Hi Alice. While I agree with this for the most part, it absolutely isn’t a necessity. For starters, it’s very possible to have a successful freelance career working with mostly local clients. I know because I often do. Design may be different from writing in that regard, but I doubt it’s much difference. Globalising is not a requirements, by any means, for freelance success, unless you live in a country that simply offers no opportunity.
Secondly, it’s very possible to set strict work hours for yourself and educate your clients to respect them. There’s nothing wrong with telling your client the times of day when you’re available for communication, and having time to yourself for the rest of the day.
I still receive and answers emails or reply to feedback in the evenings sometimes, but I do that as my choice, not because I feel any pressure from my client to reply instantly to communication outside my work ours. I’ve worked for quite a few clients from across the world and you get used to the fact that there may be an extra day delay on most communications if you only get a few hours overlap between each of your 9–5’s.
Clients who respect their own time will respect your as well, so long as you set the proper expectations.