Celebrating wins of the month

November 17, 2023

Is it just me who finds it easy to forget highlights and achievements soon after they've happened? Recently, I was chatting to someone who mentioned they make a note of their wins of the week so they can look back on how much they got done that week. I love that! So, I'm going to pinch the idea of having my own achievement jar. And, of course, because I'm an Obliger, I'm making it public so I have the accountability to keep it up. So, here goes, my blog celebrating wins, achievements and general things that made me happy in my business.

Highlights of July 2024

πŸ“š Finished the manuscript of my first book (eep!)

🍷 Took some time out (kinda) to spend time with family for various birthdays (OK, well I was rubbish at actually taking time off but I DID manage to visit family and spend quality time, albeit desperately typing in between to meet the above deadline)

πŸ˜€ Clients already getting in touch to discus plans and book in for 2025

😴 Prioritising rest - 'cause I don't want to burnout!

β˜•Managed to take a few days off (finally!)

🐢 My boy - always a highlight

🌊 More great clients finding my on LinkedIn/online and getting in touch with interesting ocean / sustainability writing briefs - more of this please!

πŸ’° A few of my late payers sent their fees over - not really a win 'cause they shouldn't have been late in the first place but ah well...

Highlights of June 2024

πŸ“° More proactive commissions from editors this week. Love that I'm front of mind when they need ocean stories!

πŸ“š Another exciting new project (right in my niche, woop) has landed in my inbox. It's going to be a fun one!

πŸ˜€ Great feedback from a new client - phew πŸ™‚

πŸ’° One of my new clients pays on receipt of the invoice (not waiting until the very last moment... or later, like some organisations). This makes a huge difference to freelancers so, to all those who pay invoices right away, THANK YOU!

🐚 Hit a huge deadline I've been working towards (now... SLEEP!)

Highlights of May 2024

🀸🏻 Freelance life enabled me to embrace the flexibility needed to respond to a few emergencies (vet visits, no running water when a mains burst etc)

🐢 Found some time for pupternity leave (aka a day snuggling on the sofa with the new arrival)

🎯 Applied to some cool writing opportunities with ocean organisations - no idea if I'll be shortlisted but great to see these exciting opps out there

🐚 About to embark on an exciting new project... watch this space for more details

🌎 Secured a press pass for IMCC7 - looking forward to making new conservation connections at the conference

πŸ’» Some exciting incoming leads appearing in my inbox - and right in my niche, woohoo!

πŸ“° A few proactive commissions from editors this week, always the dream!

πŸ“š Had a crazy busy but v productive week to wrap up the month. Always nice to have a focused burst to shoot out lots of articles

Highlights of April 2024

🐢 The Little Man is continuing to settle in well

πŸ’— My poster presentation was displayed at the UN Ocean Decade conference (and I was contacted by some great conservationists who saw and loved it)

πŸ“š A busy month with plenty of fun commissions

πŸ’™ Continuing to build relationships with editors I could only have dreamed about working with a couple of years ago!

πŸ’¬ Helpful feedback from some editors I'd love to work with (fingers crossed this means I can improve future pitches for them)

πŸ“– Someone approached me about the possibility of writing a BOOK! (Nothing confirmed yet but even being thought of for something like this is pretty mind blowing!

πŸ”₯ Selected for the copywriting roster of a charity I love - YEY!

Highlights of March 2024

🌊 Attending the World Ocean Summit and making heaps of great connections

πŸ’™ Meeting loads of inspiring conservationists, scientists and editors at the Summit - feeling inspired

🀩 My debut article for a new (to me) editor didn't have any edits to the first draft - only minor changes wahoo!

πŸ„πŸ»β€β™€οΈ Taking some time out to soak up some Vitamin Sea (and catch some waves)

πŸ”‹ Switching off and recharging

πŸ“° Pitch accepted by a cool new (to me) publication - debut byline coming soon

βœ‰οΈ More editors coming to me with assignments - the dream!

🀸🏻 Being able to maximise that freelance flexibility - yes, there have been some late night working sessions this week but I've also been able to take time out for a family lunch

🐢 A new arrival joins the team

Highlights of February 2024

🐢 I'm borrowing a dog for a while - hello plenty of cuddles and walks as a break from focused writing

🌊 My niche seems to be paying off with an editor coming to me with cool stories that are right up my street

πŸ“° Exciting new commission in a publication I've reeeeally wanted to work for

πŸ’™ Continuing to build relationships with some lovely new editors

πŸ’° My first late payment of the year (boo!) finally arrived (yey!)

πŸ’» Had a lovely co-working session with a local freelance friend.. & we're going to try to make it regular!

Highlights of January 2024

πŸ“š January off to an exciting start with several cool commissions in the first couple of weeks

πŸ’™ In particular, I've met a new editor who's been so kind & helpful with feedback and loved a recent feature pitch I sent (YEY) - really excited about writing this one. Watch this space...

βœ‰οΈ AND I've started receiving some assigned pieces (i.e. I didn't have to pitch) which I love

β˜• Getting out in real life again too with some brilliant work meetings to chat about potential stories with editors, scientists and conservationists

πŸ“… But overall I've (so far) managed not to cram my diary so full that I'm treading water (a big win for me!)

β˜• So I've been able to also enjoy some coffees, lunches, dinners and even theatre trips with friends and family in the spaces between deadlines

πŸ”₯ Plus, Christmas gifts of warm socks, thermals and blankets have been helping me get through this cold spell

Highlights of December 2023

πŸ“ After a slow-ish November, got some cool new commissions in early Dec

❄️ Taking some time to cosy up with a coffee and research pitches for 2024

πŸŽ„Festive celebrations with family and friends

🀞🏻 Took the bold step to pitch a dream publication I'd love to work with AND got a potentially positive response from the editor (cross your fingers that this might lead to a commission at some point)

🎯 Applied to some more cool opportunities for 2024

βœ‰οΈ Some cool enquiries coming in for clients looking for marine science & conservation copywriting support next year (remember, I talk about my editorial work a lot but organisations can hire me too!)

Highlights of November 2023

πŸ‘€ Managing to get away from the laptop a little to look for stories

πŸ“ Exciting new commissions in the pipeline

🌿 Joined the UK Seagrass Symposium to hear more about the latest restoration efforts

🌊 And the Ocean Symposium in Bexhill to meet local conservationists

πŸ”₯ My wearable blanket is keeping me super toasty and warm in this cold weather

πŸ’¬ I was invited to speak about how to tell stories that engage the media at a conservation conference

πŸ’» Found a cool local coworking space

☎️ An animal writer I hugely admire was kind enough to spare some time to have a chat and share some tips with me

πŸ“ A few marine researchers have been in touch with a heads up of potentially interesting studies for me to write about (when the data is ready to be published)... more of this please!

🚒 I was brave and applied to a VERY cool opportunity for an expedition fellowship... fingers crossed!

Highlights of October 2023

🦈 Had a great week at the EEA Conference and met heaps of brilliant shark and ray scientists

β˜€οΈ The UK gave me a teeny bit of sunshine before we slide into winter...

πŸ“ My latest Nat Geo piece is out with another commission in the bag already (watch this space)

πŸ’™ Filed the first draft of my debut article with a dream publication (but it's a long lead so you'll have to wait a while to find out who)

πŸ“… Clients booking in for January 2024 and beyond - as a freelancer, booking projects in this far in advance is amazing (for my headspace, security and general happiness!)

βš–οΈ Not too bad on the work-life balance front - I have a decent amount of work but not too much (so I can still see friends and have some spontaneous afternoons)

Highlights of September 2023

πŸ–οΈ Much needed time off to catch up with old friends (and plenty of beach walks!)

🌊 Back in the water again after four (ish) months without diving

🐳 Whale watching (hooray!)

🐬 Dolphins

πŸ’™ Smalleye stingray - the largest and rarest marine ray in the WORLD and I was so chuffed to see one again

😴 Plenty of (much-needed) time to relax and recharge

πŸ“ My print debut in Nat Geo came out - pinch me!

???? New client contracts in the bag

Highlights of August 2023

πŸ“ A couple of new commissions in the bag

πŸ“° Got my first byline in Sunday Times - woop!

🚢🏻Deadlines shifted so took an afternoon off to go for a long walk

β˜€οΈ The sun finally came out!

πŸ’™ Lighter workload meant I could prioritise time with friends and family

🦈 Fun chats with shark scientists (I love my job!)

😴 Took some time off for much needed R&R!

Highlights of July 2023

🚒 Had the opportunity to join MARINELife and learn about their surveying on ferry trips - pretty sure I saw porpoises!

πŸ“ New pieces published in Nat Geo and the Guardian

πŸ’™ New client pleased with the project I completed for them

🐌 After a super busy period, I've been able to slow things down a bit and try to catch up on other things!

😴 Related to the above, had some great naps haha

❀️ and managed to carve out time to spend with family

Highlights of June 2023

πŸ“ An editor approached ME asking me to write some stories for them (usually I have to pitch ideas so this is VERY exciting)

🚀 Got out on the boat - visiting the local seal colony

🐬 Random and unexpected dolphin sighting while we were enjoying a glass of wine at the seaside

🦭 Spent an interesting day with the BDMLR topping up my marine mammal medic training

πŸ“° My latest Nat Geo piece was published (yey)

πŸŽ™οΈ I've been doing some podcast recordings - very exciting to guest on some pods I love to listen to!

πŸ’™ Got my first byline in New Scientist!

πŸ”¬ Spent a great day at the ABSW Summer School, getting tips on how to improve my science writing and pitching

Highlights of May 2023

πŸ“° My latest article on the Manta Trust was published by Nat Geo

🚀 Got out on the boat - visiting the Sussex Dolphin Project to learn about their work

β˜•Made the most of being freelance to flex my hours around family visits etc.

πŸ’™ Made it up to London to see the lovely bunch from the Being Freelance community

πŸ“ About to kick off an interesting annual report copywriting project with a cool marine research organisation (yey)

Highlights of April 2023

πŸ€“ My first month as Director of The Ocean Writer Ltd

πŸŽ™οΈ Interviewed by the wonderful Sarah McLusky on the Research Adjacent podcast

πŸ’™ Contacted by my wonderful friend and fellow science writer Sam Andrews to say how chuffed she was with my shout out to her in my Research Adjacent interview

β˜• Finally managed to get a coffee catch up in with sustainability copywriter Andy Robinson from Helios Copywriting

🌊 Managed to take some time off to spend the week at sea. In case you were wondering, no wifi plus lots of scuba is the perfect recipe for recharging batteries

Want to chat about your wins (or vent about your frustrations?)

One of the best things about being freelance is the wonderful friends I've made with other freelancers. If you're in need of a bit of a chat with a likeminded freelancer, feel free to book in some time to chat.