Emma Morton-Turner - The leap of faith
When I took my leap into the freelance world five years ago, leaving my nice comfy position as Home Editor on Woman and Home magazine I wasn’t really worried or nervous. “Do you have work lined up?” one colleague asked me, to which I replied with a smile on my face “Nope!” and I wasn’t even scared. Was I super confident? No. Did I have tons of money in the bank to keep me going for a few months while I found my feet? No. I had one months money, a husband who’s salary alone wouldn’t keep us afloat for long and two daughters at school, so I knew I had to hit the ground running.
It was my daughters Beau, now twelve and Darcey, nine who were the deciding factors in this life altering decision. The long working hours and a London commute made time with them very limited. Like many parents I would do the drop off at the breakfast club and nursery and hubby would do the collection from the grandmas in the evening. The days were long for us but longer for the girls, so when Darcey started school and we no longer had to find the £600 a month in nursery fees going freelance was a no brainer.
You see for me it was about the leap of faith, knowing that the regular salary I was getting wouldn’t compare to spending more time with the girls - that and having no ceiling on how much I could now earn going it alone.
As soon as I left the mag the phone started ringing and I am always grateful for that. As a quiet time would loom on the horizon a new, even more interesting shoot would come up or a feature on a mag I’d always wanted to work on. I was meeting more amazing people, shooting with some fantastic photographers and really enjoying work. I was challenged and doing bigger and better shoots and features but the biggest bonus was that I was around my girls more. I walked them to school everyday I wasn’t on a photo shoot. I was there to put them to bed most evenings. The school holidays were no longer a time of guilt over who was going to look after them for the long summer weeks. I could also now go to any school assembly, nativity play or even play date at the drop of a hat and not have to rush off back into town. I also got to go on school trips which was brilliant and meant so much to the kids.
When I left Woman & Home I started my cake blog - cakesbakesandcookies.com. The blog was always going to be a plan B but I don’t really believe in plan B’s any more. You either give your all or you get out. I now devote my time between writing magazine features, styling photo shoots, developing recipes and taking snapshots of cakes as I decorate them to help novice bakers with their celebration cakes and making cakes for the charity Free Cakes For Kids. Blogging has become a big passion and it’s now my ‘baby’. I’ve slowly been monetising the blog with advertisers, affiliates and paid for posts.The money is just pocket change at the moment but one day I hope it will be more. In April I’ll be launching a podcast where I’ll be interviewing bakers and finding out all about their baking tips. Who knows maybe there’ll be an interiors podcast in the future too!
I now earn pretty much the same as I did when I was in house- without the expensive travel and lunch costs, but I work more part time hours kind of, full time hours one week then none the next and often late into the night, but the freedom this kind of work gives me is worth every bit of extra effort. I’m also my own boss. I say yes or no to jobs and have more control over where I am at any time.
So, life is a whirlwind of school runs and work- whatever that entails for that week. It’s never the same one month to the next and I like it that way. There’s a thrill not knowing what’s around the corner and I can’t see my self working in-house ever again. I like working for myself and the freedom I have is too precious to give up.
You can see Emma’s Interiors work at www.emmamt.com and visit her cake blog for recipes and cake decorating tutorials at www.cakesbakesandcookies.com
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