It’s coming up to a year since I started out as a freelance and what a career change it has been.
I say started out, I’m more of an accidental freelancer as when I left property magazine Estates Gazette after 20 years, my plan was to take my time exploring different options and ideas before deciding which direction to go, but I’ll come onto that.
My time as a property journalist and features editor taught me lots of things not least that the best time to catch people in the industry is either before 8.30am or after 5.30pm.
When I started out we didn’t have laptops and there was one brick-like mobile phone to share on the features desk. If you were lucky enough to get use of the mobile you soon learnt that it never actually worked.
It was the days of long, often boozy lunches and Friday afternoons in the pub (remember those?).
The lack of technology made working life less agile and less productive but in some small way, I do miss those days of being able to get on a train to go somewhere for work and just read the paper.
Fundamental changes to journalism
Mobile phones, digital and social media fundamentally changed ‘storytelling’ and the dissemination of information. It also changed the way journalists interact with their readers.
My skill set broadened considerably. I went from writing and editing for a print publication to a canvas which included digital editions, web content, infographics, podcasts, video, Twitter and Instagram.
The evolution was exciting and exhilarating.