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Do multiple free-lance careers work well together?

I'm going to be an undergraduate studying harp performance, but am also interested in writing and translating. Have you found that balancing multiple different careers took a lot of organizing, but proves feasible, or is it spreading your time and training too thin? #writer #musician #translation #multi-tasking #freelance-writing

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Erin’s Answer

Hi, Madeline. Good questions. I think it all comes down to what exactly you want to do with all of the training you have. If you're studying music at the collegiate level, I would assume you have had thoughts about a career in harp performance and/or teaching. If that's true, then I think it's not just feasible, but vital to fit in a second career to see you through any lean times between gigs or teaching assignments unless you catch on long term with a performance group or a school. Depending on the languages you know and can translate in, you would be in high demand in the writing and editing field. I always feel that writers should try their best to know at least one other language as it widens your options a good bit.


As for spreading yourself too thin, that is possible with freelancing. Sometimes you just have to take on projects to pay the bills. I currently have a full time job and a freelance contract as a writer. It's difficult and results in my not having a lot of time for my personal writing projects or even leisure time. But it is a necessity for me to work this way for now. I feel that as much as you can, try to identify the job you want to be your "main" job and then figure out how and if you can schedule that secondary job around it. If you want your main job to center on music, make a chart of how much time you spend on that job per week/month and look for the gaps that you can realistically fit in freelance work. You may find that you have more - or less - time than you think, so having that sense of what your time commitment is for your main job is key! And remember, freelancing is supposed to benefit you as much as the client. Unless you absolutely are in a financial crunch or a project is too good to pass up, if it will eat into your personal time, feel free to turn it down. You always have to make time for yourself - that's probably one of the most important things to keep in mind. Good luck!

Thank you comment icon Thank you! Madeline
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Rachel’s Answer

I think that having multiple free-lance careers is totally feasible, and may actually be a very smart financial decision. I played harp gigs during undergrad while completing the pre-med requirements and continued to play through med school and residency. If you can find the time and the discipline to practice regularly and not take short-cuts in any of your careers, you will have the opportunity to succeed in all of them.
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Marjorie’s Answer

Hi Madeline!

Yes, multiple freelance careers are not only feasible, they're very common for writers. Many business copywriters work with a variety of clients at a time - often on a variety of subjects. (This is especially true if you're blogging for businesses.) Others may be employed as a writer for a single business, but freelance on the side - with their employer's permission - about other topics. And some writers (me included) have non-writing hobbies on the side that bring in some extra cash and extra enjoyment.

Having a side project lets you expand your knowledge and your skills. Yes, you'll usually be juggling more than one project at a time, but that's an important skill, too. And, it can keep you from getting bored or burned out on a single focus or project. Live, learn, write - rinse and repeat!
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Nir’s Answer

I think marketing yourself under two different disciplines can take a lot of effort so be prepared to work hard and explain your "pitch" 1000 times. But if you're willing to work hard on branding yourself I think you can absolutely make it work and having two different incomes can be very nice.
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