Notes on freelancing: why it’s important to make time for personal projects


Earlier this year I set myself a goal of writing at least one blog post per week. I didn’t have an end-game in mind; I just knew I needed to set some wheels in motion. If I wanted to be a writer, I needed to write – frequently, no excuses.

I soon found a rhythm and managed to meet my self-imposed weekly deadlines. Some posts were mediocre. Some were good. Some were hard to write, let alone share. But I continued to hit publish, and it felt great. I was creating and contributing. I was choosing action over inaction. I was practicing my craft.

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I Am Pilgrim by Terry Hayes



“In war, the first casualty is truth.” – Terry Hayes, I Am Pilgrim.

One of my university friends is extremely well-read and we often email back and forth about our latest literary findings. I’m usually quietly impressed by the pace in which he devours lengthy philosophical tomes by exotic authors I’ve never heard of, while I slowly make my way through the Whitcoulls Top 100. We compare topics and make suggestions and recommendations, and it’s a great way to keep in touch – I’m not sure I could ever tire talking about books.

It was during one such conversation that I attempted to describe my feelings towards I Am Pilgrim by Terry Hayes.

“I can’t decide whether I loved it or hated it!”

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From 9-5 to self-employment in two months: a recap


This blog has been sorely neglected over the past few months, but all for good reason – in the past eight weeks, I’ve taken on freelance writing contracts, quit my full-time job and become self-employed. Even as I write these words, I still don’t quite believe it. On the one hand, it feels like everything has come together incredibly quickly. But on the other, I realise I’ve been subconsciously working my way towards this goal for years. Full-time freelancing has always been on the horizon; I just arrived at this destination faster than expected.

Let’s rewind a couple of months.

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Note to self: when in doubt, write.


Today I woke up in a funk. I was exhausted, both physically and mentally. The sun was streaming through my window, the birds were chirping merrily, I had a cup of tea delivered to me in bed; is there any better way to start a lazy Sunday? Yet all I felt like doing was drawing the curtains and going back to sleep. Only I was the kind of exhausted that made even sleep feel impossible. Restless and irritable, I was having an internal conversation that went something like this:

“Just get up Jess, it’s a beautiful day, you should be out there enjoying the sunshine and doing something fun.”

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A random rant on fame & freedom


This post was inspired by the NZBloggers #BlogGreatness challenge. This week’s topic is Celebrity Inspiration.

I never understood those kids at school who dreamed of growing up and becoming famous. I hated the thought of being the centre of attention at my own birthday parties, let alone taking to the stage in a public setting.

Yet lately I feel as though I would gladly trade places with certain celebrities. It’s not that I want to be in the spotlight, or crave attention. But let’s think about it for a moment: what do the rich and famous have (in abundance) that I don’t?

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Confessions of a timid traveller: why I keep coming home


This post was inspired by the NZBloggers #BlogGreatness challenge for weeks 7 & 8. The topics are ‘Favourite part of NZ’ and ‘Contrast’. You can find out more about NZBloggers here.

I have a confession to make: I am a very timid traveller. I love arriving in new places, exploring different cultures and seeing the world. But I find the actual travel part – the getting from A to B – incredibly challenging. I am afraid of the literal sense of the word: to ‘make a journey, typically of some length’.

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Travel Flashback: six hours in Switzerland

Geneva main

This post was inspired by the NZBloggers #BlogGreatness challenge. Every week, bloggers are tasked with writing about a predetermined topic. This week’s prompt is ‘Neutral’. You can check out other blogs on the subject here.

In early 2011, when I was on exchange in Lyon, France, I was invited to spend the weekend at the family home of my then-flatmate, Nawel. She was from a beautiful town called Evian-les-Bains – famous for the bottled water – on the shores of Lac Leman.

What I didn’t immediately realise at the time is that Lac Leman is French for Lake Geneva. On Sunday morning Nawel casually suggested we take a drive to Switzerland, in the same way one would suggest going downtown for a cup of coffee or the like. To a young girl from borderless New Zealand, the idea of taking a day trip to a different country was mind-blowingly awesome.

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Passions vs pastimes: how to tell the difference

Passions in Life

This week’s post was inspired by the NZBloggers #BlogGreatness challenge. Every week, bloggers are tasked with writing a post about a predetermined topic. This week’s prompt is ‘Passions in Life’. You can check out other blogs on the subject here.

“A passion project doesn’t mean a side business, although it could grow into one. A passion project is often an indulgence of your deep inner desire to create. A drive to bring your ideas to life, whatever form they may take.” – Ernest Barbaric

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