Sign up now to receive The Tale of Mummyhood newsletter!

<p>Thankyou!</p>

Tag: writing

NCC Home Learning – Creative Writing Diploma Review

NCC Home Learning – Creative Writing Diploma Review

*I have been provided with access to the NCC Home Learning Creative Writing Diploma, for the purpose of this review. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own. 

 

Taking home learning courses has long been one of my favourite things to do. Ever since I became self-employed back in 2012, I’ve taken a variety of distance learning courses in order to broaden my knowledge and skill set. Some I’ve really benefited from, as they’ve provided me with ways to grow my business. Others I’ve never revisited after completion. I’ve enjoyed every single one though and even if I haven’t always applied my new skills, the learning journey has been invaluable.

I’m a huge fan of home learning, mostly because you’re able to fit studies around daily life. Even before I had children, I would have found it difficult to commit to structured learning as I worked all hours. The only way for me to continue to learn was to invest in distance learning courses. Educating myself in this way has opened so many doors for me, whilst also allowing me to continue to build my business by day.

 

Why should you choose NCC Home Learning?

As much as I have always enjoyed learning from home, I have had both good and bad experiences with distance learning providers. Most I would use again in a heartbeat, others I would now avoid like the plague. The beauty of having so much experiences in this kind of education, is that I know a good company when I see one. I know what it takes for me to learn to the best of my ability and so I thought I’d pass on what I love about NCC Home Learning. They are a provider that I have been impressed with from the outset and I couldn’t be happier to recommend them to anyone who is in the market for a little home learning!

First of all, NCC have hundreds of courses available to choose from. Whether you want to top up your existing qualifications or learn something completely new, there’s a course for everyone. There are also a lot of courses to choose from if you’re considering a career change, that will provide you with a good grounding to finally take the jump. One of the best things about NCC is that they have a great tutor support system in place. So if you need a little help, or you want to discuss some aspect of your course there’s always someone at the end of the phone to help you.

As you’re probably already aware, distance learning can often cost a tidy bit of cash. The journey is always worth spending the money, but not everyone can afford to enrol. That’s why NCC price match their courses and they offer an interest free payment plan, to help make reaching your learning goals even easier. By enrolling with NCC you also get access to a free NUS extra card, which is always a bonus when you’re trying to look after the pennies.

 

Another string to my bow –

As I’ve been blogging and freelance writing for over two years now, I decided that the ideal course for me would be the Creative Writing Diploma from NCC. I felt that this course would expand my knowledge and give my writing more depth. There are also other writing genres that I would love to explore, including novels and poetry, this course will give me the head start I need to take things to the next level.

I’m part way through my diploma and I’ve found the course so interesting and easy to follow. It’s been a few years since I was last enrolled on a course and honestly, I’d forgotten how much I love them! It’s so easy to get lost in the learning process and before I know it hours have passed by. What I adore about this course is that it has provided me with a new challenge. I find that it pushes my boundaries and really makes me think, I’m learning so much along the way.

Thus far, I’m incredibly impressed with the Creative Writing Diploma from NCC. I’m very excited to complete my course and I’ll see you back here in a couple of months time with an update and another string firmly added to my bow!

 

Photo Credit

 

 

Share Button
Working from Home: How to Meet Deadlines When your Children Refuse to Nap

Working from Home: How to Meet Deadlines When your Children Refuse to Nap

Thus far in my blogging career, I’ve been able to complete a sizeable chunk of the hefty workload whilst my children slumbered. I would put them down for their afternoon nap and sit down to a couple of hours work in the afternoon. Then when they went to bed in the evening, I’d grab a few more hours for good measure. It was a good balance and one that will be sorely missed.

The last few months have seen my eldest daughter drop her naps altogether. My youngest does still nap, but not for long during daytime hours. This has thrown a huge spanner in the works where my business is concerned, as I’ve lost a whopping 14 hours of dedicated blogging time each week. At first I found myself in a spin of overwhelm and disorganisation. With even less time in the day to get on top of things, I felt like I was drowning in my work load.

Something had to change. Firstly I had to accept that nap time is no more. I’ve had a good run of 2.5 years of mid-afternoon bliss, but it was time to re-asses our daily routine to keep each of us as happy as can be. After much trial and error, we now have a good little routine going!

 

So, here’s how to meet deadlines when your children refuse to nap:

 

Split your days into activity blocks –

The key to keeping everyone in your house happy, is to allocate of time to meet everyone’s needs. In our house, the littlest still needs a short nap around lunchtime, so our day is divided into three blocks; ‘morning’, ‘downtime’ and ‘the rest of the day’. Our morning and the rest of the day is dedicated to our girls, we take them out, educate them and do everything else that comes with being a parent. Downtime however, is time for me to settle the girls down for an hour in order to get through some of my workload. I often enlist the help of Peppa Pig here, but it’s a good rest for the girls and time for them to recharge for the rest of the day.

Create a dedicated work space –

Having an area that’s just for you is a great way to make sure you meet your deadlines. My husband recently built me a desk area and it means that I can leave unfinished work to come back to later. I’m able to jump back into my chair and continue my project without having to wast time reorganising myself. It also means there are no little people using my documents as scrap paper!

Work into the night, but know when to stop –

I’ve accepted that If I’m to continue working at the level I’ve gotten used to, then burning the midnight oil is a given. As it’s the only real quiet time I have, I leave all of the more complicated projects until after the children have settled for the night. Working too late, too often can quickly lead to burn out though. So it’s important to recognise your limits and to hit the hay early once in a while. Burning the candle at both ends won’t be a benefit to anyone.

Use downtime to catch up on easy tasks –

If the kids are up and you’re finding it difficult to concentrate, tackling tasks that are simple will make you feel like you’ve been productive. It’s still work that has to be done and once you have time to yourself you can concentrate on the more complex projects.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help –

Sometimes things don’t go according to plan and getting things done becomes impossible. That’s when you need to admit defeat and ask for a little help. Whether that’s getting someone to watch the kids whilst you spend some time catching up, or outsourcing work that you just isn’t at the top of your priority list. Don’t try to be superhuman!

 

Photo Credit

 

 

 

Share Button
#WorkshopWednesday – Three Ways to Sharpen your Writing Skills

#WorkshopWednesday – Three Ways to Sharpen your Writing Skills

*This is a collaborative post. 

 

Welcome to #WorkshopWednesday, my weekly feature with a focus on all things blogging! Each week there’ll be tips, tricks and advice on how to get your blog running like a well oiled machine!

 

There’s so much more to blogging than writing. Having said that, if you don’t have quality content to share with your audience then all the hard work you’re putting in may be fruitless. I’m not saying you have to be the best writer in the world, but there are a few things you can do to make sure your writing is the best that it can be.

 

Plan –

Some people are capable of sitting down to their laptop cold and churning out killer content. I am NOT one of those people. If I sit down without a plan, you can guarantee that procrastination will get the better of me and the post will take much longer to write than it should.

I always make a plan, even if what I’m writing is only a few paragraphs long. Jotting down my thoughts and putting them in some sort of order helps me to fully grasp the points I’m trying to make. Planning helps me to structure my post in the best way possible, it gives me chance to explore my own thoughts and to develop my ideas before I hit the keyboard.

Lose the waffle –

Often in blogging we write quite colloquially and that’s OK. There is however a fine line between waffle and colloquialisms. One of the best ways to sharpen your writing skills is to cut out the bits you don’t really need. As an option you can easily improve your writing skills with AdvancedWriters.com, an academic writing company. Don’t dilute the point you’re trying to make with extra content that offers no value to the reader, all it does is make your posts difficult to read and reduces the clout your words have.

Learn from those you admire –

Don’t confuse this point with copying another persons work, plagiarism is never OK. What you can do though is appreciate the way they write and apply some of their methods to your own work. Maybe they structure sentences in a certain way, or maybe they write with an air of humour. Learn from what they’re good at and allow your writing to benefit!

 

Photo Credit
Share Button
Freelance Writing – The Low Down

Freelance Writing – The Low Down

Freelance writing is a great way to earn a living from home. It often means that you can work flexible hours, this is especially convenient if you have children at home. I decided that I wanted to become a freelance writer and blogger soon after my eldest daughter was born. I left my old job behind and decided building my own freelance business was the best way to ensure the happiness of my family and I.

Although it looks easy, writing for a living has its challenges. Doing so from home and around a family just amplifies those challenges. If like me, you too want to be your own person outside of being a mother. If you need to work for your own sake, to thrive and to be content then freelance writing could be for you.

There are a few key points to consider before you make any decisions:

Are you familiar with basic grammar?

You don’t need to be an expert but having basic grammatical knowledge is a must. We all make mistakes, that makes us human. However if you know that grammar isn’t your strong point, it might be worth rethinking your next career move or spending some time brushing up on your core skills.

Do you have a good imagination?

Writing requires a lot of imagination. Think about staring at a blank page knowing that you have to fill it, often with only a keyword to start you off. Are you able to think quickly, providing yourself with a clear direction. Research is a big part of this too, but being able to generate quality and engaging content from almost nothing is a required skill.

Can you type quickly and with minimal errors?

Freelance writing can be a great little earner, if you can type quickly enough. When you’re assigned projects, they are often worth a set amount. If typing is not your strong point, making your money as a writer may not be feasible, as taking more time to write than you should immediately devalues your work. For example, a five hundred word article should take around 30 minutes to complete. Any more than this and your hourly rate won’t reflect the amount of work you’ve put in.

Do you have good research skills?

When you’re writing articles it’s not unusual to have to do a little research along the way. Think about how efficiently you’re able to search for facts and to decide whether the source is reliable. A simple google search doesn’t always suffice. We all know that not everything we read on the internet has depth and so it’s important that you’re able to decipher the good from the bad. After all, you don’t want your work to be discredited due to poor research.

 

If you think freelance writing is for you, you can find out more HERE!

 

Photo Credit

 

 

 

 

Share Button
Working from Home – Are you Ready to Take the Leap?

Working from Home – Are you Ready to Take the Leap?

Do you dream of working from home, but the possibility of it just seems a million miles away? Are you scared to make that jump from employed to self-employed, even though it’s what you’ve always wanted? Sound familiar? You’re in the right place! 

When I had children I had a vision of working from home, so that I could be the one to look after our girls. For us, nursery wasn’t an option and so I had to find a way to build a business inside of my own four walls. After a lot of blood sweat and tears, OK maybe not blood but you get the picture, I’ve managed to set myself up in professional blogging and freelance writing. I have a passion for my work, which is something I’ve never had before and I’m bringing in the bucks, helping to support my little family. I’m living proof that your dreams can become your reality!

It goes without saying that making the jump is daunting and incredibly hard work, but failing because you’re scared to begin is not the answer.

Thinking about biting the bullet? Here are some things that you should consider:

Passion and drive –

What makes you want to get up in the morning? Take some time to think about where your passions lie and what you’re good at. Let this positive thought process build your confidence and give you the lift you need to believe in yourself and your abilities.

Goals and achievements –

Set yourself goals. Where do you want to be six months, a year or even 5 years from now? Setting realistic targets will give you something to work towards. As you achieve your goals, the feeling of satisfaction will add fuel to your fire, giving you drive and confidence to achieve more.

Pros and cons –

Think about how working from home will affect your life. Changes to your work will also have an effect on the people around you. Therefore, it’s essential that you know you’re making the right decision before you go for it!

Scheduling your workload –

Working from home requires a strict schedule in order for your business to thrive. Take some time to work out a routine that fits in well around all other aspects of your life. Testing out your new routine before putting it into place is a great way to see how your lives will tick over, should you make the transition to working from home.

It’s also important to know that with a new venture will come setbacks, that’s life. The key to success though is to work through the tough times and learning from them, but don’t let them break your spirit!

 

Photo Credit
Share Button
Make Money from Home by Putting your Writing Skills into Practice

Make Money from Home by Putting your Writing Skills into Practice

For many people working from home is a dream that they never think will come true. Finding legitimate work that you can undertake from inside own four walls isn’t easy, but it’s not impossible either. One of the best ways to work from home is to take up freelance writing. If you love writing, have top notch grammatical skills and have the drive to work on a self-employed basis, freelancing may just be the career for you.

As a work from home mum, I’ve become well versed in making money from home. It means that I don’t have to stick to the 9-5, that I’m here for my littles and that work is now my passion, not just a means to get by.

So, where can you find work?

There are some great sources of freelance writing work online, you just have to know where to find them. Each of these sites offer the opportunity to to write, learn and progress!

upwork.com

Upwork is almost like a market place for jobs. Once you’ve signed up and completed your profile, you can start applying for work that is at your skill level. Once you get to grips with the system finding work is quick and easy. Upwork isn’t restricted to freelance writing jobs either, have a search of the market place and see what other skills you may have that will line your pockets!

freelancer.com

Freelancer is very similar to Upwork. It’s an online market place for freelance work of different types, from writing to offering your skills as a virtual assistant. Again, all you have to do is set up a profile and start applying for work at your skill level.

uk.copify.com

Copify is an online platform that has work readily available on a daily basis. To become part of the Copify team you have to pass a writing assessment. This means that once your in there’s no applying for, or bidding on projects. You can accept as much, or as little work as you want to and the payment process is super simple!

greatcontent.co.uk

Great Content work very similarly to Copify. There’s an assessment you have to pass to become a Great Content writer, but once  your in there’s work readily available on a first come, first served basis. Payment is quick and easy, meaning there’s no chasing anyone for your money!

 

Photo Credit

 

All of these sources offer great ways to show off your skill set and become the creative, entrepreneur you’ve always wanted to be. Life as a freelancer offers freedom, job satisfaction and a world of opportunity. There’s no reason why you can’t get in on that action too!  

 

 

 

Share Button
Freelancing – Earning a Living as a Stay at Home Mum

Freelancing – Earning a Living as a Stay at Home Mum

It has been said a million times, but it’s true, being a stay at home mum is more work than a full-time job, and your shift never really ends! However, many of us still feel unsatisfied in regards to our careers, or are simply a bit short on cash, and crave something to help with both. It might be simply impossible, or you may just not want to go back to a job, which would mean leaving your kids with a childcare professional (and therefore adding an extra expense) while you are at work. However, it is possible to make money from working, on top of taking care of your family. Freelancing offers work that fits around your schedule, and as much or as little as you’d like. Perhaps a few adjustments will have to be made to give yourself some time, which is not always easy- but since when was motherhood ever easy? Here are some tips on why, and how you can go freelance.

Going freelance is a good idea, specifically for full time parents, because it enables you to choose exactly what type of work you want to do and how many hours you are willing to work. Instead of a 9-5 job that often requires sitting at a desk all day, a freelancer has complete control to choose how her (or his) career goes. The more experience gained, the better and higher quality projects come around. That means the responsibility and money earned is completely dependent upon the determination of the freelancer. It is also means that no workday will look the same.

If this seems like a good idea for you, you should take a moment whilst the kids are sleeping in the evening, or while they are watching TV to go onto your laptop and have a look at what is out there. If you are reading this article, chances are you enjoy reading blogs and sharing ideas, and there are some really useful sites such as blog Jobrapido, which offers realistic and professional advice on all aspects of job searching.

You’ll find many different freelancing options, for all different job types with different companies. For example, take freelance writing. Many blog owners will hire freelance writers to write articles on their blogs. If you enjoy writing and being creative, but are also willing to do the research to create quality articles, this is work that is high in demand. Or there is website design. If you love design and are familiar with Photoshop, you can take these skills into the freelance space. Learning the goals and personality of the website owner can help you create one of a kind pieces on your own time and earn some money along the way.

Working as a freelancer can have a very positive affect on a mother’s life. Having the ability to make money and keep the career-motivated part of you satisfied helps those who are interested, stay more balanced and happy overall. Overall, freelancing/doing what you love and being a stay at home mum seems pretty close to balancing the best of both worlds.

 

Photo Credit

*Published in partnership with Mary Johnson.

Share Button
%d bloggers like this: