And just like that, I’m a working mum

It doesn’t seem like a moment ago that I started my maternity leave. In actual fact it’s about 10 months since I began to wind down my workload and nine months (39 weeks) since I officially stopped work properly in readiness to give birth.

In actual fact, I didn’t get much maternity leave before my daughter decided to show up. I formally downed tools on 13 April 2017 and she came into the world a week early on 16 April. Now, she’s a day away from being nine months old and I’m back in my (home) office getting stuck into projects and drumming up new business.

It’s a funny feeling to be my own boss and a working mum. Most mums I know have returned to work with someone else telling them what days they can do, how many hours they need to work and when they should arrange childcare for. I am in the fortunate position to decide all that for myself and I can fit my freelance copywriter business around my family life. However, it also means I have to stay 100% motivated all of the time to complete work, acquire new business and keep on top of all of the admin, all in a reduced amount of time.

It’s a challenge that will be exciting to rise to.

So, between parenting, being a freelance copywriter, and my work with wehearttech C.I.C., I’m definitely going to be kept busy. But I’m always interested to hear from anyone with a project they’d like me to look at so please do get in touch whenever you need to!

Diversifying as a copywriter

It’s more than a year since I made the decision to go freelance and hand in my notice at my old job.

In that time, as you can imagine, I’ve done quite a bit. The first couple of months were, naturally, spent working out my notice, building up some potential clients and learning to do my own accounts. But then I was out in the wild, left to bring in work by myself with no promise of a pay packet at the end of the month.

Somewhat surprisingly, it all went pretty smoothly. I didn’t starve, was able to pay my share of the bills and my husband has only had to help me plug the occasional gap while waiting for a client to pay. I’ve had steady (and lovely!) clients, a manageable influx of new work (although I could always have more!), plus the opportunity to be as flexible as I want to be.

The funny thing is, as I look back at the last year, I haven’t just been doing copywriting. As well as the expected press releases, blogs and articles that I knew I’d be producing for people, I’ve done so much more as well.


I’ve collaborated a lot with wehearttech C.I.C. (where I’m also a director) over the last year, most recently on their Blogging 101 workshop in Wigan where I worked with my friend and colleague Hayley to teach sole traders and SMEs about the basics of blogging for their business. This week I’ve also started teaching on the iWell project, working with vulnerable adults and adults with learning disabilities to teach them about safe use of social media and digital wellbeing.

The work with wehearttech is something I always planned to get more involved in once I went freelance, since I’ve been a director there since its conception in 2013 and I have a background in teaching in Higher Education, but it’s something I’ve found particularly fulfilling.


I have no pretensions of being seen as a designer. I’m creative and I enjoy design, but I am categorically not a graphic designer. That said, I have taken on small pieces of basic design work, mostly commissioned through wehearttech that have dove-tailed neatly with my work as a copywriter. This has included producing an infographic to summarise the social enterprise’s Tea & Tech project and designing and writing a leaflet to highlight Wigan S.T.E.A.M.’s Canal Fest, celebrating the anniversary of the Leeds-Liverpool Canal in Wigan.

While certainly not a main part of what I consider my job, I have to say that it’s always fun to do something that breaks away from the norm and the results have been great.

Social Media

Another client has had me managing their social media accounts for them, scheduling in content and keeping tabs on the different platforms – as well as suggesting ways to improve engagement. Again, this isn’t something that I planned on being a big part of my day job, but it’s fun work and helps me stay up to date on the tech aspects of my role, making it win-win.


While press releases are something copywriters are used to whipping up (not literally, they do take some work!), actual PR work is something else entirely. However, my background is in PR and one of my clients is a former employer so, when they needed someone to handle some basic PR work for them for a couple of months, they approached me.

While I’m not quite at the level of planning big events anymore, I can certainly do some of the more basic tasks (besides the obvious writing of press releases and articles to be placed) and this freed them up to handle bigger things. It was great fun for me too and reminded me of some skills I forgot I had.

So is diversifying a good thing?

I would say so – for me, at least. While I’ll always be, first and foremost a Freelance Copywriter & Director at wehearttech C.I.C., I really like stepping up to the challenge of something a bit different. It breaks up any danger of monotony and it allows me to accept work that I might otherwise have had to pass on.

So, if you’re a freelancer reading this, think about other skills that you have and how you can make them work for you. If you’re a potential client, don’t be shy to ask me about tasks other than copywriting. If it really isn’t something I can do, I’ll always be honest and say. But if it’s something that’s within my skillset and I know I can do a good job then, equally, I’ll tell you so.

Sarah Henderson Liverpool freelance copywriter proofreader blogger blog

Why I’m not worried

When I tell people I’ve gone freelance, they keep asking me what my back-up plan is and the simple answer is: I don’t have one.

At first I was pretty worried. Should I have one? Should I have a pile of savings ready in case it all goes belly up? Should I have some job applications waiting in the wings? Conventional wisdom would say yes and conventional wisdom probably does have a point, but I haven’t subscribed to it. Instead I just went for it: quit my job, worked my notice and dived in head first.

Why aren’t I worried?

I’m not worried for a lot of reasons but here are the main ones:

  1. I’m good at what I do so I have confidence I will succeed. It might not be super quick but I will get there over the next few months.
  2. I have a lot of support. My husband, family, friends and colleagues have all been there for me with help, advice, referrals and kind words and that tells me that I can make being a freelancer work.
  3. People I’ve met over the last couple of months genuinely want to help and give me opportunities. I’ve not met one person who’s been horrible or unhelpful.
  4. I’ve got some exciting things on the horizon. Not everything can happen straight away and I know that I should stick with it because I have some fantastic things coming up with wehearttech in the near future as well as some collaborations with friends and former colleagues.

And the final reason?

I have to succeed. Not having a back-up plan means I have no other choice. I have to make this work and I damn well will.