Tell us a bit about you!
I’m Joanna Shock, a freelance editor based in London. I specialise in secondary school materials (with a focus on maths) and health & fitness materials, but I take on other areas of editing too – any sort of non-fiction copy really.
How long have you been freelancing, and why did you start?
I left a 9 to 5 job in November last year so I’ve only been freelancing for a few months. I wanted a life where I could build my days in my own way, and not be structured around someone else’s requirements (except my clients’ requirements of course). I was also keen to leave behind some of the corporate politics and associated nonsense, though it was definitely a pull to freelancing rather than a push from anything else.
Let’s talk about the start of your day – early bird or night owl?
In an ideal world I would be a night owl, but my day actually starts at 7.45.
What time do you start work?
I start at 8 with a few bits and pieces of admin or catching up with a blogs or industry goings-on.
Do you work from home?
Most of the time. I do use some co-working venues and really like working in cafes now and again for a change of scene.
What’s your working routine before you start work?
Just grabbing breakfast. My whole morning is a mixture of work and other things so I pretty much get started straight away.
Do you take a lunch break?
No. I tried to when I first started freelancing but as I’ve never done it before, it didn’t quite feel right. I tend to take a long break late morning to work out so at lunchtime I’m just starting to settle in to some proper work.
How do you tend to spend your afternoons?
Generally sitting (or standing) at my desk, focused on my current project. I may be in a cafe if the work is conducive to that sort of atmosphere.
How do you stay motivated? Do you have any particular techniques?
I find approaching deadlines particularly motivating! But I also break everything down into small chunks and just focus on getting through those little by little.
I also just remind myself that it’s a job and it’s not always going to be fun so I just have to get on with it. I love having flexibility in freelancing so I remember all the good things that come with it when faced with a lack of motivation.
What time do you tend to sign off for the day?
Either at 6 when my boyfriend gets home, or at 7 if I have a lot to get done that particular day.
Tell us – what’s your favourite thing about freelancing?
Flexibility to shape my day however I want to. It will be built around the work I have to do but I love working wherever I want, in whatever chunks of time I want and mixed up with anything else I choose (even if that’s just doing the washing up, it frees up time in the evening!)
And your least favourite thing about freelancing?
The uncertainty of what might be coming up in the future. I’d always like just a little bit more information than I have.
What tools/apps/gadgets/things could you not live without as a freelancer?
It’s very simple, but I find Evernote really useful. I have a lot of to do lists, project-related lists, ideas, thoughts and general notes to make and Evernote works really well for keeping everything in order.
I like coffitivity.com when I need a little background noise but don’t want music.
Where can we find you online?
The Big Question – What’s the secret to your success?
I don’t think I’m there yet, but I’m certainly still enjoying being freelance because I’ve met some wonderful people (both on and offline) who are carving their own path too. Even if they aren’t in the same field, it’s amazing to see who’s out there and everyone always seems happy to help.