Over at her blog, Yael Grauer has an excellent post discussing the "painful truths about freelancing." Anyone interested in doing this for a living would be well advised to read it. (Have your loved ones read it as well so that they understand why we're so miserable most of the time.)
This is a hard business. The loneliness of the job, which Yael describes, might be the worst part of it. It's not just about being around people—there's always Starbucks, where I tend to work most days—but being around people with whom you interact, and who get it. People who are fighting the same battles as you: the slow pay, the unanswered queries, the 22-year-old newbie editors who think they're Max Perkins, and so on. Unless you live in a media city, you're probably not going to be around such people. If I did my job from a life raft in the middle of the ocean, the psychological conditions would not be measurably different.