Or, horror of horrors, you’ve been relying on only one or two clients for all your work — and they’ve dropped you. There’s a whole slew of reasons that your usual income streams might dry up. But you can keep them from causing you problems by employing some of that famous freelancing flexibility.
The question here is how you can create multiple income streams, so that you’ve always got a little work rolling in. First of all, make sure you’re not putting all your eggs in one basket. Even if a client wants you to devote 40 hours every week to his project, you need to make a point to keep up connections that bring in work from outside, or even keep up working on outside projects. As a freelancer, you can go to a client and say that you can only devote 30 hours a week to a given project. You don’t even need to explain why.
Now, I’m not suggesting that you load up on multiple huge projects just to make sure that you’ll have work down the road. No, sir. That way leads to stress and unnecessary pain. I’m saying that in addition to your one big project, work on a couple of smaller projects. For instance, you might make a point of writing an article or two every month for different magazines, or look into freelance blogging opportunities.
Diversification is a just in case strategy — just in case your main job falls through, you’ve got something to tide you over. It’s a little peace of mind in the uncertain world of freelance writing.