I have been earning a living from writing since I first started work in 1989.
My first job was writing TV guides and film reviews for a newspaper syndication service, which was eventually bought by the Press Association (PA). I was lucky enough to spend some time in London shadowing the journalists and subs at PA, the PR team at BBC Pebble Mill and other news and features writers in Yorkshire.
I decided to pursue a career in public relations – and secured a place on Cardiff University’s post-graduate diploma in Journalism Studies (the PR option – which was ratified by the then Institute of Public Relations). It was a fast-paced year and resulted in me being offered a position at Leeds-based Infopress Associates, where I worked on accounts ranging from Norwich Union’s 1 City Square development, to regional telecommunications supplier Torch Telecom and national accountancy firm Arthur Andersen.
Keen to re-visit the electronic world of communications I swapped PR for a brief stint at a company working with traditional publishers (London Evening Standard, Lloyds List and the Yorkshire Post) to develop websites giving online access to their content. It was very exciting to be a part of something so innovative.
But I wasn’t creating my own content – merely checking other people’s. So I was tempted back to the PR agency scene by a close friend who’d started her own agency in Leeds. Together we worked on a huge variety of accounts including Spring Ram Bathrooms, Silver Cross, Jenx, Pascoe Williams, Bradford Girls Grammar School. They were fun times!
I continued in Yorkshire agencies, alternating between full service and pure PR, advising clients and delivering B2B and B2C campaigns.
In 2003 I decided the best way for me to keep doing what I love the most – writing – was to go freelance. I don’t shy away from responsibility, but agency structures demand that the more senior employees spend more time “managing” and less time “doing”. I am a doer.
Since then, I have enjoyed a varied and extremely rewarding career – working with people and companies across a wide range of industry sectors.
I have also been fortunate enough to manage work commitments around bringing two beautiful boys into the world. Working from home has its advantages when raising a family. But it is also extremely challenging. ;)