Friday, May 02, 2014


Today's news about Future caps off an "interesting" six months workwise. It began in early December when I lost one-quarter to one-third of my income overnight after a corporate client suddenly decided to drop the websites I was helping to run. I've still not recovered financially now, although I am coming to terms with having to earn less, with belt-tightening very much in place.

Since then I thought I'd plugged some of the gap with more corporate work through another agency. Unfortunately in the past few weeks I've discovered not only have they decided to go in-house with the copy writing I was expecting to do, but the other corporate client I was working for have also effectively dropped me too. So from two corporate clients on 1st December 2013, I currently have none.

Things have shifted in the editorial sphere too. There's less work around, and budgets are being trimmed. I'm aware that my markets are shrinking, but when I look around to see what else I could write, it feels like the opportunities aren't there either. How many times have I managed to branch out and secure a toehold in other areas only to have the door eventually shut in my face?

I've no idea at the moment how Future's planned restructure will affect me personally - I know a lot of good people are going to be facing the threat of losing their jobs. From a selfish point of view this might mean more freelance work going forward, but it might also mean those people who've lost their jobs will be at the head of the queue for not just that work, but also be in a position to take the work I'm already doing. It's been 11 years since I was full-time at Future, and over eight years since we moved away from Bath.

I recently tweeted that 2014 felt like a watershed year, "and not in a good way". Recent events do nothing to assuage me of that fear. Is this the beginning of the end for me as a writer? Come September, both girls will be at school and Toni is facing up to the likelihood of having to work part-time just to make up the shortfall I'm currently facing.

The big question is, if I give up writing, what other job could I do? And will I be employable? I'm not necessarily afraid of finding myself doing something else for a living, it's the fear that I might not actually be able to find another job to go to.

I know this blog has recorded many such fears over the years, but this time it feels different. And a hell of a lot scarier.

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