I recently wrote a 1200 word article for a medium-size lifestyle magazine publication, complete with layperson quotes, professional quotes, cited research and a sidebar. Between the editor and I, it went through three drafts. I did the article in 4 distinct phases (research, interviews, write and revise), and it took me a total of 13 hours. The article will pay $600, which is about 50 cents per word (without the sidebar), or about $45 per hour of my time.
Now, I'm ok with both these numbers, but when I mentioned that the article took me a total of 13 hours, my editor seemed surprised. This worries me, as freelance writers know that time is money!
Are other freelancers cranking out magazine articles much faster than this? Is 13 hours too long for a 1200 word piece with 3 drafts? How long does it take you to write an article from beginning to end?