I work as a freelance writer and editor. I keep regular-ish hours and spend a lot of time in front of a computer.
It’s nothing glamorous, but I often find that people have a romanticized idea of what working as a freelancer is like. They think a freelancer frequents cafes, plugging in a laptop at a cozy little table with a cup of coffee nearby. Or they picture someone who travels a lot, working at various hours of the day as they go on worldly adventures.
Obviously, no two freelancers are alike, and there may very well be somebody living this idealized lifestyle I’ve just described.
But I doubt it.
A typical workday for me starts with a trip to the bathroom and a brushing of teeth. I usually work six days a week, about seven hours a day.
Once I start working, I do not stop until I’m done. I will do working meals (if I remember to eat), and remain fixated on work for the duration of my time in front of the computer. I do get up maybe every fifteen minutes to stretch my legs for a couple of seconds, but I am laser-focused on accomplishing tasks.
Seriously, I cannot stress enough the fact that I am genuinely working. I’m not just kerfuffling on the the internet like some people seem to think.
People also assume that my schedule is flexible, that I can work anytime and anywhere.
This always implies that I can’t get distracted like a normal person or that I perform equally well around the clock.
True, I get to choose my own hours, but being a freelancer means you have to build your own work ethic. No company or superior provides structure for your work hours. That responsibility falls on your shoulders.
And you also have to build your own work environment. I am most comfortable working at home, with some music of my choice playing in the background and an available bathroom that I don’t have to keep coughing up dough for endless cups of coffee in order to access.
I used to feel pretty morose about freelancing. I would kowtow to opinions that it “wasn’t a real job.”
But you know what?
It takes discipline and hard work to be a freelance writer.
So please stop telling me I can write anywhere at anytime.