Wednesday Wonder Woman: Meet Rosalind Brookman, Writer

Looking for someone to help you with sparkling copy for your business? Who can inspire your kids to write with freedom and joy? Look no further than funny, articulate, brilliant mum I want to go on one of your writing retreats Rosalind...

1. What do you do?

I am a freelance writer who specialises in helping small businesses turn their tangled thoughts and ideas into sparkling copy which tells their customers exactly who they are and why they should use them. I also run a Writing Workshop which teaches people the amazing skill of free writing: writing without conscious thought or judgement. Used on a personal level, free writing is incredibly cathartic: helping you to sort out your jumbled thoughts or clear your racing mind. It’s also fabulous for beating ‘blank page freeze’ and getting you started on your writing journey, whether that’s just for yourself or for your business! On top of that I am also about to run a series of Brilliant Business Blogging Workshops and Children’s Writing Workshops too. 2018 is shaping up to be a busy year!

2. What about home? What's the situation? Kids?

I have one son who is 7 and a great writer himself! I work while he’s at school and then try to make sure I’m finished and ready to focus on him when he gets back. Although I think it’s important that he sees that I work hard and enjoy what I do so I don’t worry too much if sometimes I have to finish something off when he’s around. Besides, he never protests if I let him have another twenty minutes playing Mario Kart while I type!

3. What work did you do before you had children? How did you get into it?

I had a variety of jobs before having my son, mostly admin related. I have a very low boredom threshold when it comes to office-based jobs and have never been in any one role for very long. It never occurred to me back then that I could set out on my own! I think having a year off on maternity leave gave me time to think (or maybe hallucinate due to sleep deprivation) and I realised that I didn’t want to remain in a job that wasn’t offering me very much.

I fell into freelance writing, if I’m honest. I was desperate to not go back to an office job I hated, so I jumped at the chance when my cousin asked if I could help him out with some proofreading and copywriting projects he had. At the same time I found a website that was aimed at home workers, did some free book reviews for them and, off the back of that, they asked me to help them out by writing for them – for money! Having a couple of projects going on gave me the confidence to look for more and it gradually snowballed. 

4. What do you love about your job?

I love the freedom! I’ve always felt trapped after a couple of years in any new role and so having a job where I can choose my own hours, not have anybody checking up on me and not feel the need to make polite small talk with people across a desk if I don’t want to is just brilliant. I now get to choose who I have contact with every day and so I have surrounded myself with lovely, supportive people who I genuinely want to be with!

5. What drives you to keep going on those bad days?

The flipside to the sense of freedom you have working for yourself is that there is also often nobody there to give you a gentle nudge when your motivation is sliding. I am a big fan of networking, however: I go to a couple of regular groups filled with lovely women and I always leave the meetings feeling hugely energised and ready to push on. 

6. What do you think are the biggest challenges in having a job and being a mum?

Time, obviously! I love the combination of my two different roles of mum and business woman but the school day is so short when you’ve got lots to do. I find that I seem to be really productive after lunch and I’m just getting into a really good flow when I look up and see that it’s time to go and collect my son. It’s often hard to switch my brain back to ‘mum’ mode when I’m excitedly planning business stuff, too.

7. What are you most proud of (work or home?)

I’m proud of so much! Being an introvert at heart, who used to largely avoid any kind of situation where I’d have to talk to strangers, I’ve really had to push myself over the last couple of years to get out there and proactively promote myself. But, because I’ve made myself do that, I’m now able to stand in front of people to run my workshops which is a huge step for me. I was invited to be a guest speaker at a networking event this week, something that, in the past, would have caused me to hide under the table with fear but I’ve decided that 2018 will be the year that I really push myself out of my comfort zone. I know my stuff and I knew that I could do it, so I accepted, practised what I was going to say and did it! That was a big thing for me and I’m still buzzing from the positive feedback I received.

8. Where are you hoping your work will take you in the future?

My writing workshops are the first stepping stones on the road to my big dream: running a writing retreat: I’m picturing seaside locations, guest authors to run workshops, fabulous home-made food and lots of space and peace for people to write in! 

9. What advice would you give a brand new mother?

The advice I’d give is, firstly, to not submerge yourself in the world of ‘parenting advice’. There’s so much waffle out there about all the things you ‘need’ or ‘should be doing’ and most of it is unnecessary stuff which will just overwhelm you and make you feel inadequate in the early days. Don’t be afraid to ask for help or specific answers as you need them but don’t let any other ‘experts’ tell you what you should be doing. Love and a bit of common sense is all that’s really needed! Find other new mums to socialise with so you can provide each other with support, friendship, caffeine and cake. 

10. What do you do to look after you?

I am a member of a writing group that meet on a Friday. This is my ‘me time’ every week and I protect it as much as I can.  Even though I write for a living, writing my own personal stuff definitely helps me relax.

@RoRoBrookman (Twitter)