A Day in the Life of a Freelance Writer
Ever wondered what it's like to work from home full-time?
Maybe now you're getting a taste of the remote work lifestyle thanks to COVID-19. Or you're just one of those people (like me) who's interested in other people's daily habits for some unknown reason.
In any case, here's a breakdown of my typical day as a freelance writer. (Which, to be honest, isn't all that different pre-COVID and post-COVID.)
8:00 am | wake up
If I don't have to be up early for work or some other obligation, it's not happening. After so many failed attempts at waking up earlier, I've fully embraced that I'm not naturally a morning person. At the very least, I'm proud to say I've broken my habit of looking at my phone first thing in the morning.
8:30 am | start work
Now that I'm awake and armed with my first cup of coffee, I sit down at my desk and get ready to work. I run through task notifications in Asana, open up Slack, load everyone's favorite chill music station, check my email, and figure out what to tackle first.
Work varies day to day; it depends on what kind of writing I'm doing for which client. So far this week, I've:
edited and created social media posts
written sales page copy
put together podcast show notes
edited an ebook
revised first drafts
At some point I'll grab a second cup of coffee. But no more than that, unless I want shaky hands while trying to type.
11:00 | eat
Confession: I used to be a hardcore advocate of eating breakfast soon after I woke up. Quarantine has changed me somehow. Now I don't really get hungry until I've worked for a few hours. I'll usually eat leftovers, or have one of my go-to meals: peanut butter on toast or an omelet.
11:30 - 12:00 | back to writing
Sometimes I need to take a full hour to give my brain a rest from writing. Other times I want to get back to work as soon as possible because I'm in a writing groove.
When I need a mental break from writing, I'll spend a little time searching for contract work, blogging, or just browsing around other blogs or vlogs. I also check in on my email and Slack channels. Since I work for both Uncanny Content and Triforce Digital Marketing, I always want to stay on top of notifications and messages, but not so often that I get distracted from writing.
2:00 - 3:00 | break time
I usually get hungry around this time again, so depending on what I ate for breakfast, I'll take a break to eat something like edamame, fruit, or to be honest, something not so healthy that I baked.
Note: On Wednesdays, I try to get my work done by 3 pm so I can watch an episode of TV and chat with my best friend. (Currently watching Little Fires Everywhere.) It's something we look forward to during the workweek and a fun way to catch up and keep in touch!
5:00 - 5:30 | workday ends
I've found that I do my best work in 6 or 7 hour blocks. It's hard for me to work a full 8 hours or longer than that unless it's necessary for a deadline. If I have to work a day on the weekend but work fewer hours every day, I'll always opt for that. At some point my brain just can't put together words anymore.
To end the day, I'll make sure I checked every task off my list. I'll put together a tentative outline for tomorrow's tasks, check emails and Slack one last time, and leave myself any little reminders for the morning.
6:00 - 11:00 | dinner, winding down, bedtime
After my husband and I work out and shower, one of us starts cooking so we can eat dinner together when the evening news starts at 6. Yes, we have the evening routine of 75 year old people. Be jealous.
After the news, we'll take an hour or two to ourselves. I'll usually read or scroll through bookstagram. We'll finish the night together with a movie, or one of our shows that we have to watch together. (Just finished Ozark and Ugly Delicious. Now it's Doom Patrol and Atlanta.)
11:00 ish | bedtime
Yep, I need at least 9 hours of sleep to function. I'm getting all the sleep I can before I have kids.
Wanna read more about freelance writing life? See which tools and apps help me stay focused best.