Freelance update

It’s been a few weeks now since I took voluntary redundancy from work. So many weeks that I’m actually starting to lose track. There was the honeymoon period where I didn’t have to do a lot – the first week, then the two weeks of the Easter holidays. And then REALITY. Two weeks ago, I realised I was terrified. I had to find work, but I didn’t know how to find work. I wanted it all to go away, I wanted to hide from it. I could just be a proper stay at home mum, couldn’t I? I think I’d be quite happy like that – drop the kids off, pick them up, do my blog to keep my brain active. But I couldn’t do that, I had to earn money. A mortgage doesn’t pay itself.

So I wrote this post, trying to convey all the thoughts and emotions that were flying around. And I got some amazing feedback. Lots of experienced bloggers, including many who have made the move themselves, and some who I have never even ‘spoken’ to before, gave me lots of good advice. I was so grateful. There were loads of things I hadn’t thought of myself.

And then I got stressed and overwhelmed all over again, because there was too much advice and I wanted to do it all. I thought I had to do it all in one go. Then I had a word with myself. I made a list and I worked through it. It was a marathon, not a sprint. I have my redundancy money to fall back on, which gives me a lovely cushion of several months to get myself properly up and running.

There were obstacles, better known as real life, thrown in my way. Because I was now a ‘stay at home mum’ and the school holidays were over, I’d made a hospital appointment and a dentist’s appointment for myself, plus a doctor’s appointment for my daughter. There was a school governors’ meeting, a grammar school open day, my son’s school assembly and I had to drive to Gloucester to pick up my computer that had been fixed. How was I supposed to work with all of this? There just weren’t enough hours in the day. One day I just accepted at 2pm that work wasn’t going to happen and instantly felt better.

It wasn’t until last week that things started to take off. Suddenly it really seemed to be happening.

On Monday I had a lovely, and very useful, chat with a former manager who’d taken the plunge five years ago. More than anyone, she gave me the confidence to believe I really could do it.

On Tuesday, I started emailing. Just a few emails a day. I wanted to think them through and make sure each one was properly targeted – that I’d looked at their website and Twitter before I sent it. I tried a few small businesses, local PR companies and some small local publications.

By the end of Tuesday I had my first paid blogpost in nearly a year (OK, so that was a coincidence and blog-related rather than due to my email campaign, but every little helps!), an offer to write an article for a free local magazine and a polite rejection. The magazine article came about because I followed advice from Tots 100 Blog Camp and actually pitched an idea of a particular article, rather than just say ‘can I write for you?’.  As it happens, I won’t be paid for the article, but the advice from Blog Camp was that this is fine – it’s all experience and exposure. I was even happy with my polite rejection, because they’d actually bothered to reply.

On Wednesday I had a  polite email saying they’d keep my details on file, heard I’d won £100 John Lewis voucher for writing this (again, not worked related but, again, every little helps) and heard I’d made it to the shortlist of the BiBs blogging awards (blogging awards help prove I can write and should therefore help me get work).

Then on Friday afternoon it all started happening – another ‘keep you on file’ email was followed by a phone call from a local firm who should have some work to put my way this week. A fellow blogger, Jess from Catch a Single Thought, who went freelance last year and has been my inspiration, passed my details onto a client as she had too much work on. They got in touch to say they would give me the work next week. A friend of a friend, who has her own proofreading company, had been in touch with me to ask for advice on growing her beautiful blog Chasing Dragonflies (please have a read, but get the tissues ready). She then asked if I would be able to do a job for a client, writing and proofreading some web copy.

So it looks like it is really happening! I’m going to be busy. I’m not frightened any more and I don’t need to run away and hide from it. I really am a freelance writer!

Find out more about my services at http://threeworldmedia.co.uk

Business, website, Three world media

Author: Sarah Mummy

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31 Comments

  1. Ace! This time next year we will be millionaires! Seriously though, watching with interest and will be my turn to pick your brains in a year or so when Syd starts school and I start to take my work a little more seriously! X

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    • You will be very welcome! Hopefully then I’ll be able to offer some useful advice. x

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  2. Yayy well done you!! You’ll be a pro and proficient at what you do in no time at all. And the routine will present itself. Zx

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    • Thanks very much! Hopefully it will all fall into place 🙂 x

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  3. Wow! Love the name and the website, yes, it is a marathon, which you know well!

    The first steps are the hardest and once your name is out, you’ll get there. Yes, there’ll be wobbles when some work drops off, but you’ll never look back and wonder how on earth you worked for someone else. Good luck, me dear.

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    • Thanks very much, Joanne. It looks like I’m sorted for this week at least! Glad you like the name and the website. Name was husband’s idea and website was designed by Geek Fairy 🙂

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  4. Yay I’m so pleased for you, I knew you would do it, you are a very talented lady. I am now looking at it all myself and starting to have the panic that you had two weeks ago.

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    • Thanks very much, Nikki. Good luck, I’m sure you will do it too! I’m probably not quite up to giving advice just yet, but if there’s anything I can do, I will!

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  5. Well done!! Such a big decision and I am so glad it is all working out for you. Making lists is a very good idea and something I am off to do right now 🙂

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    • Thanks very much. You can’t beat a good list!

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  6. Thanks so much for the mention! I’ve been more than happy to help as I can see this ‘life’ is made for you. I’m looking forward to watching your new career take off and, if anything, you know that no two days will ever be the same… and that keeps things interesting! Enjoy! x

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    • Thanks very much for your support, Kelly, I really appreciate it! This life is definitely for me! x

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  7. Your new website is sooo slick – I love it!

    It’s insane, I’m freelance too and there are so many things going on in my life separate to work that I don’t know how I got them all done when I was employed full time. Sounds like it’s all going fab for you x

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    • Thanks very much, glad you like the website! It’s thanks to Geek Fairy. I can’t believe I fitted it all in either and I only finished work a few weeks ago!

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  8. I like that you say ‘it’s a marathon, not a sprint’ as I think this hits the nail on the end. As with all of these things, it takes time. We just don’t like waiting! I am so pleased to read this – onwards and upwards!

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    • Thanks very much 🙂 ‘Marathon not a sprint’ is one of my husband’s favourite phrases! But it makes a lot of sense.

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    • Thanks very much, Erica, I’m really pleased 🙂

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  9. So glad it’s working out for you! I need to take the plunge one day, but I’ve got my fingers in too many pies to do it at the moment. Maybe when the twins start school in two years! 🙂 xx

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    • Thanks very much 🙂 I would say it’s definitely not possible to do it with the kids around! Even with my kids it’s hard to work when they’re at home. x

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    • Thanks very much, Christina, that’s a very point!

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  10. Yay! SO pleased it’s starting to happen!! I didn’t have any useful advice for you myself, really, as my freelance work happened through friends of friends, and then being recommended by my first client to the second and the third – not very helpful if you don’t have the initial first step! But you do have those first steps now and before you know it, you’ll be crying blood over your first self assessment tax return. Enjoy!

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    • Thanks very much, Judith! So far work has been through contacts/ friends of friends, which is great. Luckily my husband has his own business, so he has already sorted me out with an accountant and lots of other ways to make my life easier 🙂

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  11. Well done you for having the courage to take the plunge! I’m still just dabbling round the edges of paid writing but I’m a long way from ever feeling secure enough to quit my job and earn enough to keep my children in the manner to which they have become accustomed … 🙁

    Glad to hear you’re making good progress already – look forward to reading more good news from you soon!

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    • Thanks very much, Tim. I’m lucky that I’m not the main breadwinner, so it’s easier to take the plunge. I wouldn’t want my kids to end up not living in the style to which they have become accustomed!

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    • Thank you! Give me a few weeks then you can pick my brains! Things are literally changing every day, but it’s all good.

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  12. Brilliant news! How exciting and it just shows you what can happen if you have a little belief in yourself. I hadn’t realised you were at Blogcamp-would have been lovely to meet you. Maybe next time 🙂

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  13. So so so pleased for you 🙂 I know how worried you were and I’m so glad to see that everything is falling into place. Go you! x

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