Each week A Bit on the Side features an inspirational women, who manages to juggle a ‘day job’ as well as A Bit on the Side. This week we’ve been talking to Lizzie from A Curious Journey:
Tell us about yourself
Hi, I’m Lizzie. I live in Yorkshire with my husband J and our two lively boys, age five and three. The boys both have additional needs: global developmental delay and hypermobility. The eldest is under assessment for autism.
Tell us about your day job and your bit on the side (and do you keep it a secret?!)
I’m a business journalist on a regional newspaper three days a week. I also write a blog – A Curious Journey – which helps parents of young children with additional needs get the right support in place so that their daily lives have less stress and more joy. I write about parenting, life and travel in the hope that my experiences can help others. It’s definitely not a secret – I couldn’t even if I wanted to. My Facebook page is one of my main social media channels and there are lots of people from work who see it on a daily basis, including my boss!
How did your bit on the side come about?
My friend, who is a freelance copywriter, went on maternity leave last year and I took over one of her jobs – writing a twice weekly blog for a motoring website. It gave me my first taste of WordPress. I love writing and decided it would be fun to create my own blog once I’d finished that stint. I’d already carved out the time, which I didn’t think I had, to do it and in February this year I decided to just go for it.
What’s the best part of having a bit on the side?
I love having the creative freedom to do what I like with the blog – the design, the content, everything is up to me – and it’s very exciting.
What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced?
Everything has been a challenge! But one of the biggest so far has been setting up everything up. I’ve done everything myself and as I’m not technically-minded it’s all taken much longer than I anticipated. It’s an ongoing challenge as I add more elements to the blog but on the plus side I’m learning lots of new skills!
The other big challenge is finding time to do everything. My eldest gets up between 4.30 and 5.15am so I’m usually shattered in the evenings but that’s when I get most things done. I have to try to grab the odd hour here and there when I can in between the school/nursery run, lots of hospital appointments and, of course, my day job!
What’s your advice for others looking for a bit on the side?
Do something you absolutely love, otherwise you’ll get bored with it and give up and find your ‘tribe’ – people who are doing the same or a similar thing to you. It’s important to have people who understand what you’re doing and why and who you can call on for advice. I’m a member of a blogging mentoring group on Facebook – Aby Moore’s Inner Circle – which is a valuable resource when I need help.
What are your hopes for the next 12 months?
I’m only two months in, so this year is about growing my blog and my audience. I’ve got my first product review coming up, which is exciting. I made a promise to myself to only do reviews that really fit with my brand and that could potentially help my audience and this is one is about sleep so I’ve got my fingers crossed it’s something that could help us all!