"Business journalism and business writing are like this – once you prove yourself, you will always be in demand" - Iwona Tokc-Wilde
Where on the planet are you currently located? South coast of the UK, a 10-minute walk from a seven-mile-long sandy beach actually.
You are a freelance journalist, how did you go about pursuing this career? I come from a financial and business consultancy background, and have built up my freelance writing business (journalism and copy-writing) starting from that base, gaining experience and contacts with editors and publications 'on the job'. This – rather than doing a journalism degree - is not uncommon among freelance journalists. Many people can write but not everyone will have relevant insight or sector experience. As I write on business and finance topics, my background and industry knowledge are in some respects more valuable than my writing skills. (FirstStep.me takes notes!)
Was becoming a journalist always a career aspiration? Not at all. I wanted to be an archaeologist (sigh). However I ended up reading English at university and got myself an MA in English & Literary Theory, went into teaching for a bit and then qualified as an accountant (I don’t actually remember why...). I was a high-level business adviser for 13 years before I decided to change direction to business writing and, finally, something clicked - this is where I belong.
What are the challenges of being a freelance journalist and how do you deal with them? Many freelancers complain ours is a bit of a “feast or famine” profession, where you go through periods of loads of work followed by very quiet spells. Having said that, I cannot remember my last quiet spell. Business journalism and business writing are like this – once you prove yourself, you will always be in demand. The danger is you end up working too much (see below) – I’m not very good at clocking off.
Any interesting or funny happenings during your time as a freelancer? Last week I didn’t leave my house for seven days (I work from a home office). Some would call it tragic. (FirstStep.me says big respect for the hard work!)
How do you deal with editorial deadlines? I believe in the “Seven Ps” principle... In other words, it’s all in the planning.
Do you kick-start your day with a cup of coffee? Tea, with a coffee chaser.
Words of advice for the youth of the planet? Believe in hard work, not luck.
About: Iwona tweets here @iwonatw and official website is iwonatokcwilde.com.