Why did you choose to become a freelancer?
I finished a spell web editing on www.netregs.gov.uk for the UK Environment Agency, so rather than seeking another full time position, it made a lot more sense to strike out alone with the decade of experience I had writing and editing on global environmental issues.
If you trained, where? If not, how did you become a freelancer?
Apart from my degrees, plus a postgrad in EU Environmental Law, I spent six months volunteering after university with a not for profit environmental publisher. You learn virtually everything in those situations, as you end up writing, subbing, designing and proofing all at the same time. Hectic but fun.
Do you specialise in any particular field and what areas do you write about?
I specialise in global environmental sustainability. Within that field, I've additional specialist knowledge on elements including renewables, recycling, biomaterials and bioscience, built environment, legislation, climate change. If it's about addressing and improving our impact on the planet, the chances are I've written about it.
Which publications have you been published in? f
The Guardian, BBC online, Yahoo Green, many trade and consumer magazines including Palladium, Bioplastics World, The Somerfield Magazine, Pro Sport Business, Venue, plus online writing and editing for IF&P, Haymarket, EMAP, Prince's Trust, Ernst & Young, Sustrans, Forum for the Future, Our Future Planet, reNews, Peugeot, Global Heritage Fund, EPR Direct, FC Business Intelligence.
Which articles, in which publication, are you the most proud of?
I do like writing for publications like the Guardian, as you tend to get the feeling the largest number of people are reading, taking notice and might actually be influenced by your work. But having said that, you can write a tiny piece about environmental localism for a charity that spreads virally across the web and is read by enormous numbers of folk.
What are the best and worst aspects of freelancing?
Probably the best element is a heightened sense of self and not playing second fiddle to others, or sitting meaninglessly at a desk from nine to five, purely because someone else says you have to be there despite the fact there is nothing whatsoever to do. I would rather work really hard and intensively and then do other interesting things. There is nothing bad about freelancing.
Do you have any interesting anecdotes in relation to your experience as a freelancer?
I will often peer around huge public sector meetings and forums on the environment, then wonder how the organisers completely fail to notice stacks and stacks of disposable sugar, cups, plates, tea, or coffee with no visible recycling or bin facilities anywhere. Then all of the 'environmentalists' leave their disposables into the least visible corner available and take a cab, rather than public transport, due to the 'urgency' of their next engagement. That sits quite amusingly with certain people waxing lyrical from the stage about the need for us all to 'take ownership' of the environment.