Advances in electronic communications have changed the work environment for many writers. Laptop computers and wireless communications technologies allow growing numbers of writers and authors to work from home and on the road. The ability to send email or text messages, transmit and download stories, perform research or review materials using the Internet allows writers and editors greater flexibility in where and how they complete assignments. Still, some writers and authors work in offices and many travel to conduct on-site research on their topic.
Some writers keep regular office hours, either to maintain contact with sources and editors or to establish a writing routine, but most writers set their own hours. Many writers ? especially freelance writers ? are paid per assignment; therefore, they work any number of hours necessary to meet a deadline. As a result, writers must be willing to work evenings, nights or weekends to produce a piece acceptable to an editor or client by the deadline.
While many freelance writers enjoy running their own businesses and the advantages of working flexible hours, most routinely face the pressures of juggling multiple projects with competing demands and the continual need to find new work. Deadline pressures and long, erratic work hours ? often part of the daily routine in these jobs ? may cause stress, fatigue or burnout. In addition, the use of computers for extended periods may cause some individuals to experience back pain, eyestrain or fatigue.
Editors? schedules generally are determined by the production schedule and the type of editorial position. Most salaried editors work in busy offices much of the time and have to deal with production deadline pressures and the stresses of ensuring that the information they publish is accurate. As a result, editors often work long hours, especially at those times leading up to a publication deadline, which can be daily or even more frequently when editing material for the Internet or for a live broadcast. Overseeing and coordinating multiple writing projects simultaneously is common in these jobs, which may lead to stress, fatigue or other chronic problems. Freelance editors face the added pressures of finding work on an ongoing basis and continually adjusting to new work environments.