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Suzanne Dixon, Freelance Writer

Suzanna Dixon

Suzanne Dixon is a freelance writer and loves working from home. We caught up with her for a quick interview to see how she manages her day as a writer and media manager for a variety of clients while fulfilling her role as a team member with Bristol Digital Marketing.



What’s the nature of your work?

I'm a freelance journalist who has branched out into social media consultancy. It's the ideal job to do from home - when I'm not researching and writing features, I run Twitter feeds, analyse stats and design websites and Facebook pages for local companies.

How long have you been working from home?

I've been self-employed since 2007 and supplemented my income by covering maternity leave and holiday shifts for magazines and newspapers until the home-working took off.

Is working from home a regular thing for you or do you balance it with time in an office or other working space?

I work from home full-time, apart from the odd meeting in the local coffee shop.

What benefits does working from home offer you in comparison with a regular office role?

Obviously there is more freedom and flexibility. I have a certain window of time when I absolutely have to be online, but after 3pm and on weekends my time is my own to manage as I see fit.

What have you found to be the disadvantages of working from home?

I miss the office banter, talking about new TV programmes and so on. I also miss Friday night drinks. A friend of mine is trying to organise a 'Freelance Friday' on the last weekend of every month, where us self-employed types can meet up just like our office-worker friends. I think that's a good idea.

I love what I do but I do get irritated when friends make fun of how often I update my Twitter or Facebook. For me, those are lifelines to the outside world, a chance for a bit of a chat or a bit of banter to make the day go more quickly.

What was the most important thing for you when setting up a working space at home?

Obviously technology is key - since I upgraded my broadband connection and computer, I can get a lot more done. I also think it's important to have variety. If I'm on a deadline and in need of focus, I use a desk in my bedroom, where there are no distractions. If I'm just checking emails and sending tweets, I'll work in the living room with TV or MTV on in the background. If it's an evening or weekend, but I have to do a couple of hours' work, I'll go to a coffee shop and treat myself to an Americano and sugary cake to fire the imagination!

How do you motivate yourself to work? Is it hard to avoid relaxing with family/house mates or getting distracted by household chores?

Of course it's easy to procrastinate - quite often I find myself doing loads of washing or scrubbing the kitchen floor. As long as you are honest with yourself that you are avoiding an issue, and get back online as soon as possible, you can manage it. I'm very lucky that my flatmates are very understanding - they are more likely to bring me in a homemade smoothie or slice of cake 'for energy' than distract me with masses of chat.

What’s the best part of the day?

I work best in the mornings. I hit the gym or go for a run on the beach and then work like a demon until lunchtime. Quite often, by then my to-do list is under control and I can wind down slowly or, if I'm lucky, take the afternoon off!

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