Social media lied to you.
According to Instagram, the life of a freelance writer and full-time entrepreneur is an endless beach vacation.
But in reality, I could easily work seven days a week and pull 12-hour or even 16-hour shifts if I didn’t force myself to take breaks, take days off, and make time for exercise and fun with friends and family.
But the beauty of being a full-time freelancer and entrepreneur, the thing I love most about it, is that I have the freedom to design my day. If I want to take a day off on a Tuesday — I can. If I want to end my workday at noon, I will — as long as I’m on track to meeting all of my deadlines.
Here’s an honest look at a day in the life of a freelance writer.
5 Things I Do Before Breakfast
For years I have studied the morning routines of the women I admire and I’ve used what I’ve learned to design a morning routine of my own that sets me up for success for the rest of the day.
There are five things I try to do every day before breakfast.
Eat the frog. Mark Twain once said, “If it’s your job to eat a frog, it’s best to do it first thing in the morning. And if it’s your job to eat two frogs, it’s best to eat the biggest one first.” Or as blogger Mattie James likes to say, you’ve got to “David your Goliath.”
If there’s something on my to-do list that I’m dreading to do or something that I know will be particularly challenging, I do it first.
I also know that I do my best writing in the morning, so if there’s a piece I’m struggling to start or finish I will work on that first thing.
Talk to God. Each morning I try to spend time reading the Bible and writing in my prayer journal. Sometimes I will listen to worship music as well. I like to use devotionals by Joyce Meyer or from the YouVersion Bible app and I use a prayer journal by Girl + God.
Journal. In addition to writing in my prayer journal, I also use the Start Today journal by Rachel Hollis. Each day the journal prompts you to write down 5 things you’re grateful for, 10 goals, and the goal you will focus on first.
Exercise. I try to walk 3 to 5 miles every morning and then do an abs and arms workout.
Prep for the day. Finally, I review my Day Designer to get a clear picture of what I need to do the rest of the day and choose my outfit for the day.
Do I do all five of these every single day? Of course, not. But I try to do as many of these as I can as often as I can. And I can tell you that when I don’t follow this morning routine my day feels off.
Trust the Process
Every freelance journalist needs to know her process for completing a story. I break down each story into the following steps: research, interview, transcribe, write, and edit. So, each day I’m going to be working on one or more of those steps or brainstorming and pitching ideas for future stories.
Related Reading: How to Balance Freelance Writing with Your Full-Time Job
I work from home and while I do have a home office, I tend to move all over the house throughout the day. Sometimes I work in my office, sometimes I work at the kitchen table. Other times I work on the sofa, while at other times I work in bed.
Serious Business Woman
When it comes to freelance writing and finances, it tends to be feast or famine. I knew this long before going full-time freelance so I made sure I had multiple sources of income in place before taking the leap.
Related Reading: So…I quit my job!
Through See Jane Write I have a membership program and a coaching program and I also do consulting and I create e-courses. I get paid to speak at writing and blogging conferences and I’m an affiliate for brands like Day Designer, the planner I use to keep my life on track.
So, each day I have to make time to work on these things as well. This might include writing blog posts, meeting with clients, hosting events, or practicing for a presentation. And my day always includes working on social media content to boost my brand.
To keep all of this in order, each night before bed I use my Day Designer to write down all the things I need to do the next day and I schedule when I will do each task.
Related Reading: How to Make the Most of the Day Designer
Unless I have meetings, my evenings are for hanging out with hubs on the sofa eating dinner, discussing our day, and watching our favorite TV shows.
And before I go to sleep, I try to read a few chapters of a book (either before or after I shamelessly scroll Instagram and watch IG Stories).
If you’d like to purchase a Day Designer to help you plan your process, I’d love for you to use my affiliate link bit.ly/sjwdaydesigner.