One of my clients has booked me to ghost write full-time for them until the end of the year, which takes care of all my job-seeking stress and free work time until the end of 2016. This is a freelancer's dream come true, and it has the extra delight of being for the client who has the most interesting projects, allows me the most creative freedom, and is a pure joy to work with, always. If I was given the job of quality control manager at the Hershey's chocolate factory, I couldn't be happier.
Unfortunately this means I have to say Adieu to my tentative plans for summer, and joining NaNoWriMo in November. Regarding the latter, as I do every year on the blog I'll still shake my pompoms, nag incessantly, and post anything I think can help for those who do take the leap.
Booking jobs this far in advance isn't always possible when you're freelancing, but when you can it takes a lot of the pressure off you. Having that income to look forward to allows you to focus more on the work, which is the ideal situation when you're trying to deliver your best. If you do reserve your time for a client, be realistic about your productivity. You can say you can write ten novels before the end of the year, but can you really knock out 200K a month without stopping until December? Do the math first. You should also consider any holidays or vacation time you might want to take off from work.
Some other suggestions:
1. Talk to the client about their schedule, and make sure they're going to be at least available to contact while you're working should any problems arise. If the client plans to be on vacation or offline celebrating the holidays, mark that on your calendar as a reminder.
2. Discuss kill fees (aka what you will want to charge if any future project is cancelled) upfront so the client is clear on the cost of cancellation. My philosophy is that life happens, and finances can get tight without notice, so I don't charge them (note that it's also pretty easy for me to land a freelancing job now, so I have a bit of an advantage there.) I do ask my clients to give me as much advance notice as possible so I can line up new jobs to take the place of the cancelled project.
3. Find out as much about your future projects as you can from the client. This is just common sense. If you hate writing NASCAR romances, three months down the road you don't want to find out you have to write a series of them.
Always be grateful to a client who asks to reserve your time, too. Even if you turn them down, you've just been paid a very nice compliment.