Friday, 31 July 2009

A flurry of activity

I am so sorry for being absolutely useless; it really has been a month since I last posted! I won't be able to post much from now on but I will attempt to be better than what I have been right now!

The main reason for me being away is that I thought I should finally get down to this sodding career change once and for all - after hearing that another 300 accountants in my area of expertise have been made redundant (so that's another 300 people chasing after increasingly scarce jobs in my field), I realised that frankly, the accountancy thing just ain't gonna happen. Or at least, not for another couple of months. So I decided to simply take the plunge and change career once and for all. Sod it, it's not like I'm getting anywhere with my main profession (the one I'm trying to leave anyway), so why not?

So that's what I've been doing for the whole month of July. I have a small portfolio of articles (4 articles in a national newspaper) and I've been trying to use that as a selling tactic when advertising myself as a freelance journalist. Most of my days this month have been spent as follows:
  • cold-calling accountancy firms offering copywriting services ("I'm a freelance journalist who's recently been published in a famous daily newspaper and I used to be an accountant..." etc)
  • cold-calling the PR firms the accountancy firms use ("Accountancy firm X have referred me to you, and I'm a freelance..." blah blah blah),
  • cold-calling the PR firms I used to write one of my articles on my two-week work experience in June
  • being sneered at
  • being hung up on
  • being on the receiving end of someone's annoyance
  • being on the receiving end of someone's sympathy
  • cold-calling magazine editors (after weeks of the above)

And that's not to mention the following things I spent my days doing (when I wasn't annoying strangers on the telephone):

  • keeping meticulous records (in Excel - yeah I know it's sad, but I did use to work in Finance) of who I contacted, when, and what was the outcome,
  • extensive reading of freelance writing, working for yourself, and buying writers' handbooks,
  • attending free journalism workshops
  • doing my accounts to keep track of my (tax-deductible) spending,
  • trips to the local library to get scans into PDF format of my rather small portfolio,
  • planning who to pester - sorry, advertise my writing skills to - next
  • researching into copyright and setting fees, and coming up with my own set of fees to charge corporate clients (haven't had this tested yet)
  • drinking numerous cups of tea to calm the stress.

As I write this, I have just finished completing my accounts for the month of July and now need to get ready to go out - got someone's leaving drinks to attend. This week has been particularly busy as I (accidentally) managed to land my first commission, which I shall talk about in a later post.

I shall try to post again as soon as possible and in the meantime, thanks to all of you for your support and comments xxxxx

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