My name’s Jamie Thomson and I’m a freelance copywriter based in Aberdeen.
How long have you been freelancing, and why did you start?
I’ve been freelancing full time since June 2014. I decided to go freelance first and foremost because I love writing. And I wanted to have control over my own career and finances. I wanted to get away from the stresses of working in offices and give myself some breathing space to pursue one of my passions and make a living from it.
[themify_quote]I’m most productive first thing in the morning and most creative late at night.” [/themify_quote]
Let’s talk about the start of your day – are you an early riser, or a night owl?
I’m definitely a night owl. In fact it’s 05.57 at the moment and I haven’t been to bed yet! I’m at my most creative at night time and that’s when I get my best ideas. I’d love to be able to summon my creativity at 9am every morning but unfortunately I don’t seem to be built like that.
What time do you start work?
Normally I start at around 10am and finish at 6pm but if I have a project that requires ‘outside the box’ thinking then my night owl tendencies usually hinder me from getting up as early.
Do you work from home?
Yes. And at local coffee shops or at client offices if they’re local and they want me around.
What’s your working routine before you start work?
The first thing I do is have breakfast then check my emails. I check my work phone and my Twitter feed then I jump in the shower and get down to business.
Do you take a lunch break?
I always try to.
How do you tend to spend your afternoons?
Well, I’m most productive first thing in the morning and most creative late at night so the afternoons can vary quite a bit for me. Normally, they’re spent working on client projects or attending face-to-face or Skype meetings. Depending on my workload, I’ll also spend time in the afternoon looking for marketing opportunities, whether it’s initiating conversations on Twitter or looking for guest posting opportunities to increase my online presence.
[themify_quote]I’ll spend time in the afternoon looking for marketing opportunities, whether it’s initiating conversations on Twitter or looking for guest posting opportunities to increase my online presence.”[/themify_quote]
How do you keep motivated? Do you have any particular techniques?
I do. I’m a big fan of guided hypnosis recordings and whenever I feel my concentration lagging, I like to lie down for 20 minutes with some headphones and let myself relax. I’ll also sometimes go for a walk or have a change of scenery and if it’s a lost cause, I’ll grab my surfboard and hit the beach for an hour. Sometimes distractions can be good things.
What time do you tend to sign off for the day?
Normally I finish around 6pm when my girlfriend gets home.
Tell us – what’s your favourite thing about freelancing?
Being able to choose my own working hours and being in control of my own career. Although I work harder and longer hours freelancing, I enjoy being able to see the results of my efforts more obviously than when I worked for other companies. I also like having the opportunity to go surfing during the day in the winter, something I was never able to do when I worked 9 – 5.
And your least favourite thing about freelancing?
Although I don’t mind it as much as others, I do sometimes miss having colleagues to talk to and bounce ideas off. I don’t think I realised just how isolating it can be sometimes working freelance without having an office space. I’ve actually been toying with the idea of renting a co-working space somewhere local so that I have the option of being around other people if I want.
What tools/apps/gadgets/things could you not live without as a freelancer?
Well I’ve recently bought a new laptop with Windows 8.1 on it and I have to say I’d be lost without my virtual post-it notes. It certainly beats sticking luminous bits of paper to your screen.
Where can we find you online?
The Big Question – What’s the secret to your success?
I think it would have to be good old fashioned hard work. I spent a lot of time researching, building my portfolio and getting my finances in order before I took the plunge and went full time and I’ve stuck by that approach.
Actually, one of the best pieces of advice I received before I went full time was from a fellow freelancer who said ‘be nice to people, nice people get more work.’
It’s worked for me so far.
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