Being a freelancer is good. You are your own master, you work whenever you want, your time is very flexible – at least these are common preconceptions of freelancers, usually held by non-freelancers.
The reaility, of course, is different. As a freelancer, your often work day and night, you work when there’s work. The only truth is that your time is indeed flexible. So you stated on your CV that your daily capacity is 2500 words? Think again. If there are two pressing deadlines for two major and naturally unrelated clients, and you have to catch an airplane tomorrow afternoon, your time becomes so flexible that all of a sudden your daily capacity jumps to 4000 words… or indeed 2500 words, but for each client.
Sometimes I feel inclined to think that there’s a secret conspiracy between clients. Let’s suppose you want to go on a short holiday, just a few days off with your family. Everything goes well, with medium workload during the week leading up to your holiday…. Then at a certain moment, around 48 hours before the scheduled departure an urgent job comes in with 3000 words. OK, I can still handle it before I leave. Then, an hour later, a creative adaptation assignment arrives from a British agency for next Monday. On the last full day before departure usually there’s a huge influx of jobs, all of them for next Monday – no, actually, one of them is for Tuesday, blessed be their name.
And now, here I am, only two hours before departure, and typing away a blog post instead of translating at least some more of that office supply website for Monday. Life is beautiful.