I’ve always dreamed of making a living out of writing. When I was younger, it was just that. A dream. I was happy in my job (I’m a solicitor and work as a legal adviser in Magistrates’ courts). At that stage, I couldn’t imagine my future career being anything else.
I can remember when a new colleague joined our team. She was in her early 50s and had recently re-trained as a lawyer having spent most of her working life as a teacher. I couldn’t get my head round that at all. Why would anyone want to re-train and completely change their career?
I was in my early 30s and thought my career was mapped out. It never entered my head that I’d ever feel the need to change it. It was reasonably well paid, no long hours and great benefits. At that point, I thought that was what was important.
When we started to think about starting a family, the seed was sown in my brain that my job wasn’t family friendly. Although my employer has a good flexible working policy, the nature of my job means it can never be as flexible as I need it to be.
When I was on adoption leave with our youngest, it felt like the right time to start doing rather than just dreaming. But I felt overwhelmed and didn’t know where to start. Writing was my dream, but how on earth could I make it into a living?
I believe in fate and that things happen for a reason. And I’ve been lucky enough to come across some wonderful women who have inspired me to follow my dream.
When we were just starting out on our adoption journey, I came across the Selfish Mother blog created by Molly Gunn. It’s a space for mums to share the realities of parenthood. Not the rose tinted version, but the realities that so many of us relate to.
I promised myself I would join and share my experience once I became a mum. When it felt like that was never going to happen, particularly in the dark moments during our 10 month wait to be matched with our daughter, that promise to myself gave me hope.
I kept my promise and shared a few blogs on Selfish Mother in the months after our eldest daughter came home. The one that changed things for me was this one about how infertility made me feel about my body. And how meeting our daughter helped me to learn to love it again. The response I got from the blog gave me the confidence to think that perhaps I could turn my love of writing into something more than just a hobby.
Fast forward a few years and I was on my second adoption leave. I came across a post from Anniki Sommerville on Instagram (Anniki was an editor at Selfish Mother). She was recommending a book written by Annie Ridout called “The Freelance Mum”. The book was a guide to setting up a freelance business that worked around your family.
That really was the lightbulb moment for me. I devoured the book, followed Annie on Instagram and soaked up pretty much everything she wrote. Annie is a writer, journalist and creator of some amazing courses. I bought one of her first ones “Become Your Own Boss” (you can find out about all of Annie’s courses over at The Robora) which helped me come up with a plan.
Since then, I’ve learned a lot from some wonderful women through Annie’s Facebook group. That’s has brought me to where I am today. I’ve loved learning new things and taken control of my career in a way I’ve never done before.
I’d love to know how you got to where you are now career wise. Is it where you’ve always wanted to be? Are you doing something you’d never imagined you’d be able to do? Or do you have big plans to change what you do?
“All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.” – Walt Disney