Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Do you have an alternative plan?

Computers crash. Kids get sick. Things come up. Do you have an alternative plan for dealing with the little things that can turn your world upside down?

If your computer crashes, do you have a back-up system? Is your information backed up?

If your kids get sick or your babysitter flakes out on you, do you have someone you can call while you finish an important article or project?

Freelancers have to have a plan B and C. When the computer is on the fritz at work, you call up IT and the company pays the dime. Most freelancers don't have an IT department in their basement, so it's useful to have a couple experts on file in case you need them.

While someone fixes on your livelihood, do you have a back up system? I have a Window 98 HP - it's horrible & clunky, but it works and in a pinch I can hit up the local library.

Do you have back up blogs that you can whip out and post in a flash while taking a temperature? I don't for this blog, but for paying blogs you can bet your butt there are some great, timeless blogs cooling their heels in my online file folder accessible from anywhere.

Another way to help insulate yourself from disaster is to work ahead. I know there are writers out there that absolutely thrive on waiting until the last possible minute to finish an assignment. I know, I used to be one of them, until recently it dawned on me that every time I waited to start an assignment because I had a month or two to work on it, something came up during crunch time that made it a stressful, taxing task to get the article out on time.

Working ahead allows writers the luxury of rearranging their schedules if there's a hiccup in the plan. You can't prepare for every scenario, but you can be prepared for the common ones.

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