My 2014: a year of learning to freelance

Last year was my first full year of working freelance and it was a year of learning.

I've been writing professionally for a long time, I understand technology and the media but I learned much more about all three in 2014. And I understand the freelance life better than I did. It's a little easier to handle the uncertainties of freelancing: both the empty periods when emails and calls go unreturned and it seems like there will be no more work and the job avalanches that can't possibly fit into the coming days. It will take more time until I get completely comfortable with those patterns.

2014 began on a high. I had two clients on retainer and a steady flow of other work. Then I lost both retainer gigs. One client went out of business and I lost the other in a budget reshuffle. That came just as the summer began and work from elsewhere slowed as seemingly everyone went on holiday. Things were quiet and worrying for a while.

I spent some time in the summer working with the smart team from Adaptive Lab, embedded in the offices of Experian, working on prospective new products. That was enormous fun and a complete change to my freelancing routine.

I did a few projects with 3 Monkeys, helping them with work for clients including Samsung and BT. I worked with The Marketing Practice on a project for HP, with Nelson Bostock for Canon and H+K Strategies for Intel. I even spent some time writing about the periodic table for RGB Co, which was fascinating. Other semi-regular clients included John Lewis, Business Technology News, Made By Many and the World Economic Forum. The range of clients and audiences gave me a chance to stretch my skills as a writer and I feel lucky to have enjoyed such variety.

Meanwhile, I updated my book about wearable technology, Computerised You, and the iBook about iOS 7 that I published with Touch Press in 2013. I appeared in various places speaking about wearable tech, moderated a number of round tables and panel discussions along with being a judge for technology awards. 

There's much more but though it's useful to look back, I suspect I'm beginning to stretch the limits of your attention. What does 2015 hold?

I'm developing a couple of my own writing projects. One will require some funding so I'll spend some time trying to unlock that. I plan to do more consultancy but the challenge there is partly one of attitude: I still feel more comfortable selling something tangible, my writing, rather than my knowledge. That's something else I've learned.

Above all, I'm enjoying doing what I'm doing. It's challenging, engaging and rewarding. I'd like to wish all my present and prospective clients a successful 2015. As always, do get in touch to discuss working together.