Let me say it right now. If you want to work typical “9 to 5” hours, then freelance editing (or editing of any kind, for that matter) is not for you.
I worked for a few hours last Saturday afternoon; I did that so I could meet a deadline. Back in November, I worked Black Friday, while many folks were at the stores (not that I wanted to be at the stores). And I plan to work tomorrow, which is Presidents Day. (I know that not everybody gets a long weekend the third week of February, but a lot of people do, and many [though not all] of them might grumble if they had to work on that Monday.)
Ah, but I’m not here to whine and moan. Freelancing has plenty of advantages with regards to time. For example, if you are a night owl by nature, you can work in the evening or at night and sleep late in the morning. If you charge by the hour, you are only paid for the hours during which you actually work. This means that you don’t have to feel guilty if you take a break to have a snack (as long as you remember to turn off your timer).
You can also give yourself a day off if you need it or even want it. Last summer, I did not go on a vacation per se, but I did give myself one day off so I could visit Hersheypark. (Yes, it really is spelled as one word.) Or you can give yourself a day off if you need it to attend to an elderly relative. (I should add that if you take one or more days off, your clients need to know that you will be unavailable those days.)
One interesting thing I have found about freelance editing is that the common adage, “Poor planning on your part does not make an emergency on my part,” does not apply. Poor planning on your client’s part does and will make an emergency on your part. That’s part of the business. But then there are days when there is no editing to do. On these days, you must plan your marketing, tidy up, read books on editing and/or business…you should be doing things that are constructive.
If you are a freelance editor, how do YOU plan your days? Please let me know in the comments.