Since Friday, I’ve taken the step of becoming completely freelance.
A bit of background: at the end of 2007 I graduated from Auckland Uni with two degrees but no idea how to use either of them (a common story). I then applied for a role as a graduate medical writer for a medical communications agency, where I spent a couple of years learning the craft. Since then the company has closed down in NZ, but by the grace of God I’ve been either a medical or technical writer over the last 6 years, earning more than I deserve, doing the two things that I love: learning things and writing about them. You could almost say that blogging is just an extension of those two interests.
Cheryl spent even more time at uni than me (6 years studying various degrees including Law, BA Psychology and Latin, Speech/Language Therapy, plus 1 year studying web development), after which she did a couple of freelance web design projects before securing a full-time position as a stay-at-home mother (the most rewarding job!). I love seeing and hearing about the ways she gets to put what she learned at uni into practice – child developmental psychology is very relevant when watching your daughters grow like olive shoots, taking their first steps, singing in angelic voices.
For the last two years (2012-14) I was full-time employed at F&P Healthcare. In that time I helped to update over 700 technical manuals and maintenance procedures for a team that was struggling to get traction with any of them. By the start of this year, I think I fixed most of the most pressing historical errors and improved the workflow for updating these documents.
After praying and talking about where our next 5-10 years might lead, we decided that I’d end my time at FPH and go completely freelance (i.e. paid project-by-project from individual clients). I’d like to keep learning and writing: a freelance setup is built for that as no two projects are exactly the same, and you can have a go at different areas and subjects as time goes on.
There were other factors that influenced this move:
- I’d like to have the flexibility to learn new things: how to design and build websites, writing for new and different contexts, information architecture and other streams of user experience design
- At a time when we have young children, I wanted to make the most of these years and be in a career setup that lets me have lunch with the family during the day, take the girls to the park, play and read to them, and basically invest into their lives during their most formative years
- Recently I was intrigued by the example of Jason Adkins, who serves the Lord as both a technical writer and an associate pastor at his local church. I’d like to have the work flexibility to take on more projects for our church and see if I could be of further use in vocational ministry (Do I have an irrepressible desire to serve in ministry? Do others around me affirm this?).
So if you can, please be in prayer for us as a family – that I’d be disciplined with my time, I’d seek to glorify God in all my work-related endeavours. We’re definitely looking forward to what the Lord will accomplish this year in and through us – great is His faithfulness!