A Day In The Life Of A Freelance Writer

Happy Thursday evening, everybody! Almost the weekend!

As always, super busy week so far, but you may have noticed I finally updated my header on the blog. HUGE thanks to Hayley Fearnley for the photo which was taken at our show at New Cross Inn a couple of weeks ago, be sure to check out her stuff on Instagram!

As most of you know, I've been writing as a freelancer for a year now. It's crazy how quickly it's gone, and it has become a second job. Since I work condensed hours at my day-job, I have Monday (as well as the weekends) to write, which is ideal.

I wanted to give a little glimpse into what an average Monday (or day off) looks like.

First thing is first on a Monday - I get up, eat breakfast, and head to the gym for about 9 am. I like to get my workout out of the way for two reasons - firstly, it means the rest of the day I can budget my time accordingly. Secondly, I find the workout wakes me up and focuses me.

I'll often grab a latte from Starbucks on my way home to the flat, and then it's time to shower and turn on the computer.

I keep a spreadsheet handy with all of the content I'm working on. Since a lot of coverage is embargoed, I use it to keep tabs on what I can and can't publish. The whole sheet is colour coded:

- Yellow is in progress
- Blue has been submitted
- Green is published

This also allows me to see at a glance which invoices I've sent, when they've been paid, and any notes on a piece - be that deadlines, or the brief.

All of my pieces are written in Pages, Apple's word processing software, and filed into folders on my iMac. The key thing is that I pay 79p per month for additional iCloud storage which allows me to keep my spreadsheet, articles, and invoices handy at all times.

This means they appear on my phone, my iPad, my iMac, and (in the rare case I'm without all three) I can access them from a web browser. Its a life saver when adjustments are needed or an email is accidentally deleted. Plus, its a constant backup on top of my one to a network drive.

Speaking of email, I use Postbox on my Mac to manage my Gmail, and Edison for the same thing on my phone. Both work excellently, and I prefer their visual layout to the Apple Mail client. Once I've responded to my emails, I archive them immediately - it prevents my Inbox from overflowing and means I can focus on key tasks.

I check in with my colleagues and editors primarily using Slack, a free workplace communications app. While the Slack app for MacOS is great, I use an app called Franz. Franz then contains all of my Slack chats, WhatsApp conversations, and even Discord groups. Its really handy, and saves me having four or five different chat windows open. Of course, I still use iMessage to chat to friends.

My To-Do list application is Wunderlist, which again is available across devices. Each item ticked off gives a satisfying "Ding!" sound - it's the little things in life. I also LOVE Trello - it essentially sets out tasks for a group and allows adding and editing on the fly. We actually set up a band Trello account to maximise our productivity.

A small snippet of a much larger Trello "board"


As you know, I'm a big fan of Podcasts, but I don't tend to listen while I work. For one, I can find something very wordy to be quite distracting when writing. For another, I like to enjoy Podcasts while zoning out - games with a heavy grinding element are perfect, or when I'm kicking back playing FIFA. When I do listen to them, I use PocketCasts.



Instead, I listen to Spotify (yes, I switched from Apple Music again - maybe I'll write a piece on that soon). In particular, their Daily Mix and Discover Weekly playlists, punctuated by orchestral songs from some of my favourite soundtracks. At the moment I've rediscovered my love for the Halo 3 soundtrack, it's so good.

                                         

I usually finish writing between 6 or 7, and while I could definitely carry on (I just love writing), its super important for me to stop at a reasonable time. I'll usually watch something on Netflix with Loki (I'm re-watching the entirety of Archer at the moment which is one of my all-time favourite comedies) and then play some games before bed. It's funny, now that I write about games I have a lot less time to play them - go figure.

Honestly, I love my setup. If its a nice day, I'm able to work on the iPad Pro out on the balcony with my morning coffee with the sea breeze to perk me up. I could do this for the rest of my life, I really could.

Of course, as Bob Dylan crooned, "the times they are a-changing" - and with our baby boy arriving soon things are bound to be a little bit hectic. Balancing two jobs, a band, and a baby is a challenge I'm looking forward to!

Big love!

L


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