Author: Sophestry

How to be a Marginally Successful Freelance Writer

Whilst we all know freelance writers exist, becoming one sounds almost impossible. Surely being paid to work from home, never having to get out of your pajamas and effectively being able to stay in bed all day is too good to be true? Note: This article refers to non-fiction writing and is for people who want to be professional journalists, bloggers etc. Fiction writing is probably similar and some of these tips will still apply, but if fiction is your thing you will have a slightly different process. This also refers quite exclusively to online writing, journalism, blogging etc. My office The bad news Becoming an online freelance writer is easier than you think, but if you’re expecting immediate riches (or any substantial money at all for the first few months) then you’ll be disappointed. Unless you are very, very lucky you won’t instantly become a respected writer for a well-known website. Don’t expect regular wages When you do start getting paid (and you will if you keep at it) it won’t be a substantial …

The Reality of Freelance Writing

I guess I’m living the dream right now. After I left my boring office job four months ago,  I’ve been spending my time travelling the world. I’ve been to Australia, New Zealand, Germany, Mexico and Amsterdam and am currently planning a trip to Romania and another trip from New York to California. This is what I have wanted to do ever since I can remember, and I now have the perfect job to go alongside it. I don’t have to choose between this job and travelling because I can work whilst travelling.

The Pros and Cons of Event Work

Last week I worked 12 hours as a bar staff worker for a festival in North London. I got the job through an events agency, which typically post events throughout the year (mostly in Summer) that you can sign up and work. You get paid minimum wage, work long hours on your feet, have to deal with difficult and often irate drunk people and if you’re lucky you’ll get two fifteen minute breaks. But on the plus side, you will make around £80-90, you will make friends, you will gain experience and you’ll be forced to be physically active. If you want to make a bit of extra cash or your employment history is noticeably blank and you’re willing to try anything, here is my list of pros and cons to consider before you attempt this line of work.

My First Days of Unemployment

I am unemployed. It still hasn’t really sunk in. I left my job more than a month ago, but almost straight afterwards I went to Australia and New Zealand. I spent the next five and a half weeks relaxing on the beach, drinking cheap wine and orange juice all day and visiting islands, volcano’s and Hobbits. It was fantastic and it has inspired me to travel as much as possible for as long as possible as soon as possible. Yet it didn’t really prepare me for the reality of being properly and utterly unemployed. I’ve worked pretty much continuously for the last three years. When I was at university I started out doing short term work, like exam invigilating (where you get paid to wander around a room quietly for three hours) and event work (by which I mean working 11 hours or more behind a number of bars at a race course/festival purely so you can then apply for permanent bar work with your new found ‘experience’). In my third year of uni I worked at …

The Case of the E Cigarettes v. Australia

As some of you know, I am currently in the sunny land of Australia. Home of beautiful beaches, exotic wildlife and stunning scenery. Australia has been an amazing experience. It is very tempting to stay here forever. There are, however, some pretty big differences between here and my native homeland of the UK. Whilst some are very positive (free swimming anyone?) others are more disconcerting. The one that has really struck me is Australia’s approach to smokers, and particularly to e cigarettes. E cigarettes that contain nicotine are apparently illegal in Australia. I have a confession to make here folks. I was a smoker. A dirty nicotine fuelled smoker. I smoked cigarettes for quite a long time before I switched to e cigarettes. While I understand the controversy and negative feelings towards any form of smoking, I personally am a big believer in the mighty e cigarette. I don’t know what it’s like in America, but e cigarettes have taken England by storm. They are still relatively new. They became mainstream about four years ago, but …

Travelling with Your Parents

I’ve been in Australia for almost two weeks now and overall it’s been amazing. I landed in Queensland to see the sights (and my grandparents) and fell in love with Brisbane. Then I went to Murwillumbah, with its beautiful misty mountains, and am heading down to Byron bay pretty soon. It’s been a lot of fun and made me seriously want to buy tie dye haram pants and backpack in youth hostels for at least a year asap, but there is one catch.

Pride, Prejudice & Zombies and The Benefits of FanFiction

Last Saturday I went to see Pride Prejudice and Zombies, which is based on a book by the same name and parodies Jane Austin’s original. The story is pretty much the same; it still has the overbearing mother who is desperate for her daughters to marry rich men and thus avoid the perils of early 19th century landed gentry society. It still has the feisty Elizabeth Bennett who refuses to marry against her wishes. It still questions pre-Victorian society and gives us a view of rural upper class country life. It still has the same themes of women in the 19th century, education, marriage, love and our perception of others. The only difference is that in addition to all of the above, the Bennetts are living in the midst of a zombie apocalypse, where the recently deceased upper class rural Georgians are turning into corpses and eating the brains of the living.

Leaving Goggles

I’m leaving my job. That’s right folks; after over a year and a half of working full time in my kooky little call center, I am leaving to travel and follow my dreams of being paid to write. It’s exciting, it’s terrifying and there is a very real chance I will end up extremely poor and never be able to move out of my parents flat. It’s even more of a daunting prospect because this is the only thing I have done since graduating. I literally left university on the last day of June two years ago and started working here on the first day of July. I didn’t take a break or a summer off, this is literally all I know of the adult world. I always planned to leave; in fact I had no idea I would be here this long. The plan was to save enough money to go traveling before settling down into ‘adult’ life. Initially I naively thought that would take about six months. I kept postponing leaving partly because I didn’t have enough money to …

My Type of Romance

As it was Valentines Day recently I have decided to write about relationships and my own experience with the crazy roller coaster world of love. This is a romantic story straight out of (certain) types of movies, TV shows and books, but trust me when I say it is not a fairy tale. When I was 18, I became involved with a man. This man seemed like he was straight out of a story. He was eight years my senior, which made him just the right age in my mind, and he reminded me of many of the characters I had learned to love over the years. But this was no fairy tale story. Not a romcom either. No. This man reflected the kind of relationships I was fascinated with at the time. When I was younger, I wasn’t interested in ‘normal’ on screen romances and soppy rom coms. I didn’t want a knight in shining armor, un-complicated, sweet, and ‘normal’ guy.  When I was younger, I was obsessed with phantom of the Opera. With the angst page of …