Clued Up PublishingMy husband started his business over twenty years ago and I always remember admiring his self-discipline when he first began as a sole trader, getting up at the same time as I did to get ready for my normal, boring job and usually at his desk before I left for my daily commute to Stevenage and corporate life. The fact that he is still running his (now limited) company today shows how hard he has worked at it during the intervening years.

As I began my first week as a self-employed freelancer last week, I worried that I wouldn’t be as self-disciplined, especially now there are all the distractions of the internet but I can safely report that I have probably never worked so hard in all my life. The reason is of course that everything I achieve is now going to be down to me and I will only reap the rewards if I put in the maximum effort. I don’t really know why I doubted my ability to be disciplined in my approach to this new life – I am one of the most organised people I know and everyone who knows me says exactly the same of me – but I suppose it’s all just new to me and I needed to see whether I could hack it.

So what did I do during my first week? Well, the first thing I decided was that there would be certain things I must do every day, specifically, three things:

  1. Complete and mark a new proofreading exercise from the book I am working my way through at the moment.
  2. Write at least 1,000 words a day of my current WIP.
  3. Edit my second book for at least an hour every day.

I am very pleased to report that I did these three things every day and felt happy with myself about that. I was at my desk before my husband left for work every day as well (it does help that my daughter has to leave for school at 7.45am and I always want to see her before she goes) and generally, I continued working till about 5pm, with breaks for talking to my daughter etc in between.

Apart from my three important things, I also set up a new website for my proofreading business. You can see it here: Clued Up Publishing, or just click on the picture above, and I created a poster on Canva as well. I used Canva for the pics on my website too and found it incredibly easy to use once I got going on it. I have had some really positive feedback on my website and it made me realise that it’s something I’m quite good at (if it’s okay for me to blow my own trumpet!) If anyone needs a WordPress website setting up or indeed, if you need a proofreader, please do get in touch either via the comments below or via the new website.

I am now the proud owner of two Twitter accounts as well! Crikey, I thought that would be much easier to set up than it actually proved to be but I got there in the end. If you’d like to follow me in my alter proofreading ego, I’m @Clued_Up_Pub. On my list of things to do this coming week is to set up a Facebook page for Clued Up Publishing as well so that will probably take most of the week to achieve.

I have signed up to a freelancers job website as well and hope that something may come of that in the future and I have kept my eye out for any part-time jobs I could apply for locally that would be less intensive than teaching but would ease the pressure on the finances a little. One job I saw looks very promising on the creative front so I’ll just have to wait and see 🙂

On the writing front, I also did some more research into writing short stories for women’s magazines, something I’ve wanted to do for a while but have never really had the confidence for. If I’m honest, I still don’t have a lot of confidence that I can succeed at this but I’m going to give it a try.

My husband popped into his accountant’s this week and brought them up to date on my new circumstances so I now have the form to fill in to register as self-employed to HMRC. It felt very good to receive that form, I can tell you.

All in all then, it has been a busy and satisfying week. I have realised though how lonely it can be being at home on your own all day. There was a time when I would have given anything to just be on my own for a minute, let alone a whole day but oh, how times change when your children have grown up and no longer define your identity. If you watched the BBC programme, The Age of Loneliness, this week, you’ll know what I mean. It was a very poignant programme and I shed quite a few tears watching it. I have gone from being surrounded by people in a very busy environment, yet sometimes feeling quite lonely amidst all the chaos, to being totally on my own. However, I think I just need to make sure that I socialise enough to keep that part of me ticking over and to that end, I have arranged a couple of visits with friends, family and the RNA to keep me going over the coming week 🙂

Thank you for reading, as always and do leave me a comment about how your writing life is going so far this year.


26 Comments on My First Week as a Freelancer

  1. Hi Julie – thanks for writing that. It’s a wonderful mix of inspiration and hard graft. I’m reading a book that I picked up in the library yesterday – by chance – it had been placed face forwards on the ‘look at me’ top shelf. It’s about woodcarving – and about Grinling Gibbons in particular – but it’s really about making of any kind. Anyway, in case the book’s in your library too, it’s by David Esterly and it’s called ‘The lost carving.’ I’ve started sending it to friends abroad – even though I’m only on the second chapter!
    Best wishes

  2. Julie, I’m so impressed. I know how much discipline it takes to work for yourself because I am married to a musician and he practises and plays for several hours every single day. I’m glad you’ve had a good week. You are obviously being very proactive and that is to be admired. And yes, you absolutely must blow your own trumpet! Wishing you every success xx

    • Thanks, Sue. How funny, we’re all very musical too and my husband still sings in a choir 🙂 When I was (a lot) younger and used to sing myself, I would practice for hours each day too. It takes a lot of effort to make your passion work for you but if the passion’s there, it will happen, I hope. Thanks so much for all your good wishes xx

  3. I love your work ethic! I have been so very tempted to quit my job and go freelance lately – mostly because my job really doesn’t pay all that well, and I’m still having to freelance to make ends meet. Why not cut out the middle man and go full-time creative?
    But I enjoy the social interaction I get at work and meeting so many smiling customers, so that probably won’t happen right now. Like you, I need people, and I think my roommates would get tired of me if I didn’t have work as a social outlet.

    • Thanks for your message, Michael and your kind words. It’s hard to get that balance right, definitely and I really enjoy other people’s company too so I know I’ll have to work hard not to become isolated. Good luck with your endeavours and thanks for reading 🙂

  4. Well done. You have been busy. I too am trying to write womag stories, but have been told that mine aren’t up to scratch yet and need to read and analyse the magazines first. I have been buying them and reading them the last year, so that’s something you need to do if you haven’t done so already. Good luck with the proofreading.

    • Thanks very much for reading and leaving a comment, Julie. I have a magazine on my desk ready to research in fact! It’s hard isn’t it? I have read a fair few stories now and the writers make it look so easy but I guess with practice, it will come. Good luck with yours for this year and thanks for your good wishes.

  5. Thank you Woodbeez48 for reading my blog. My main writing is stuck on a defunct computer, so thing are moving slowly in that direction so I laud your freelancing decision. I blog a lot and write a lot of poems so I do keep writing in this way. Hopefully I will get the computer sorted out by April!!!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.