It was my last week in the Good Housekeeping office and I was busy juggling handovers, crossing off my to-do list and trying not to get emotional when a friend’s Facebook update caught my eye. It was a link to a media humour blog, and the headline was something like: Leaving A Staff Job To Go Freelance? You Must Be Crazy!! There was a long list of comments underneath, from smug staffers and hard-up freelancers alike who seemed to agree.
I couldn’t help wondering where all these critics had been when I’d handed my notice in three months before, and announced that I was moving from North London to the Dorset coast. Then it was all wow, that’s amazing and soo jealous! [smileyface smileyface]. Now here I was, walking away from a fantastic job at one of the biggest women’s magazine brands in the country to live by the seaside and take on a mix of freelance writing and consultancy work as well as writing my Great Novel. Maybe I really was certifiable.
But sometimes you just have to go with a gut feeling. I’ve been a Features Director/Features Editor for over 10 years now, on national magazines ranging from that’s life! to Easy Living, which is about as broad an experience you can get. I’ve written for car mags, financial newspapers and tabloids, and I’ve had adventures in web and social networking which have shown me the sheer variety of media work out there, and that I can do more than print journalism.
So it’s time to take a few risks, do a mixture of different things, and hopefully share what I’ve learned with other people I meet on the way, whether it’s my exciting new PR contract, mentoring new journalists or writing crazy features and working with wonderful new people as well as contacts who’ve become friends. I may yet be dragged away by the men in white coats but if I am, it won’t be anything to do with my career decisions…