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Tag: freelance

Why it’s never too late to feed your passion

Standing up for what I believe in

Yesterday, I went on the People’s March in London – my first march of my life, aged 54 and a half. In case you’re worrying that this is going to be a political post, it isn’t, honestly. Whether you agree with my view on this or not, the point I want to make is that I believe passionately in this, and I felt that at last, the time had come to be counted, and that’s why I went. There were people much older, and much younger, than me on the march but we all had the same strong belief and the feeling that gives you to be a part of that shared view is amazing.

Feeding my passion

Of course, writing is my main passion in life and I’m pleased to tell you that I’m now in a position to try again as a full-time author. Diehard fans ( 😉 ) will remember that I tried this once before after leaving my teaching job in December 2015. Back then, I had only published 1 book and although it was going well, I was also doing freelance work to top up my income. I was also unprepared for how lonely I felt after leaving my busy teaching job, so when the chance to work part-time for a local charity came up, I decided to take it. So for the past 3 years, I’ve been working part-time in the mornings and doing my writing and freelance work in the afternoons. But now, my writing career has taken off and I’m ready to give it my all. With 8 books out now, and a whole lot more learning about indie publishing under my belt, as well as a strong network of friends and family around me, I hope that this time it will be the right time for me.

Feel the fear and do it anyway!

This week, I was interviewed for the Self Publishing Show’s Spotlight podcast. I wrote in and asked to be interviewed, and was delighted when Tom Ashford, the presenter, contacted me about doing it. The format is that you’re asked 5 questions about your writing, and Tom told me it would be fairly informal. I practised for days, in the car, in the shower etc, etc, but when it came to it, I was still very nervous! Anyway, it all went okay and I don’t think I said anything I shouldn’t have but only time will tell! The show will definitely air before Christmas so keep your eyes peeled for the date.

So I will be working full-time as an author from 1 November, and I can honestly say I’m really looking forwarding to it this time. I’ve started writing my new book and while I’m already being productive in the afternoons, I know I can be even more productive if I have the whole day. Suddenly, I feel energised to make this work for me, and I want to work as hard as I can to keep my momentum going.

I hope that whatever your passion is, you manage to make time for it in your life. It has paid dividends for me to do that for mine. If you’d like to know more about my writing, please sign up for my newsletter here and grab your free copy of my novella, Before You, at the same time if you haven’t already done so.

See you next time!

My First Week as a Freelancer

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.