The Myth of The Forty-Hour Work Week

There are so many myths about the sort of hours a freelance writer might put in. All of them are false, although they may have elements of truth, because no writer holds the same sort of hours as any other.*

A lot of freelance writers work part-time, after work, before work or during work. Others juggle responsibilities like children with working from home. Some writers don’t even want to come close to forty hours if they know that they only need to earn a certain amount to comfortably support themselves.

Then there are people like me. I try pretty hard to put in eight hours of concentrated working time during the day, and then wind up spending half the evening working on various projects. I’m not very good at drawing a line between work time and anything else. I manage though. I don’t feel too stressed or overworked.

How about you? How many hours do you feel you need to work during a given day? And how do you separate work time from play time?

*And some writers don’t even hold the same hours as themselves from week to week.

2 Comments

  1. Doug   •  

    My freelance time is very specific, as I only have one steady writing job…It’s a Fishing column (luckily on hiatus for the off season), and my deadline is Thursday mornings. So I break down my time like this:

    I do research (fish), for about 6 hours on the weekends…Then on Wednesday night I write the column in about a half hours…So during this time my work and play time sort of meshes.

    So it’s 6.5 hours a week…Sometimes, if I can’t get on the water it’s just .5 hours a week…

  2. moonslice (from aw)   •  

    It’s difficult to say as I’m always thinking about ideas. I suppose that counts. I’m working on scheduling time that isn’t interrupted by errands or cleaning, etc. Working from home, I think it’s difficult to sit down for X hours straight and write. For me it is impossible anyway.

    I’d like to figure out if I’m at least working 6 hours a day. That’s a goal.

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