As far as I was concerned, I was a freelancer. Sure, I’d had 9-to-5s before, mainly in darkrooms. But when the traditional photographic industry started to get some outside pressure in 1998, I turned to my love of reading to become a freelance proofreader. I built a website straight away, and fortunately managed to collect a small number of clients who kept me busy. Within a year or two I was copy editing and writing.
And that was that until 2013 – fifteen years’ worth of making contacts, winning, retaining and losing clients, and writing millions of words of copy. One day I would be working from home; the next I’d be in a briefing in Manchester; then I’d be travelling to London or Edinburgh to be briefed; and overlapping the small jobs, I’d usually have a big project on the go, a big edit or a ghostwriting project. It was definitely who I was.
An opening from a marketing agency
But in 2013, one of my clients, a digital marketing and development agency, tweeted that they were looking for a full-time writer. After cursing them under my breath for their sheer CHEEK, I applied, was interviewed next day and within two weeks I was there full time.
Self-doubt did afflict me before I started. Would I be able to cope with the daily commute? The regular hours? Talking to other humans? And being a relatively new father, I was sure I was going to miss nipping off to Dunham Massey to feed the ducks. Sometimes I’d even take our child. And yes, impostor syndrome, and the accompanying fear of being found out, were there too. But I have to say, I took it in my stride. I worked on a few award-winning campaigns, made some good friends and learnt a lot about digital marketing and SEO. And I got to experience freelance life from the other side of the fence when I had to hire the feckless wastrels for projects we were working on. That was a useful experience.
But in April 2018, it all had to end. Things had changed both in the company and in the industry, and we amicably parted ways.
Over the five years, I had never fully given up freelancing. I still had a few clients that sent me work, and my website remained live and would occasionally spawn a new one-off job. But obviously it was limited. I was ready to throw myself fully into it again. I ditched my old domain, gpuss.co.uk (don’t ask) and relaunched under my own name, with this domain. What happened in the following year I’ll be writing in another post, but things came to a sudden halt and I had to face a new challenge. But for now, I’m back. And ready to write.