Real Life: Back in Business

The life of a freelancer is peaks and troughs and despite living in The Shire for around 5 years it has taken me a long time to find my footing amongst the local business community. I think partly because I have been trying to transition into becoming a more established journalist and partly, because it’s taken me a while to work out how to articulate my commercial offer beyond journalism.

What does my business look like?
What does my business look like?

Writing is my passion and now I have been writing regularly for Wiltshire Life magazine for almost 5 years. It has definitely helped me find my voice. My fantasy memoir ‘Looking For Mr Rabbit’ sits with a new agent and I am waiting to hear feedback. The screenplay ‘Ugly Birds’ is on hold to some extent but not forever and I could tell you why but I would have to kill you. It’s TOP SECRET. #Thatisall

My work with Juno Theatre enabled me, unexpectedly, to reach out more conclusively into the Wiltshire business community and also, by simply attending some local key network events, I  finally broke the ice and business enquiries began to trickle in.

So now I am working with The Enterprise Network supporting them with their social media strategy and managing their social media. It’s great to be working with a business whose mandate is so close to my own heart. They support and encourage entrepreneurship providing business advice and reasonably price serviced office space.

I am, also providing some creative consultancy to a local professional services business and it’s fun to be back in an office again and having to think about what to wear. I can manage that business dilemma one day a week.

In addition, I wrote Firstnet Solutions award entry for the 2016 Comms Business Awards Reseller of The Year Award (small) and I am delighted that they have been shortlisted. Good luck to them! Fingers crossed they win on the night because they deserve it.

Talking of awards, I was persuaded to enter one myself – the South Wilts Business Awards in the category of Enterprising Business Woman. They have had 27 entries and Russ and Rachael from The Enterprise Network came over to judge me. I have no idea what the outcome will be but I’m glad the category is most enterprising and not richest. Enterprising I am, rich I am not.

Is this me? Only the judges can decide #watchthisspace
Is this me? Only the judges can decide #watchthisspace

 

My first foray into networking
My first foray into networking

 

At the Salisbury Big Business events and the Wiltshire Business Expo,  I met Eliot Jones from e-Cleen and laid down the gauntlet to see if his lads could come and clean the uncleanable house. They rose to the challenge. It was a great laugh and magic Mark did wonders with my Aga and removing some of the trickiest stains from the carpets, while Dan got to work on my old paths. I love it when a plan comes together.

 

eCleen did some lovely work on my paths and Aga
eCleen did some lovely work on my paths and Aga

Back on the homestead – my running duck Jerry is sitting on a nest of eggs that are due to hatch in the next two weeks. Running ducks are not very good mothers so if I can keep the cats and the buzzards at bay I might have some ducks to give away when they get a bit bigger.

My greenhouse is propagating – cucumber, tomatoes, aubergine, baby corn, dwarf beans, runner beans and I have bags of potatoes, onions and garlic on the go. Two of my raised beds have carrots and never ending spinach in them. I am hoping that I will do better with the carrots this year as I have planted them in looser top soil. And I have two sheep being delivered soon to become resident lawn mowers.

My bedouin pallet area has been erected for the summer with a new addition – a hot tub! I vowed I would never get one but now I have one I love it.

C'mon on summer - in your own time. I'm ready for you!
C’mon on summer – in your own time. I’m ready for you!

 

The best feature of the Bedouin is it provides a perfect, waterproof, outside space for me to work and enjoy the summer.

Home office is looking luscious
Home office is looking luscious

 

Ps: The children are fine. They are growing and negotiating their way through life trying to avoid homework, tidying their bedrooms, chores and other childish pursuits, whilst playing, expressing themselves, questioning, challenging and generally living life to the full.

Clare Macnaughton; a modern military mother; a feminist, British military spouse, and lifestyle journalist, writing about real life adventures.

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3 Comments

  1. Hi there lovely to find you!!! Am a ‘military wife” just started my own blog and freelancing as an artist illustrator- are you aware of any networks of the blogging variety to tap into. Everything seems to be out of date or us based!

    1. Hello – welcome to my blog and thank you for commenting. Yes – the Milspouse blog community is very US centric. Brit Mums or Tots 100 are good for parent blogging but there isn’t an established Milspouse community in the UK. I have been around for 6 years so I am like the grumpy old blogger in the corner, who just does what she wants. If I can help though please don’t hesitate to ask. I am working on another book and maybe you could help me. My email is clare@maccom.co.uk

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