When I tell people what I do, I've come to expect a series of responses. I typically start by stating "I'm a writer," which often provokes more curiosity. Freelance writing as a career can be difficult to understand, and even more difficult to explain to those who've never heard of this alternative career path. As with any alternative lifestyle, freelance writers face a lot of surprise and skeptical comments. Some best hits include:
"Like, you write for a living?"
"Books and stuff?"
"What do you do?"
"How do you make money doing that?"
*polite yet grimacing smile*
"What have you written? Can I read it?"
"So you don't really get credit?"
"And you're financially stable?"
"That seems difficult."
The list goes on. Recently, I was explaining my work to a friend for the first time, only to have him reply with, "that sucks." Needless to say, I was a little taken aback! My work isn't always easy, but I chose this path for a reason, I assured him. To satisfy some curiosity, I've decided to create this post outlining my typical day as a freelance writer. Grab a coffee and let's get a move on!
7:30am I awake with the sunrise brightening my bedside curtains. By now, the cats are up-and-at-'em, itching for a busy day of bird-watching.
7:45am The coffee is ready, and I scoot into my desk by our office window. My first task of the morning is to check my calendar, e-mails, and job board messages, which I typically wait to answer until I am coherent, that is, at least one coffee deep. Sometimes I'll post a cozy TikTok clip to start the day off on a happy note.
By 8:00am, I'm off to work - browsing job boards and writing pitches for potential clients. This process takes up the majority of my morning, as it should, according to seasoned freelancer, Ashley Gainer, who recommends dedicating 90% of non-writing time to finding new clients. I prefer to do this work in the morning when I am mentally sharp, and sometimes I'll even receive a response before the day is over.
10:30am or so, I take an early lunch. Even starving artists have to eat, and if you're a workaholic like me, it's important to give yourself a break when you don't have a strict daily schedule. During my break, I may do some light admin work or catch up on housework.
11:30am I'm back in the trenches, finishing up pitches and starting on projects for the day. I'll spend the majority of the afternoon writing for Study.com, Upwork, and other job board clients.
4:00pm Once my daily milestones have been met or I've reached a pausing point, I'll hit the gym. I prefer to go before the post-work surge around 5:00pm. I've found that I have more efficient workouts in the afternoon, when I'm already awake and limber and the daily task load feels lighter on my shoulders.
5:30pm After I've returned home and showered, I'm usually starving, so I'll start cooking dinner. Unless he is traveling, my dear partner arrives home from work around this time. We like to spend a little time catching each other up about our day.
7:00pm If I have any more client work to finish, now is the time. If not, this is when I'll jump into my personal writing (blogging, poetry, etc.). Once I feel satisfied, I'll wrap up my day by creating my schedule for tomorrow. Then I'll usually spend time with my partner or read my Book of the Month.
As the day comes to an end, I take a moment to replay all I've accomplished and all that I'm grateful for. I love waking up knowing that I get to do what I love and pursue new adventures every day. I love the flexibility my job affords me with both time and location. In my beginning weeks as a full-time freelancer, I have been able to readjust my work to fit my ideal life. I climb into bed at night knowing I've got a clean house, a clean slate, and a brand new dream to chase tomorrow. And that, my friends, doesn't suck.