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  • Writer's pictureDebra Stang

How Many Hours Do You Work Every Day? (Be Honest!)

Updated: Jan 1, 2019

5:00 AM. I can't sleep. I'm worried because I know I'm falling behind on a complex editing project. Rather than lie there in bed and stew about it, I get up and work on the project until my alarm goes off an hour later.

12:00 PM. I spend my lunch hour and break periods writing posts for the four blogs that I maintain. (For the record, those blogs are the one you are currently reading, Debra's Writing Clinic, My Gastric Sleeve, and the Alliance of Hope for Suicide Survivors Blog).

5:00 PM. I get home from work, grab something to eat, and check my email. I respond to leads, editors, and clients who have questions or concerns. The rest of it gets pushed aside until I have more time to devote to it. Yeah, right.

5:30 PM. I dive into work on my current projects: researching, writing, editing, and coaching. This is my most productive time, and heaven help any non-client who calls or otherwise disturbs me.

10:30 PM. I put the projects to bed. Then I scan the job boards for new gigs, update my bookkeeping, check my marketing campaigns, post new material for my blogs, read the blogs of other writers I admire, and tie up any other loose ends.

11:30 PM. Read about time management, marketing techniques, the freelance writing business, or how to maintain a small business.

12:30 AM. Drift off to sleep…if I'm lucky.

5:00 AM. I can't sleep. It's that damn project again. No help for it. I get up and go to work, and, almost without my realizing it, another day has started.

In case anyone's keeping track, the time I spend on my freelance writing business usually amounts to about nine and a half hours every day–which is an hour and a half more than I spend at my day job. Thank goodness it's a labor of love and something I truly enjoy doing!

I have to say, though, I always laugh at ads that promise freelance writers they can make untold riches "in their spare time." If you're a dedicated freelancer, you can certainly make a respectable living. Furthermore, you'll be involved in some exciting projects and maybe, every so often, write something that actually makes a difference in someone's life. But spare time? Don't count on it!

How many hours do you put in during a typical day?

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