The hardest part about freelancing is managing your projects. Finished projects mean paychecks, so ideally you want to finish projects as quickly as possible. But sometimes that doesn't always work. I have received many editing projects that were going to be "quick edits" based on what the project said, but I have a hard time doing a "quick edit" when the writing needs a little more than that. My goal in the long run is to teach the author how to write better so the next book will require less editing work.
I also work on most of my projects collaboratively. That means, I don't just run through and do and edit and it's done. Every time I edit I do a three step process (sometimes four). As the manuscript gets redder from the tracked changes, it begins to get difficult to edit things. Sometimes you put in more typos because you accidentally deleted a space or you left an extra space in the work. So, when it gets too red, I have to send it to the author and have them fix it and then return it to me. Then I start over again. Most authors are quick about this, but a few take some time or they send it back to me without accepting or rejecting any of the changes and in the e-mail give me a list of the things they rejected. This means I have to go through and find the things that need to be rejected in order to start again with a clean slate. Everything slows the process down.
At the same time, I cannot work on one project without thinking about the next one. It can take up to three days to set up a project on Guru. I get hired; I accept; I send them a contract; they accept; I set up SafePay; they fund SafePay. Then, some people hire me before their project is ready to work on. Occasionally, I will bid on a project and not hear from the person for several months! I don't like to say "no" but sometimes it makes time management very tricky.
Another problem I run into is writing itself. I need inspiration to write. I can't just plunk things out. I have to think about it. Even with my editing, I will look at a clunky sentence and sometimes have to step away from the computer just to think about how to reword it. Other times, I "see" exactly what needs to be done and flow through it. I never know if I am going to get a flowing project or a breaking project until I dig in.