Last week I was interviewed by Essential Writers, the website where writers (and aspiring writers) share advice and experiences. Judy asked me how I got started in journalism, how I got that important first commission, and how I handle the ups and downs of freelance journalism.
From my Essential Writers interview:
What inspired you to become a writer?
I always had my head in a book as a young child and wanted to be “a journalist”, although I’m not sure I knew what that meant. I love being creative and also the freelance lifestyle and even the challenges of being my own boss.
How did you find your first writing job?
I’d been made redundant from my event job in London and moved out of London at the same time. It was time for a change. I was also a few months away from my first Channel swim. I knew that, if a pitch for a first-person piece about Channel swimming couldn’t get my foot in the door of sports journalism, nothing would! (Thank you to 220 Triathlon for accepting that pitch!)
Did you face much rejection initially?
I face more rejection now, actually, because I’m braver about pitching outside my comfort zone these days. I deal with it by learning from it and moving on quickly!
How did you come to specialise in writing about triathlon and other sports?
Triathlon and other sports are a huge part of my life so it made sense to write about them. I know the technicalities, the history and the athletes very well, and can write quickly, fluently and with real passion. I went freelance around the time that triathlon and open-water swimming exploded in popularity in the UK, which helped.
If you fancy reading the interview, here’s the link.