This line of thinking made me curious about why a freelancer is called that and where the term came from. The first traceable mention of the word seems to be in Sir Walter Scott's Ivanhoe (1819), in which the term is used to describe a sort of mediaeval mercenary i.e. "free" lance (referring to lancer , a soldier who fights with a lance), who does not align himself with any particular lord, but serves under whoever it suits him to do so.
The term seems quite apt and gives what is often a very heartbreaking line of work a slightly romantic air. Maybe we should start referring to freelance writers as The Dogs of Literature or Hired Pens from now.Right, time for me to get back on the horse and see who is keen to hire my lance, I mean pen, next.