I can count life-changing events on two hands: marriage, diagnosis with a food allergy, the birth of my two children, going teetotal and throwing off the shackles of education, through freelance writing.
They’ve all been seismic and I would not like to rank them in order of magnitude.
But as I’m a writer, who engages in freelance writing, in Norfolk as a copywriter, I better talk about this rather than placentas or the end of singleness.
Freelance writing is my dream job.
I realised late at the age of 50 that this was my calling in life.
But at least it happened, and I didn’t end up, like many teaching colleagues do – retiring at 60 and dropping dead soon after.
I think I’ve added years to my life by dropping the shackles of education and going self-employed.
It’s about having control – a friend, Richard, another escapee from the toxic wasteland of teaching, said to me the other day “You control the business; the business doesn’t control you.”
I’ve added the semi-colon to imbue it with more intellectual weight as Richard taught P.E. for years and would perhaps think a semi-colon is some body part.
It’s spot on though, bang on the money.
I’m now in control; my job (education) does not control me.
Freelance writing is a joy, but it does have pressures.
Let me describe my day in a handy timeline:
6.30 am: alarm goes off; wife gets up, I remain in bed, writing LinkedIn updates (doesn’t get much more exciting either as the day progresses)
7.10 am: after checking all social media accounts of my own, and others who pay me a retainer, checking emails and urinating, I head downstairs to set breakfast up and make a pot of Earl Grey (bourgeois I know).
7.20 am: my son and daughter get up. I ignore them as I’m too busy on social media.
8.15 am: I take Ruby to primary school.
8.30 – 3.10 pm: FREEDOM.
Freedom from bosses, hierarchies, office politics; freedom to do what I want.
Oddly perhaps, I tend to do my best work late at night – after 10 pm or before 11 am, so I write during these times.
A large whiteboard helps me keep track of the day, juggling two companies – this one and 321 Websites – as well as the day to day grind of doing washing, food shopping, coffee making, the odd bit of cleaning and a daily trip to a health club.
There is seriously no life like it.
After being governed by bells for 27 years in schools, the freedom at first confused and appalled me.
No more though, my days are splendid.
Freelance writing is a total dream.
Managing people’s social media accounts is a creative joy.
I wake up every day knowing that work, my work, freelance writing, will be a pleasure, not a chore and that’s priceless.
I control my business now; no-one controls me.
Freelance writing puts me in control.