Blogger Gordon Dymowski does a nice job of busting some of the myths surrounding the freelancing life (myths that, as I well know, are still out there). Here's one of my favorites:
You have much more time to do what you want to do - not necessarily; as a freelancer, I'm doing two things: the work that pays the bills, and the networking/calls/follow up that helps me acquire the work that pays the bills. Part of my current "dilemma" is attempting to decide whether to move towards a freelance/self-employed small business model, or stay within the "traditional" work model. Either way, though, there's much work to be done, and many people who talk about the "fun" life of a freelancer may not be seeing the full challenge.
As somebody who has spent a great deal of time both as a freelancer and as a staffer, I'd say that, on the whole, you have more of your own time as the latter. Freelance work is very much a "feast or famine" enterprise; you're either doing a great deal of work all hours of the day or night (including weekends); when you're looking for work, you don't stop at 5 p.m. on Friday. Of course, these days, most staffers are also taking work home -- but my own experience says that if you expect to write that novel, freelancing to pay the rent is not necessarily the best way.