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

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 perhaps the most interesting:  how much money I make. Enjoy!

* * *

Tuesday June 2

7:15 — I wake up just in time to hear my flatmate leaving. I didn’t get a newsletter from The Guardian today, but I pick up on today’s news from The Skimm newsletter I get.

7:30 — I make a cappuccino with air quotes. Air quotes because I use a moka pot to make my Pact Coffee (awesome subscription service) espresso and my cafetiere in a pot of boiling water to froth the milk. Try it, it’s cheaper than Costa. shrug

8:15 — I try to weigh the books I brought with me to London and collected since being here. I’m planning my departure and I’m not sure whether I should send my stuff ahead or pay for extra luggage and bike bag. Most importantly: Should I bring my beloved duvet back to Canada? *

8:30 — I check my emails. A Skype call with a client has been cancelled and we’re going to reschedule for next week. I decide to go on Skyscanner — Tuesday is the cheapest day to book flights after all. I get into a trance and end up booking five flights: Morocco, Spain, Italy, and Croatia over 25 days. Oops.

9:45 — I get my P60 from my old employer and do a tax estimate of how much I owe HMRC. It’s somewhere between £200 and £600. Bigger oops.

10:00 — I start working on Dallas/Fort Worth airport for that app. I’m researching and sporadically messaging friends and replying to emails. After half an hour, I get a bit hungry and heat up some soup. Back to researching.

12:30 — Downstairs to the Turkish shop for a pastry and then a walk to Tesco to buy toilet paper. I realize my muscles are quite sore from all the dancing yesterday. As I walk in the door, bae calls me for our lunch time chat. It’s a short one today and I tell him excitedly about my travel plans I made on a whim.

“I am the sole author of the dictionary that defines me.” — Zadie Smith

13:30 — I watch an episode of Mad Men (I’m four episodes in… why’s it such a big deal?).

14:30 — I put all of my research together and start writing and fact checking. I have to make sure that everything I write is accurate, and sometimes that means calling people in Turkey to verify. I’m very thorough.

16:15 — Dallas/Fort Worth is sent off for approval a day early. Now I start on a travel article for another client — this time about Barcelona. It’s kismet: I just booked a flight there and I’ve been there before, so I write about something I would find helpful.

18:15 — The Barcelona article is sent off for approval. I share new article about Martinique I wrote that was published in a magazine, further fuelling my my own delusion that I’m not a lazy freelancer. I debate finishing up the article for my client’s blog, but since her site is down I’ll leave it until tomorrow.

18:30 — I realize I should be sending pitches because my calendar is looking a bit sparse. Must. Stop. Resting. On. Laurels. But let’s be honest, I’ll probably spend the rest of the evening doing nothing. I’ll watch some TV, do a bit of reading and write it off as “waiting for inspiration”.


Around 9pm, I got an email from a blogger letting me know she had finished some work for me. Bless her heart! The project I was working on for a client was thus complete so I sent him an invoice along with some ideas for blog posts I could write for his sites these week. Since I’m back on my laptop, I update my Project Status Sheet with the URLs of articles I’ve written. It requires searching for ghost written content and adding them to the database.

  • I did look up how much a down duvet would cost at Sears (a Canadian department store). Let’s just say it’s worth it to lug mine home.

Words written: 1,364

Articles Completed: 2

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Photo courtesy of Anthony Rue via Flickr

5 thoughts on “A Week in the Life: After Tuesday Is W T F”

  1. Oh I love this series, it’s a very nice peek into the life of a freelancer and I have to admit it’s pretty inspirational too – Yess, of course I have the same dream! 😉 Just afraid to do it before I know i can do it so I won’t quit my day job before that – And I have very little time for freelancing with my day job, a horrible catch 22!
    Anyways, thank you for the inspiration 🙂

    1. Thanks Annika! What a lot of blogs recommend before going freelance is saving up 3-6 months of living expenses before quitting your job. I did that, but my problem was once I had done that I thought “Why don’t I just go on a huge holiday with that money?!” haha

      1. Haha I can totally understand! I have seen the tip about saving a few month’s worth of money but if I had that much extra money I’d be looking at flights to Madagascar and thinking about how many cool articles I could write about everything there lol Oh well, I guess i will work on my discipline first and saving next.

        1. Oooh… Madagascar! If you do go, please make a little trip to Reunion Island for me 🙂

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