Diary of a mum returning to work – Plan of action

As Lucy Mason’s youngest daughter starts school, she resolves to (finally) get her freelance writing career kick started again, with an overdue plan of action.

Plan of action

Well stick a fork in me – I’m done! My youngest daughter has started full time school and I now have no children at home to care for between the hours of 9am and 3.15pm. And don’t tell anyone, but I LOVE IT.

I was a little sad and emotional dropping her off at school on her first day, and it still feels strange to eating lunch alone. But having all this lovely, wonderful time in the day to myself feels amazing, incredible, freeeeee!

Now I just need to make sure I fill these six hours with something useful and ideally, paid. So my immediate plan is as follows:

1) Get some new business cards made up

There are loads of websites or printers that do this, some for as little as £6 for 100 cards. I really like the cards at moo.com which print some really cool designs for around £13, and the cards come in all shapes and sizes – even square ones which are quite cute. But before doing this I need to…

2) Get my website up and running

This is an un-achieved New Year resolution so I definitely need to do something about it before December. Especially as I want to include a website address on my new business cards. I’ve bought a domain name from godaddy.com for about £7 per year (although there are other domain registrar and hosting companies out there).

As discussed earlier in the year there are lots of very cheap/free ways of getting a website up and running, so I also need to decide how I’m going to achieve this. But first, I’m going to have to…

3) Research other websites

I need to get some ideas of how I want to market myself. I find the prospect of building a website all about me quite daunting, so I’d like to keep it as simple as possible. Plus, I haven’t worked consistently for eight-and-a-half years, since my eldest was born, and haven’t really specialised in one particular area of writing since then – I’ve just taken anything that comes along.

So I need to look at other writer/journalist websites for inspiration. I’d also like think about areas I want to specialise in, for example social media, so I can push that on my brand spanking new website. But while all of this is going on I still need to…

4) Try to find work

I’m planning to throw the net out there, get imaginative and try all different areas, including LinkedIn, journalist sites, local directories like Streetlife and ask around some of my old contacts.

Actually one of my favourite things about freelancing is digging around for work. I kind of like to imagine it’s how the miners felt during the Californian gold rush – you never know what you’re going to find, or how amazing the project will turn out to be.

So, with unbridled optimism (for now), a lot more time and plenty of peace and quiet (finally!) I go forth, again, into the world of work. Wish me luck!