The Pros and Cons of Having a Flexible Writing Schedule

by | Nov 30, 2017 | Writing Tips | 0 comments

The Pros and Cons of Having a Flexible Writing Schedule

by | Nov 30, 2017 | Writing Tips | 0 comments

Right now it’s about three in the afternoon. I am still in my pajamas and don’t have any intention of changing into more presentable attire. For some freelance writers, I just listed the quintessential benefit of having a flexible writing schedule. Personally, I think the ability to wear sweatpants 24/7 starts out as a plus and eventually turns into a bit of a problem. In any case, it’s important for people to know that there are both good and bad aspects that come with a self-motivated writing schedule. Before you trade your suits for sweats, you should consider the pros and cons of professional freelance writing.

What Are the Advantages of Freelance Writing?

Here are the top three reasons why most freelancers love working on their own:

1. Flexible Travel

When I worked a 9-to-5 job, finding time to travel was a pretty tedious endeavor. Now, with no set shifts that I need to work around, I can schedule flights on cheaper days and make the most out of my trips. Plus, I can work while I’m traveling, so going on vacation doesn’t end up crippling my bank account.

2. Preferred Sleep Schedule

In the world of freelance work, night owls can write late and early birds can get cracking at dawn. This is nice as a general practice, but also really helpful because of the nature of the work. Successful freelance writers know when they do their best writing and when they do their best sleeping, and it’s great to have an accommodating schedule.

3. Spontaneous Adventures

You know who can’t drop everything and go to a movie on a Tuesday afternoon? Professionals tied to an office. You know who can? The writer who gets up early to work, thereby freeing up the afternoon so he or she can pay too much for popcorn!

What Are the Disadvantages of Freelance Writing?

Consider the top three downsides to being a freelance writer:

1. Schedule Mismanagement

While a flexible writing schedule allows you to set your day as you please, it’s easy to take advantage of your freedom and start coming up with excuses to avoid writing. As a freelancer, you have to appropriately prioritize your personal and professional to-do lists, otherwise you won’t be able to buy food, clothes or expensive popcorn.

2. Self-Motivation Required

There’s no freelance oversight committee to help you stop procrastinating and leaving your work until the eleventh hour, so you have to be self-motivated constantly. If you wait until the last minute and an unforeseen power outage or bear attack keeps you from getting an assignment finished on time, you may strain your relationship with your client or editor who will wonder why you didn’t take your assignment seriously and why you were hanging out with bears when you should have been writing.

3. Burn Out

I love writing. I also love eating cake. That doesn’t mean that I love doing either of those things at all hours of the day. Freelancers don’t get employment benefits (paid sick leave/time off, health insurance coverage, retirement plans), so we spend a lot of time working to pay the bills. Writing constantly, much like eating an entire Bundt cake, can be exhausting. If you don’t have a love for and dedication to the craft, you may burn out quickly.

I’d be lying if I said that the drawbacks that come with a flexible writing schedule aren’t difficult. Still, I’m a strong advocate of the freelance lifestyle. If you have any useful time management tips to share with your fellow writers, fire away in the comments below!

Evan Gaustad

Evan Gaustad started writing professionally while living in Los Angeles and working on branded YouTube content. After driving around the country and blogging about his travels, he and his wife settled down in Northern California where Evan now splits his time between freelance writing and teaching at a school for young performing artists. When he isn't typing or goofing around with his students, he's usually caring too much about sports.
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