Saturday, 22 February 2014

One Year as a Freelance Copywriter

Maternity leave was an amazing time - spending my time with my baby, watching her grow and helping her to develop. I loved having that time to truly focus on being a mother, but I did feel there was a dark cloud hanging over me. That cloud was my return to work, to a job I loved, at a place I loved to work, but for some reason it still felt like a dark storm approaching. I just couldn’t imagine saying goodbye to my daughter at the start of each day, and not seeing her for the following 10 hours.

After many sleepless nights, hours of discussion and a moment of clarity, I decided not to return to work. I thought, at the time, that I just needed a few more months with my daughter. That when she was a little older, I would happily leave her. And so, I handed my notice in. It was a difficult month that followed, with many hours spent worrying I may have done the wrong thing. I loved being with my daughter, but would I one day resent her for missed opportunities? Would I struggle to define myself without my passion for my work?



In that month, I wondered whether I might be able to make money from home. I had always had a passion for writing, and had done plenty of writing in my various roles. I decided that I would try my hand at copywriting. I was lucky, and quickly found my first job.

Today marks one year since I first became a freelance copywriter. I spend the mornings playing with my toddler, and then run downstairs to start working when she goes down for a nap. I get as much work done as I can in that hour or so of peace and quiet, and then spend the afternoon with my daughter again. If I have any work outstanding at the end of the day, I do it while my husband is bathing and reading bedtime stories. If I have a lot on, the grandparents pop round to entertain my daughter for a couple of hours so I can get up to speed. It is the perfect arrangement.

I don’t miss out on time with my daughter, but I still get to do something I love, while making money. It’s not a lot of money, of course, I am restricted by the number of hours I work, but it’s enough. I feel like I have found the perfect balance.

It’s hard to predict of course, and there is an element of fear that comes with freelancing, but for the moment it is working well. I love that the extent of my commute is a short walk to the dining table. We’re hoping to move house within the next few months, and I hope I will be able to have an office in the new house. I would love to have a space to truly call my own, where I could sit to work without first moving crayons, paints and glasses.

I often think about my work in terms of luck - I am lucky I am able to work from home, I am lucky I get to spend so much time with my daughter… but actually, I work pretty hard, so I think I deserve some of the credit.

Here are the articles I’ve written over this past year:





If you are ever in need of a copywriter, find me to mrsfionapeacock (at) googlemail.com

6 comments:

  1. so glad things turned out well for you! and good that you get to spend more time with your little one. i'm a freelance illustrator & oh boy do i know what it's like to have that fear that no work will come along. it can be very unpredictable, can't it! i've not had any work since december and therefore no income, so i'm pretty poor at the moment, ugh! hopefully things will pick up eh :)

    here's hoping your career goes from strength to strength!

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  2. Nothing beats being able to be home with the kiddos, so glad that you have something you can do from home :)

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  3. Congrats!
    For me I feel like motherhood really pushed me into working for myself. I had already decided there was no way I was returning to my old job (but it wasn't a hard decision as it wasn't one I loved) and we were both of the agreement that I wouldn't look for another job for the time being. It was around that time funny enough that I realised I could start making money from my blog. I got offered my first blogger outreach job when Wilf was 18m and being a 20hr contract and no family close I needed to look into childcare but even though that only lasted two months it was like a blessing, Wilf loved nursery so I felt I needed to work harder to pay to keep him there and it gave me the time (two days a week) to work on my blog and launch my shop! I now make the same amount as I would have returning to my old job (working part-time) so I too feel like I'm extremely lucky..but also I think I work quite hard too ;)

    Your writing is fantastic and I have no doubt you will go from strength to strength. xx

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  4. I am in the process of trying to establish myself as a freelance photographer before my youngest goes to school so it was great to read this and know that it can happen x

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  5. So happy that the decisions you made were the right ones and everything turned out well for you and you have a very healthy balance!

    I have struggled a lot with this whole 'going back to work' thing, as when I had Theo I didn't have a job or career to go back to. I had just finished University, and hadn't really had the chance to figure out what I wanted to do! I still struggle to this day, I want to work and to push myself and find something I love doing that fits in with my family, but I haven't quite found out what yet! I would really love to go back and study and thats something I want to put in motion soon I think!

    Anyway it's inspiring to hear that it can be done!

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  6. As a fellow copywriter, I'm lucky to have a few long-term contracts, but I know only too well the fear of work drying up! Have you looked at Copify? It's not always well paid, but good for an extra few quid here and there :)

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