I can’t pinpoint the exact day I started up my new business and my freelance life as a copywriter, proofreader, blogger, PR and social media geek, but it’s been about six months now. I finished work at the end of March, took it easy for three weeks over the Easter holidays, then I tried to work out how to make money from sitting at home at my dining table, writing stuff. There is no glamour to what I do. I literally sit staring out of the window and write stuff. And I love it.
Needless to say, there have been ups and downs, just as I expected, but it feels like it’s going my way now.
After an early wobble, the work started to come in. I had three clients – a local PR company who got me to do little jobs on a tight deadline and a couple of websites which I edited and updated. Those jobs kept me reasonably busy in the first few weeks.
Then there was a quiet period.
I started blogging for the two websites I edit. If I had a quiet day, I’d bash out a couple of posts and get them in the bag ready for the heady days when I would be too busy.
I emailed some local small businesses to sell my services. I got a handful of replies. I had some meetings. One by one, they rejected me – not quite the right time, they were already working with another company, they wanted a specialist in the sector… Just one remained outstanding.
I pottered along, invoicing £30 here, £70 there. Not exactly megabucks, but I still had (still have, in fact) the cushion of redundancy money behind me. I was working, just a couple of hours a day. But I was building it up and that was all that mattered.
Then came the summer holidays and I didn’t really want to work. I wanted to enjoy time with my kids and I didn’t chase any work. I had three biggish jobs – each earning me around £400, rather than the £40 I’d been invoicing previously, plus a few hours from the PR firm. That kept me going.
The jobs finished as the summer holidays did. And what then? Suddenly there was a big void of nothing-ness. Where was the work? How would I get it? I didn’t know. I started to worry. I knew there was no point in speculative emails – 100 emails had all come to nothing. Why waste time on another 100 or another 200?
The words ‘get a job’ were uttered. Just once, but they were uttered. And I knew more than anything that I didn’t ever want to get a job again. I didn’t want to travel, didn’t want to worry about how much leave I had and childcare (would my parents even want to look after my kids after six months off?).
I’d heard nothing from the PR firm for a few weeks. I got up one morning and resolved I was going to call them. But before I did, they called me.
I did two hours’ work for them and, as soon as I’d finished, the phone rang. It was the last remaining company whose work I’d pitched for three months ago. They wanted me to work for them! Yes, they knocked the price down, but this was regular, ongoing work, which I wasn’t about to turn down. Then I got an email from a friend – would I be interested in a job involving children’s books? Children’s books? Hell, yeah!
With that all underway, I had a tip-off from a friend about a PR company who needed someone to write articles for an internal magazine, so I got in touch with them – and wrote some articles. Then another friend offered me some work blogging for her business site.
Right now, the work more up than down. I’m enjoying the freedom and variety of the work and I’m enjoying working with people who treat me as an equal and talk to me with respect. I don’t put on any airs and graces, I don’t pretend to be someone I’m not – I’m a middle-aged woman who likes a laugh and can write really fast. If they want me to work for them, brilliant! And if they don’t, well that’s fine too.
I am proud of what I’ve achieved so far and very grateful to everyone (mainly friends) who has sent work my way. I might not be earning a fortune, but I’m heading for equalling my old salary and, best of all, I’m happy.
Next week Loud ‘n’ Proud will be hosted by Mama Owl.
If you’re feeling Loud ‘n’ Proud about anything you or your kids have achieved this week, please add it to the linky below: