What are the potential downsides of being a freelance proofreader

What are the potential downsides of being a freelance proofreader/editor, if any?

Negatives or challenges are inevitable in any job, including freelance editing or proofreading. Key points include:

  • Periods of downtime without work translate to no income, which can last from a day or two to several months. I feel it’s advisable for freelancers to have savings or financial backup, regardless of their experience.
  • Conversely, there are busy periods that may require long hours, including evenings and weekends, throwing your work-life balance off. This for me, is especially notable for student deadlines, which occur during the European summer months of August and September. Declining work may risk losing clients to competitors.
  • Freelancing can be isolating, with the success or failure of the business resting largely on the individual. Also there are few of the positive feedback mechanisms when you do good work like you would have as an employee (commendations, bonuses, employee of the month etc.) Coupled with this is the fact that as you have to face angry clients directly, your are directly responsible for anything that goes wrong with the proofreading, with no one to step in to deflect this (as perhaps would occur if you worked as an employee on a team). Some view tasks like marketing, administration, and IT as annoyances to be avoided as far as possible, while others see them as opportunities for growth.