A Day in the Life of a Freelance Editor


Have you ever wanted to know what your editor does all day? Let me give you a look into a typical day for me. All editors will have different styles and processes, but here’s a glimpse into mine!

 

07:00: I wake up and see I’ve gotten an email from a client overnight, asking a follow-up question from a recent manuscript critique that I delivered to her. I read the email on my phone in bed and think about it while checking the news, Facebook, Slack, Reddit, and The New Yorker app.

08:00: My two cats have annoyed me enough about their breakfast that I get up and feed them. I also feed myself, sitting down at my computer with a maple flat white from my espresso machine, a container of yogurt, and a bowl of cereal. I answer my client’s question, check the two Slack editing workspaces I’m in and respond to messages there, and check my calendar. My husband, a work-from-home software developer, has also gotten out of bed, and Last Week Tonight with John Oliver plays in the background while he eats his breakfast.


09:00: I decide to tackle the quickest thing on my task list first: a copy edit of a technical article on cloud computing. I’m a former software developer, so I have some clients who ask me to review technical blog posts and articles. I finish that up and send it off to the client with my changes/notes.


10:00: I fill up my water bottle, throw some laundry in the washer, pet one of the cats while he sits in the sun, and go back to my laptop. I finished a beta read last night, so I compile my notes about the book, put them into my Beta Reader Report template, and start pulling together my thoughts. This report takes a little over an hour to write and polish, and I give it a final proofread before attaching it to an email and sending it to the client.


11:30: Husband wants to go out for lunch, so I throw my laundry in the dryer, and we walk down the street to get wonton noodle soup at our favorite local place and pick up bubble tea on the way home.

12:30: Husband goes to the gym, and I follow him downstairs to my apartment building’s shared workspace. I sit out on the deck in the sun to get some editing done. I’m distracted for a few minutes by the chatter in Slack, and I join the conversation, adding a picture of my food from lunch to the food channel. I’m working on a line edit this week, so I finally get back to that, making sure both the line edit file and the style sheet file are open, and picking up where I left off.


13:30: Husband and I head back up to our apartment, and I continue my line edit, but not without first making another flat white for myself and fishing a couple of cookies out of the snack cabinet.


14:30: I take a quick break from the line edit to answer an email, send an invoice, and adjust my calendar because a client wants to delay a service by a week. I fold the laundry, empty the dishwasher, and do a couple of other small chores around the apartment.


15:00: I get back to line editing. I was hoping to do three hours on this project today, so I push through for another hour and a half, taking a few short breaks.


17:00: Husband asks what I want for dinner—the chicken or the salmon. I pick the salmon, and he cooks for us. I get some more editing done so that I can stop at a chapter break, and I check Facebook and Slack.


17:30: Husband and I eat dinner while catching up on the latest episode of Only Murders in the Building.

18:30: Husband has a few loose ends to tie up for work, so I go back to my computer. I’m a very detail-oriented planner, so I check my calendar again and make sure I have everything for the two projects I’m starting next week. I send a follow-up question to a client in an email, and I organize my files. Evenings are pretty relaxed for me, so I do this all while chatting in Slack and Discord, and with an old episode of The Office playing in the background.


19:00: Husband is still busy, so I watch another couple of episodes of The Office while crocheting. I’m trying to get through a blanket project, but I can’t crochet for long periods, so I get little bits done each day.

20:00: An email comes in from a client, and I answer it quickly before shutting my laptop for the night. Husband and I put on a trashy horror movie (a mutually loved tradition of ours) and cuddle with the cats.


22:00: I go to bed and read (a published book!) for an hour on my phone (The Anomaly by Hervé Le Tellier) until I fall asleep.

 

And that's a wrap! Hope you enjoyed this little glimpse into my life. This post was inspired by my talented editor friend, Rachel Rowlands. If you need editing or beta reading services, you can always reach me at angela@lambdaediting.com.