Week One

Well it’s the Friday of my first week as a Freelancer. It’s been an excellent week. I’ve got a regular commission with the helpful chaps at Singletrack Mountain Bike Magazine that lasts almost the rest of the year. Basically I’ve got one feature to hand in to them every week. Some features are small, some are large. The first of these was a relatively small affair: a review of an Enigma Ego ST steel hardtail mountain bike. 1000 words. I’m really pleased with it how it came out – a nice mix of practical info, handling description and a soupcon of flowery tangents.

The next job for Singletrack Mag is a route guide feature of the Cheviots. I headed up there earlier this week to ride with a couple of friends of mine who kindly agreed to guide me around. The weather was a bit grey so I didn’t get any “big scenic views” shot but I got some pretty decent closer-up riding photos. I made sure I got a number of incidental shots (finger posts, random farm machinery, graffitti, animals, bacon butties and so) as stuff like that always helps the look and feel of the finished feature. I killed two birds with one stone by taking along a test bike (Intense Spider 2) that I’ll be reviewing shortly. I’ll be writing the words for the route guide feature early next week once I’ve got the map/GPS info from my helpful guides and have had chance to mull over a theme/angle for the piece.

Tim and Lee in the Cheviots.

The majority of my commissions for Singletrack Mag are route guides, group tests and interviews. I’m researching Bracknell Forest. My cellar is filling up with workstands as we speak. I have a dictaphone recording of an interesting interview I did with Downhill/4X racer Cedric Gracia last month to transcribe at some point during the next two weeks (I hate transcribing an audio recording – it takes sooo long).

On the purely photo side of things I’ve managed to flog one of my older pics to Harvey Maps for them to use on the cover of their new “Dales West” map. There doesn’t seem to be many people taking good photos of the mountain biking in the Yorkshire Dales. I seem to be acquiring a rep as the person to go to for Dales biking images. Which is cool.

Working from home this week has been great. So much more productive than I thought it might be. It is nice to be able to work in complete silence. Or with Radio 4 on. Or blasting out loud music (I’m so glad I kept hold of this old sound system for computers!) Me being home to help out with household chores has also instantly made my fiancee’s life a bit easier (which in turn makes my life easier!)

On the financial admin front I’ve got a shoe box for receipts, a school book for logging commissions and a recommendation for an accountant.

All in all I couldn’t have hoped for a better first week. A fair amount of work lined up (still not enough but it’s a start). A photo sold. A long day out riding a bike with nice people. A happier home life.

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10 responses to “Week One

  1. And the startings of a lovely blog.
    Good look fella!

  2. Well done Ben!

    Interesting (in a good way!) times are ahead by the sounds of things.

  3. Get yourself a Freshbooks account. I still run out of shoeboxes, but Freshbooks makes the invoicing thing really easy.

    God – I sounds like a spambot

  4. Cheeky! x

  5. All the best with the new start, hope it continues to give new opportunities.

  6. Nice one Benji. Welcome to the world of the 10 second commute.

  7. Yep working from home rox. Very occasionally you can even get to ride your bike in the daylight.
    oh and best of luck with the venture.

  8. Nice one Benji.

    Don’t bother with an accountant, it’s dead easy to do it yourself and it’s free. Bizarrely the tax office are very helpful too…

  9. hey, good luck Ben, the trans penine trail route guide needs some polishing 🙂

  10. Good days riding and nice to see you again. Also good to see Northumberland in ST at long last.

    Best of luck with the freelancing.

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