You will soon find that, as a digital journalist,you will suffer from quite a significant problem. No, don’t worry; it isn’t some weird disease that only journalists are prone to. It is the problem of having too much or too little work.
It is the nature of the writing business that work tends to come in dribs and drabs. Depending on who your client base is or who your audience is, you might have a lot of work or you might not have very much. If you are doing a lot of work for free and rely on advertising for your income then it is not so much of a problem. This is because, depending on your subject, there is usually loads of material available to write about. You just need to get it down on the page and advertise it widely enough to make sure that your readership is sufficiently high to keep the advertisers happy. However, if you rely on piece by piece work, this is more of an issue.
Generally, clients have a habit of giving you lots of work at one time, but then you might not hear from them for several days, weeks or maybe even months afterwards. This is why it is important to have a range of different writing platforms and clients so that you should, in theory at least, always have someone to turn to for work. However, this also has its down sides. By having lots of potential clients, you open yourself up to having lots of potential work. Occasionally you will get several clients asking you to complete a task to a tight deadline at the same time. You know that you cannot possibly complete all of the tasks by the deadline and so you are going to have to say no to someone. This is incredibly frustrating, especially when you think of the times that you don’t have any work at all and you wish that someone would just give you something; anything! However, this is just the nature of the digital journalism journey. You need to realise that this is the reality.
It can be tough living through the times of the writing famine. It does happen and you should expect it. There are sites available where you can always find work. However, these don’t tend to pay you very well so you are probably going to have to work twice as hard. However, they are still worth having a look at to get through those times of literary famine.
The most important thing for you to do is to keep positive and make the most of those writing feast times. Rather like making a budget, it is always important to create a contingency fund. During those glut times of writing good times, remember to put a little money aside, to make sure you can get through the times of writing dearth.
The times of writing famine can however also be a good thing. You could use the time to look for new contacts, do some networking, work on non-online work, or catch up with other tasks that you have had to put to the side because you have been working so hard on your writing.
There are good sides and bad sides of everything. There are also times of work and times of play in life. Make the most of all of your time and keep positive and you will be absolutely fine.