A (Non-glamorous) Day in the Life of a Freelance Writer
We are all guilty of reading about how much freelance writers earn each month. I don’t think there are enough in-depth articles that demonstrate how that money is made.
Because of this information disparity and a love of personal finance, I decided to record a full day of work as a freelance writer. This log is from one of my busier days at the end of the month, March 29th specifically, where I wrote a handful of articles for two clients.
Without further ado, here is an unusually busy day in the life of a freelance writer.
Itinerary: March 29th— March 30th, 2021
10:15 AM— After snoozing three alarms, I wake up. I am visiting my parents back in Connecticut for three weeks at the moment, as one of the perks of freelance writing is working remotely. I also get to wake up when I want to.
10:25 AM— I check my email, disregard a website asking me to become a digital influencer for them, and check my statistics on both Medium and News Break. I reply to all my comments on Medium from the night before … and I don’t read the News Break comments.
10:40 AM — My daily, still in bed social media binge commences. I mainly scroll through Facebook writing groups and look at Twitter.
11:00 AM — I begin my first article about an escape room my boyfriend and I recently went to for a friend’s 25th birthday party. I take all my own photos at events so I can easily pull a local article together. It takes me approximately 45 minutes to finish the article.
11:45 AM — I have a quick glass of chocolate milk for breakfast and have a tax discussion with my accountant mother, who is also working from home at this time. I learn I could’ve gotten quite the tax break this year if I had kept my food receipts, but I didn’t. Oh well. [I write restaurant reviews for work.]
12:00 PM— Lots of procrastination. The internet then goes out due to high wind in our neck of the woods and I’m happy to escape writing for a bit.
12:20 PM — Internet’s back, I read an article Stephen Moore posted on Twitter. I scroll through his feed and then look up a few other top Medium writers and see what they’re up to. I like to know what the better writers are doing now so I can plan to do those activities in the future.
12:30 PM — I write another local experience article about an expensive steakhouse my mother and I went to in NYC last weekend. I have my mother read it to make sure I don’t sound too stuck up when describing our $300 dinner.
1:05 PM — Article’s up. Reply to a Medium comment. I read a Zulie Rane article regarding course creation. I have mixed feelings on the subject, but her article is informative and interesting.
1:15 PM — I start writing another food article about the vendors currently in Bryant Park, NY. Writing is getting tedious, but this is what happens when you have poor time management and leave things until the last moment.
1:55 PM— The article is finished. I take a lunch break and make roasted chicken ramen on the stovetop. I watch Joshua Weissman make a gourmet $2 sandwich on YouTube because I don’t like to eat alone. This YouTube video turns into a lengthy social media break with lots of snacks.
3:00 PM— Call my dentist and schedule an appointment to try on my custom night guard that will be ready next week. I am an anxious person by nature, which occasionally leads to teeth grinding and eight Advil pill days for gum pain. Invest $300 in said nightguard to save my teeth later in life. The majority of freelancers aren’t this stressed, don’t worry.
3:30 PM — Write my fourth article of the day about a popular local ice cream place in a nearby town. This article has over a thousand views as of writing. I am starting to run out of local food places to write about in Kentucky, so it’s nice to be back home and writing about New York and Connecticut for a change!
4:00 PM— The fourth article is complete and I decide to be done with News Break writing for the day. I ghostwrite a quick article for one of my Fiverr clients I got from this article:
I’ll Write You a 500-word Article for $5 On Fiverr
I have 1K followers — this is not a money grab
(My prices have changed… articles are not $5 anymore!)
4:30 PM — I make dinner for myself and my parents. We have a shrimp penne vodka dish, inspired by this recipe if you’re interested in making it. It turns out great; I’ve made it a handful of times and it’s my boyfriend’s favorite dish of mine.
5:30 PM— We eat dinner. My Fiverr buyer left me a $5 tip and I’m thrilled. I’ve had 9 clients in 2 weeks, but tips are rare (2 so far).
6:30 PM — My father requests dessert and I’m tired of writing. I make gingersnaps from scratch from two ripped-out pages of an old cookbook that I don’t think exists anymore.
7:30 PM — Father and I re-watch The Bourne Supremacy while eating cookies. My parents own a business where my father creates custom home theaters for clients, so we have an awesome home theater to watch action movies in.
9:30 PM — I watch some YouTube, FaceTime with the boyfriend, call grandma, shower, and basically do anything I want that is unrelated to writing. Many unhealthy snacks are consumed. My parents go to sleep early.
1:30 AM— Planning commences for my upcoming writing days, as I still have 16 articles I want to write for News Break before the end of the month. I don’t need to do this under my contract, but I dislike leaving money on the table. [As of March 31st at 11 PM, I completed all 16 articles. Yay!]
2:30 AM — I go to sleep and grind my teeth in anticipation of tomorrow’s time crunch.
I didn’t write this article to scare people away from freelance writing. I chose to do the majority of my work for March in three days, meaning I had 3 1/2 weeks this month to do whatever I wanted. I am also an anxious person by nature; freelancing is not solely responsible.
Being able to enjoy my life without the constraints of a 9 to 5 is an incredible privilege and I recommend everyone tries it at some point in their life. You won’t want to go back to a traditional job.
P.S: In this one day, I managed to make enough money from Medium, News Break, and Fiverr to pay for my nightguard in full. Freelancing is lucrative!