Freelancer, what it's like to freelance, freelance writer

When I say I’m a freelance writer/content marketer/SEO/anything I can get my hands on, people ask me questions like “What do you actually do?” or “What are your days like?”

I’m writing this so people can get an idea of what I do – emphasis on the I. By the end of the week, you’ll have a bit of an idea of how I schedule my work, the kind of work I do, and potentially the most interesting:  how much I make. Enjoy!

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Monday June 1

7:00 — Wake up. Decide “Not today, love”. Go back to sleep.

8:00 — Wake up again. Check my emails and read The Guardian newsletter I get daily to keep up with the news and interesting topics du jour. I put a load of washing in and make myself a coffee, which I drink while watching Good Morning Britain.

I have a contemporary dance class at Morley College, so I don’t normally do any work in the morning, but I tweet a blogger to get her to check her email. She was meant to do some (paid!) work for a client and missed the deadline. I’m a little annoyed because I don’t get paid until she does it. I don’t take well to people messing with my money.

9:30 — I hang my laundry, shower, pack a lunch, and jump on my bike at 9:45 to get to Lambeth North.

12:00 — I go up to the college cafeteria for lunch. It’s a cold spag bol–without the spag. I was inspired to go to Pineapple for some more dance classes, so I’m staying in the area. I cycle over to the Southbank, fold up my bike, and unfold my laptop at a table in the corner of the Royal Festival Hall. I stare a woman down so she knows I’m getting that table with an outlet and she’s not.

13:00 — I finally start working. Since it’s the first of the month, I have some accounting tasks to do: making sure my spreadsheet matches up with figures in my accounts, dividing personal expenses from business expenses (I have an app that pulls this information from my account; ideally, I would just get separate accounts), checking on invoices and so on. I didn’t make as much money as the previous month but I expected that. I spent a bit too much of May catching up on Netflix.

“When I have periods of not writing it’s because I need to take in, not keep putting out material…” — Susan Marsh

13:15 — My partner calls. We normally chat during his lunch break and he fills me in on his flat hunting news.

13:30 — Accounting is done and I look at the work I have to do and put it into my Project Status Sheet (PSS). It lists every piece of work I have to do, the date it’s scheduled for, cost, status (In Progress, Sent to Client, Awaiting Approval, etc.) and has the dates I filed, the invoice number, the date it was paid, and published URL, if relevant.

13:45 — I do some edits for an airport app I’m copywriting and add the next airport to the PSS. I don’t spend long but it will be a priority later.

14:00 — I schedule tweets for one of my clients and get started on a blog post that will be published her business’ blog. (A few hours later her server goes down, I have to push back all of my pithy tweets.) I spend about an hour and a half on this, but I still have plenty of work to do for her and I prefer to schedule fresher content later in the week.

15:45 — I finally hear back from a travel client I’ve been working on a campaign with. His response means I need to finish an article ASAP. Luckily, it’s about Toronto, so I knock it out in about an hour and send it off for approval.

17:45 — I didn’t record what I did for the last hour but it may have been some research. I make my way to Covent Garden for back-to-back ballet and jazz contemporary classes.

20:30 — I’m too knackered to cycle home in the rain, so I grab a pork bun and take the 29 bus back to north London.

Work wise, I fell a bit short today; exercise wise, I’m quite proud of myself!

Words written: 725 + tweets

Articles completed: 1

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Photo courtesy of Markus Spiske via Flickr.

3 thoughts on “A Week in the Life of This Freelancer: Monday Fun Day”

  1. Love this Alyssa! I really enjoy checking out other freelancer’s schedules and seeing how they compare (or differ) from mine. I work best in the morning so I do most of my work then, but my afternoons look pretty similar to yours. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Hey Lizzie,

      I actually work best in the morning too! But the motivation comes and goes haha :$ Thanks for commenting!

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