One Year of Providence

In a little under two hours, it's June 27th 2012 - my 29th birthday - and I can't help but look back over the past year as one of the most significant of my life.

Around this time in 2011, I handed in my notice to a job I'd been doing for the best part of five years - and one which, at the start, I'd have been happy to stick with for the most part of my career.

Sure, the workload was heavy, even from the outset, when I wrote about eight feature-length items in one unusually heavy week, on top of around 24 normal-length articles a day for clients in industries ranging from online bingo to secure data storage.

But I liked the work - the pace of it, the randomness of the subjects we had to tackle - and it was, after all, achievable.

Flash forwards from 2006 to 2011, and the expected output had climbed to around 30-32 articles - that's four news stories, sourced and researched to fit the client brief, written, edited for publication and uploaded directly to the client's website, in each working hour of the day.

I stuck it out for as long as I could, but in June 2011 I resigned from Adfero DirectNews (you may know them as ContentPlus, NewsReach, or simply under the name 'News Feeds', as they'd just rebranded when I left).

On my 28th birthday, as I recall, I'd booked the day off work. In fact, I had a few days of annual leave to use up, as the end of June was also the end of my holiday year.

I arrived back to find my entire workload had been transferred to other writers. When I asked what I was supposed to do, I was offered the choice of simply leaving the company that same day.

And that's why the beginning of July - and not the end - marks the anniversary of me becoming a freelance copywriter.

It's been an interesting year.

I've worked for friends, acquaintances, ex-teachers and people I've never met - and never will.

I've written online and print copy ranging from ghost-written eBooks that are ostensibly by online marketing experts, to brochures for international brands, to the chattiest of blog posts for online bingo sites - a topic I can't seem to escape but which, luckily, I genuinely love writing about.

I've had clients pay up front, others whose money shows up without fail on the last day of the invoice deadline, and thankfully few late payment issues to contend with.

Most importantly of all, I'm surviving, and thriving, both on the income I'm currently earning, and on my current working conditions.

To those of you who have contributed to my freelancing career so far, I thank you, sincerely. I could not have lasted this long without all of you.

Right now, today, to those of you currently on my books, a specially heartfelt thank you. Your ongoing support means more to me than you would know, and you have given me the ability to turn down work when my instincts say no - perhaps the most significant milestone I have yet reached in this first year.

And to those of you I have not yet met, but who will play a role in my second and future years of freelancing - I look forward to working with you, whoever you may be.

Long may the Phronesis banner fly high, and proudly shall I fly it, in the name of powerful writing, properly informed action, and partnerships that allow us, together, to change our own little corners of the world for the better.

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