I have been in the same boat since leaving my 9am - 12am job. Wanted to freelance and really kick my startup ideas in the pants and push them out there. Also needed to reset my work/life balance. I'm pretty close on two of my pet projects at least having beta level/customer testing readiness. But finding time to put the finish touches on, and get with somebody to help market? Can't find it. Why?
Because when you are freelancing, it is so hard to say no to money. You just are never sure where your next check is coming from, and those who really want you, want all of you. So I find my time vastly overmortgaged and still commoditized, and the only time I find for my startup projects is either costing me sleep or family time...or occasionally one of my contracts goes on pause for a few days. Then I'm half sweating making up the income elsewhere vs. working on the projects.
Solutions? I'm not sure. I think if one can freelance and legitimately, responsibly, and completely limit their commit to 50-60%, it could work. I find that my "adult concerns" always end up overriding my entrepreneurial goals. I have considered trying to find a 9am -5pm job...not sure they still exist...something I'm not terribly committed to and leaves a couple hours in the day and on weekends to commit to startup...but sounds like that isn't your experience.
Funding? Probably not as easy as it sounds from my experience, and from what I read it is getting tighter.
I suppose one option is an incubator, if you can find one, that might give you anywhere from 5-20K. But if you have the same adult concerns as me the bigger number will still only carry 2-3 months...Curious how it ends up for you!