To me, as a freelance copyeditor, it means that my workweek ranges from 25 to 40 hours, but then most of my work is substantive editing (heavy copyediting), ESL editing (smoothing the nonstandard English of authors who aren't native speakers of English), medical editing, or ESL medical editing, rather than straight copyediting, so it isn't speedy enough to allow me to zip through it and work fewer hours. After 22 years in publishing, 11 of them as a freelancer, I do charge healthy rates (hourly, page, or project, depending on the client and the project), so you'd think I could get by with fewer hours and still meet my living expenses. But my husband and I
- Live on expensive Long Island (New York State)
- Own a home, a dinky, no-closet-space, 1,400-square-foot place that is vastly overvalued in an overheated housing market
- Have three children. We're paying the lion's share of our daughter's costs for her impending August 6 wedding. We also paid a good portion of her undergrad tuition within the last 5 years; she's paying postgrad tuition herself now because she's been financially independent for just over a year. Then there was private preschool tuition this year for our youngest; our school district doesn't yet offer preschool.
- Have his parents (ages 70 and 71) living in our home. Though they pay us a token rent, they're on a fixed income, so we cover a lot of the expenses that they'd have to cover if they lived in an apartment somewhere else.
- Pay full monthly health insurance premiums (about $750/month) by weekly deductions from my husband's weekly paychecks. The firm he works for is so microscopic that it can't afford to pitch in for any employee's coverage. But for years, our insurance came through my company, and we paid those premiums in full ourselves.
Though my cabinetmaker foreman husband commands healthy hourly wages, his income alone couldn't anywhere near cover all of that by itself. Before he was given a substantial raise a couple of years ago, my annual gross income was pretty close to his. You betcha I'm competitive enough to be working at increasing my gross income to match his again. ;-)
Individual life circumstances are going to affect what's full time for any particular freelancer. What's full time for you, and why?
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