What do you do as a nurse writer? I get this same question over and over again. I totally understand why. I didn’t understand what a nurse writer was when I first heard the term. I saw the title on LinkedIn and a light bulb went off.
I was already writing as a side hustle, but I didn’t know I could tie my professional role to my side hustle. If you’re ready to make the leap, I can help.
I spend the majority of my day working on deliverables. You can work full-time, part-time, or per-diem. You can set your own hours, or you could have set hours. Most opportunities are remote, but some may be hybrid. Some may require meetings, but it’s not the industry standard.
I choose to be a freelancer who works remotely and sets her own hours. I choose to have about 4-8 clients at a time, but this may change. During the summer, I want to be by my pool more, so I’ll drop some clients. In the winter, I ski a lot, so my client load is a bit lower, too.
I never go to meetings. I get my projects assigned to me, and I write completely independently. If I have a question, I have a team of editors from each publication I can reach out to. Most of the time, I don’t have questions, though. They give me enough information to write, research, and edit my content.
I spend some time researching my topic, and then I write the product. After I’m done writing, I deliver it to my publication. Some publications want me to email my deliverables. Other publications have their own online platform where I input the deliverable.
How Much Time Do I Spend Writing?
The amount of time I spend each day on writing varies. You can choose to set
up any schedule that works for you. If you can’t write for long periods of time, you can break your writing up throughout the week. Or, you can write for an hour, and then take an hour break.
I choose to write for several hours until the deliverable is done. That’s how I work best, and I don’t find it stressful. I usually just get roped into a project and don’t want to put it down. Usually, it’s like a really good book that I need to finish.
Most of my clients come from networking. Building authentic relationships with people in my industry helps me boost my business. It also helps with the loneliness that solo freelancers may struggle with. When you’re a freelancer, you don’t really have coworkers. Instead, having a close-knit group of people in your network can help.
When I have a question on rates, contracts, or clients, I’ll turn to the people in my network. I always make myself available in return. Being a freelancer doesn’t have to be lonely. You don’t have to figure everything out on your own, either. You can build an entire network of people around you for support and questions.
Networking is actually one of the most important aspects of my job. It’s how I find out about unposted jobs. Or tricks and tools of the trade. Never underestimate the power of connecting with people in your field. As a remote worker, these are your colleagues.
How Much Time Do I Spend Networking a Day?
I spend about 1-2 hours a day. It really depends on the day. I may take an introductory phone call once or twice a week. I try to limit these to people in my niche to avoid burnout. Somedays, I’m connecting with colleagues and sharing resources through email or messenger throughout the day. Other days, I’m interacting through LinkedIn or doing a podcast. It’s hard to track this amount of time.
You can’t make money if you have no work. Client outreach keeps you ahead
of the game by making sure you always have potential clients on deck to reach out to. The tasks surrounding client outreach vary by the day and where I am in my freelance cycle.
If I’m looking for clients, I’ll be actively searching and talking to clients. I may be reviewing contracts, negotiating, or booking more meetings than usual. This is when I’m more consistent with client outreach.
If I don’t need clients, I’ll usually do research to prepare for when I have an opening. I may look into a new publication, gather emails, or research potential topics. During this phase, I’m more passive in my search.
How Much Time Do I Spend on Client Outreach?
This varies greatly by the week. If I need clients, I’m doing more client outreach and way less writing. My priority is to set myself up for a steady income and prevent any dips. During this time, I may be performing client outreach tasks 10-15 hours a week.
If I am fully booked, I won’t be working on client outreach as steadily. I may be researching clients for 5 hours or less a week. It’s important to remember that these numbers are generalizations that will vary slightly from week to week depending on my needs.
Busy work refers to the administrative work that goes into owning a business. This may mean making new business goals, trying out a new payment system, or updating a website. I also run a newsletter, course, and coaching packages. I have to make sure everything is running smoothly for my clients and students.
I also have to submit invoices, which takes a few hours a month. During tax season, I need to meet with my accountant and organize my files for him. Busy work varies depending on the season, but it’s important to build a buffer into your time for whatever pops up.
How much time is devoted to busy work?
This is the hardest to measure and it varies the most. During tax season and the new year, my planning time will increase. I’m thinking a lot about my goals for the new year and how I can tweak my strategy. I don’t update my website and my systems all the time, but the few times I do, it does take a substantial amount of time.
I would say that this ranges from 3 hours a week to 20 hours depending on the season. Every week, I know I will have to send out invoices, create content for LinkedIn, and create content for my website. Those tasks will carry over, but the others are performed a few times a year.
How Many Hours a Week do I Work?
My hours every week vary. Sometimes, I work 20 hours. Sometimes, I work 50 hours. If I have a bigger bill coming up, or If I want to pay for a vacation, I’ll pick up extra work. If I don’t feel like writing, I’ll drop a client. Sometimes the pool is calling and I just can’t be bothered to write.
I periodically raise my rates. Raising my rates is an important part of being a freelancer. Negotiating higher rates lets me work less while still maintaining my same income. So, some weeks when I’m working less, I’m actually making a similar income.
I think in the end it all evens out. I feel balanced and not over or under worked. I think the important thing is having time for your family, friends, hobbies, and mental health. I pay more attention to that than the specific amount of hours I work. If I have to work more one week, but less the next, I’m okay with that.
It’s important to know that being a writer doesn’t mean that writing will be your only task. You'll be responsible for the upkeep of your business. If you don’t stay on top of the other functions of the job, you may fall behind. Every week will look a little different, so it helps to keep a list of overarching tasks that will need to be completed.