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Freelance proofreader: A day in the life of a freelance proofreader

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Alison Proofreader

Freelance proofreader: A day in the life of a freelance proofreader

I am a freelance educational and mathematical proofreader. Throughout this blog, I will share with you my day and the benefits of being freelance.


I chose to be freelance to gain the flexibility to fit my work around my children. Being flexible means I can choose my own working hours. Every day is different, I fit my work around the school run, after-school clubs, sports days, class assemblies etc. So none of working 9-5 with set hours. I usually start my day early at 7am while the children get ready for school. Then work throughout the day until 5pm with breaks for children-related tasks. I love the flexibility to be there for my family and work my own hours. If I have a large project on, I also work evenings and weekends if needed.

Alison proofreader

Working from home

Not being employed means you get to work from home. This is great as there is no commute and you can save on travel costs. But some people also find it hard to switch off from work or they find it hard to focus on work and get distracted at home. I am very organised and set goals for the day to prioritise what needs doing. I work productively during my working hours and keep everything manageable.

When I chose to go freelance and work from home, everyone said I would feel lonely. Luckily my husband also started working from home during Covid 19, so I have had company on my breaks which has worked out perfectly. I also make sure every day I have a break outside.

Being your own boss

world's best boss

I love being freelance as I get to be my own boss. I get to decide what projects I work on and plan my day. I get to decide what professional development I undertake and how I develop my company. When I changed work to become freelance some people said it could be scary to be in charge. But I enjoy the challenge and being able to make all the decisions. I am super organised and driven and always learning new things.

“Successful entrepreneurs never stop learning and they never stop growing.”

Playing all roles

wearing all the hats

One aspect that I found daunting in the beginning was running a company. I had always been an employee, and there were a lot of unknowns with opening a company. It feels like one person wearing all the different hats needed to run a successful business, including manager, receptionist, accountant, IT support, HR, website creator and marketer.

So I did a lot of research and even completed a diploma in digital marketing. I love learning new skills and invested the majority of my time at the start of my business into learning the skills I required to set up my business. I also took part in Enterprising You, support for new businesses based in Manchester. This guided me through the early stages and gave me the support I needed.

Whilst working on a project, I complete admin and other tasks at the same time as I complete the project. Therefore, I don't get behind on all the business side and end up with a massive list of tasks to do every month. For example, I have my emails open on my second screen and reply straight away to incoming emails so they don't build up. After I have completed a project, I instantly create the invoice and update my spreadsheet with all of the finances then each task is manageable. Every month, I set business targets to keep on top of other things like updating my website and creating my blog.

Staying connected

I found with not having colleagues, it is important to stay connected with fellow freelancers. I connected with other proofreaders on LinkedIn and by joining the Chartered Institute of Editors and Proofreaders. I also joined an accountability group, and we meet regularly to discuss our business goals and progress. It feels like being part of a team and I have regular support.

It is definitely the best decision I made to become a freelance proofreader. So follow your dream too!

If you are working on something that you really care about, you don’t have to be pushed. The vision pulls you. Steve Jobs

I am a freelance proofreader and a qualified teacher with a maths degree and a love of learning. Thank you for reading 'Freelance Proofreader: A day in the life of a freelance proofreader'. Want to find out how to develop repeat work?

Check out my blog "Repeat work: How to develop repeat work." on my website, or say hello on Twitter at @alisonproofread, or Instagram at @alisonproofreader, or connect via Facebook and LinkedIn.

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