Day in the Life

A Day in the Life: Freelance Writer

For our Day in the Life series, we look at the daily work habits, schedules and routines from people in a variety of roles and careers around the world.

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Jordyn Christensen, Freelance Beauty & Lifestyle Journalist

Jordyn Christensen is a Freelance Beauty & Lifestyle Journalist who has contributed to publications such as BEAUTYcrew, marie claire, Harper’s Bazaar and more.

The beauty industry is so much fun and I have been so lucky to spend time with fantastic brands and people but after a few years of a long commute, I was ready for a bit of a change.

I have been working between Sydney and New York at the moment so everyday has been different. Recently, it involves heading to a cafe or co-working space and working through my content for the day.

I much prefer to be out the door the same time I would normally be going to an office, I’m not particularly productive when I’m working from my couch.

I would love to say I have a regular exercise routine at the moment and I definitely function better when I do, but it’s honestly been too crazy. When I’m in Sydney, with the weather warming up I will just try and make sure I jump in the ocean once or twice a week.

Eleanor Aldridge, Editor, Writer & Digital Content Specialist

Eleanor Aldridge is a freelance writer, editor and digital content specialist based in Paris and the author of Paris: A Curious Traveler’s Guide.

No workday is the same at the moment. I try to start with an early run in Buttes-Chaumont, the most wild and beautiful park in Paris, at least a few times a week. Then it’s coffee, emails and setting out a plan for the day.

I’m either based in co-working spaces or at home, depending on my schedule. If I’m focused on an in-depth article or project, my day will be mostly desk-bound. Other days I might meet a client in the morning, test a restaurant’s lunchtime formule for a feature, then check into a hotel I’m reviewing in the afternoon.

Jessica Mudditt, Freelance Journalist & Writer

Jessica Mudditt is a freelance business and lifestyle journalist who has written for The Economist, The Telegraph UK, CNN, GQ, Australian Geographic, and many more publications.

A workday looks like this: I work on my manuscript (a memoir about living in Myanmar) using Scrivener from 6am to 7am, before heading to the gym around the corner.

I’m home by 7.40 for a quick brekkie and then I drop my baby girl off at childcare, grab a coffee and head home to start working. I’ll spend the day doing a combination of feature writing, interviewing sources and pitching ideas to editors.

My alarm goes off at 4:40pm when it’s time to pick up Olivia. That’s when my work day ends. Sometimes it feels like the day lasted five minutes – I guess that’s a good thing.

Milly Stilinovic, Freelance Journalist, Copywriter & Author

Milly Stilinovic is a freelance journalist, copywriter and author, whose work has been featured in titles such as Forbes Magazine, TIME, BBC, Nine News, Amnesty International, Woman’s Day, Cosmopolitan, Cleo, and more.

On a good day, you’ll see me up around seven, sipping coffee, watching and reading the news, before I exercise (I find it helps keep me zen). There’s breakfast, phone calls, and then I sit down to tackle my deadlines.

On a bad day, you’ll see me working from 6 am and not getting out of my pyjamas till 3 pm due to super tight deadlines. The coffee cools, the toast gets soggy. No one said it was glamorous, but the job always gets done.

Lucinda Starr, Freelance Writer & Blogger

Lucinda Starr is a freelance writer who has contributed to publications Broadsheet Media, Concrete Playground Sydney, BuzzFeed and the women’s lifestyle blog A Girl in Progress.

As a freelance writer, my day-to-day varies greatly. Some days you’ll find my working from the office of one of my clients, while others I’ll be perched in my local cafe writing up an article or blog post.

A lot of my role involves conducting interviewing, writing long-form editorial content as well as pitching new story ideas to editors.

I also work in social strategy, assisting agencies and brands to create digital campaigns including everything from messaging frameworks to media tactics. The diversity of work I do really keeps me engaged and inspired.

Jefferey Spivey, Freelance Writer, Author & Blogger

Jefferey Spivey is a freelance writer, author, blogger, and founder of Uptown Bourgeois.

As a freelancer, I really enjoy the flexibility of not having a traditional role or title.

I do a lot of content writing for small businesses; my specialty is bringing a journalistic edge to blog posts to help them stand out in a crowded field of generic content. I also edit and critique books for self-published authors. And I dabble in copywriting.

No two days are the same. I could spend all of Tuesday editing a short e-book about salmon fishing and Wednesday writing several pages of copy for a men’s grooming startup and Thursday researching an article about fertilizer dust.

My workweek has a lot of variety, and if my days have anything in common, it’s that they require me to wear different hats quite frequently.

Lisa Cugnetto, Freelance Writer, Editor, Content Producer & Copywriter

Lisa Cugnetto is a freelance writer, editor & content producer with over 15 years of experience. She works with a range of businesses, agencies, publications, not-for-profits and more.

I try to keep my work hours between 8.30 am and 5.30 pm. However the nature of my workload tends to ebb and flow, moving quickly from a quiet week to a busy one with a moment’s notice, so it tends to change based on that.

My day usually starts with reading and responding to emails, then tucking into whatever tasks I have allocated for that day.

This may include writing web copy, blogs, articles, proofing or editing content, researching and pitching stories, undertaking or transcribing interviews, putting together content calendars, style guides or strategies, meeting with clients or general business-related admin.

Philippa Moore, Freelance Writer, Editor & Communications Consultant

Philippa Moore is a freelance writer, editor & communications consultant, covering the finance, travel, the arts, sustainable living, business, environment, food, health and wellbeing industries.

I don’t have a ‘typical’ day any more, which is just the way I like it!

But the first thing I do when I wake up is to meditate for five to ten minutes, then have my first coffee of the day – I usually have at least two. I will try to do Morning Pages (three pages of stream of consciousness writing) but don’t always manage it, depending on the morning’s work ahead of me!

A recent workday began at 7:30 am with conference calls comprising teams in Sydney, London, New York and Chicago. Thankfully they are not video calls, otherwise everyone would see me in my pyjamas and dressing gown!

Those usually run until 9 am, by which time my husband has left for work. Depending on the weather, I will then usually either go for a short run or do a home workout (Bodyfit by Amy on YouTube is my favourite). If I exercise in the morning, I find it sets me up really well for the day.

I find it useful to block out days as “Client A Day”, “Client B Day”, “PhD Day”, etc, to give the week a loose structure.

As my head was already in the work of the client I had the conference call with, I spent the remainder of the day working in my office at home on their project – social media strategy and content for a FinTech event happening in London.

Other days it might be working on web content for a wellness business, devising a social media content calendar for another client’s upcoming promotion, or even editing a cookbook (those are my favourites).

I have worked across such a wide range of sectors so I find I can turn my hand to most kinds of content and these days most businesses, even those that are Corporate with a capital C, want their messages to be accessible and easily understood.

I try to do some reading for my PhD each day – on the advice of my supervisors – but I usually find myself thinking about it anyway, as I’m so obsessed with the story.

I update my own personal social media accounts if I have anything I particularly want to share, and I’m also active on a few professional media networking sites so I usually check in on those too.

Unless I’m behind or on a mega urgent deadline, I try to wind my day down at the same time as my husband is leaving work, so when he gets home we can have quality time together and switch off.

When I freelanced full time a few years ago, I didn’t have that hard boundary with my time and found work constantly ate into my evenings and weekends.

It’s hard when you are creative and your mind is always ‘on’ to some degree, but it is important to get into the habit of keeping regular hours when you’re self-employed, otherwise it’s so much harder to have a life of your own and to be fully present with your loved ones.

I love to cook and find it relaxing, it’s a nice way to switch my mind off at the end of the day. So I will usually make dinner for us – a weeknight favourite is rigatoni with roasted pumpkin, basil, chilli and ricotta – and we’ll chill out together in front of the TV.

We’ve recently watched the entire series of The Walking Dead, which is not normally my kind of thing but my husband convinced me to give it a try, arguing that colonial and post-apocalyptic societies have many similarities and he was right!

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About Author

Hey there! I'm Hao, the Editor-in-Chief at Balance the Grind. We’re on a mission to showcase healthy work-life balance through interesting stories from people all over the world, in different careers and lifestyles.