Mumpreneur profile: Freelance writer Hazel Davis #writingforaliving #freelancing

Hazel Davis, by Claire Wood Photography

Hazel Davis, Shot by Claire Wood on 17.03.14
Your Name and Age: Hazel Davis, 38

Tell us about your family

I have a long-term partner, Bob, who I have been with for 15 years (!) and we have two daughters, Clem (nearly 3) and Gilda (18 months). We live in West Yorkshire.

What did you do before coming up with your business idea and how was it making the transition?

I was going to be an academic and was studying for a PhD in linguistics at Leeds University but my heart wasn’t in it. I loved writing and had started getting a few bits published in local listings magazines. My heart soared every time I was asked to write something and I knew that’s what I should be doing. So I quit my PhD and found part-time work as a PA and spent the rest of the time writing for anyone and everyone. It paid off eventually and I got a job on a music magazine in Manchester. It was a small magazine but with a national focus and it helped me get known.

When did you launch?

I went freelance around 2003. I was editor of the music magazine but the pay was lousy and I didn’t feel valued at all. I had got some freelance work under my belt and a friend of mine was launching a comedy agency so I started working with him and writing at the same time.

What’s your favourite thing about working for yourself?

I just love that every single penny I earn is for me and not for someone else. I work really hard but it goes to my family and not some faceless suit somewhere. And even when times are hard, I know I have time to spend with my family and that’s really important.

What’s the thing you least enjoy?

I find it really hard to switch off. And I HATE invoicing and chasing invoices.

What has worked well about your business?

I have done really well by being enthusiastic and eager!

MeGirls What’s been your biggest business mistake?  How did you deal with it?

Probably spelling Croatian wrong on the FRONT of a magazine (it went through about five different pairs of eyes before anyone spotted it) (once it had been published). I also once outsourced some work to a fellow freelancer because I was so busy and trusted them completely. I checked the briefest of sections before sending it off and then it transpired they had misunderstood the brief completely. I learned a few lessons that day.

How do you fit in work with the family?Is your partner supportive of your business?

Yes my partner works part-time and looks after the children for most of my working week. It works very well though we don’t see much of each other during the week! I can’t imagine how we’d do it differently. He’s occasionally offered to give up work completely. I know I couldn’t.

Are you working towards a financial goal?

No. I probably should though.

Would you ever give up your business to do something else?

I can’t ever imagine it at all! I am unemployable. Unless I got a book deal. Or a record deal…



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