Alannah Hill Challenge: Update # 8 and FINISHED!

Fireworks! Music! Partying! I've reached my goal of a whiz-bang writing portfolio of magazine articles to kickstart my freelance writing career!

I finally bought the lovely "Poor Little Fun Mum" Alannah Hill cardie pictured above for my reward. I heart it so much! You can't really see from the dodgy-quality photo I took on my iPhone (sorry!), but it's black with pink bows all over it and best of all, I bought it half price and fit into a size smaller than usual. Sweet! Also, because it's black, it'll go with so much of my wardrobe, but it's still quirky and cute enough to make me smile whenever I wear it. I'm so happy I treated myself to celebrate finishing this challenge. : )

When I started the challenge in January, I was all fresh and eager to succeed this year. I've now accumulated six glossy issues in my portfolio, and more on the way, but I'll be honest -- it's been a hard slog and not everything has turned out as expected along the way. This has been both bad and good...

The Bad:

  • Being asked to write 'on spec' (with guarantee of publication) by SA Life and, more recently, Good Health and after writing 1,000 words or more each time, having those articles rejected. Grrrrr!!
  • Receiving a "yes" from a magazine editor in March, saying she'd be in touch later in the year for their summer issue. When I followed up this week, I discovered she's resigned from that role and I was asked to re-send the pitch (ie back to square one). Double grrrr!!
  • A famous brand of travel guides offering me a gig updating the outback SA section of their Australian book for a scarily low rate. By the time I paid for petrol, accommodation etc visiting all the restaurants, sites and hotels, I would've been earning next to nothing. When I sent a polite reply email clarifying the deal, I never heard from them again. Nice.

The Good:

  • Learning that feature writing and short stints working as an office temp combine quite well -- you earn a tidy extra income and playing secretary temporarily doesn't interfere with your writing. Also, office work can be quite interesting if you're not at any one workplace long enough to be bored by your allocated tasks or annoyed by the office politics. Yay!
  • I'm exploring the wonderful world of copywriting. I'd never really considered it before, but I've been approached by a business to do some blogging for them and I'm seriously looking forward to it -- I think it'd be fun. We're still finalising the details. More info will be revealed as it (hopefully) happens. ; )
  • Other opportunities have taken me by surprise as well, such as competitions to be a magazine intern or paid fashion blogger, writing for smaller magazines on some very entertaining topics and being given a role as assistant editor for The Essential Guide to Twitter.
  • Exchanging emails with a fellow Sydney Writers' Centre graduate who first wrote to me a couple of months ago. The info and support we've shared has been invaluable in keeping my spirits up and generating ideas.

So it's had a few twists, this Alannah Hill Challenge, but every time I wear this cardie, I'll be wrapped in how far I've come. Thanks to the editors, my email pen pal and the others who've helped me along the way. I couldn't have done it without you. : )

What's your dream job? How have you been working towards it lately?


  1. Aaaaawwww! Thanks so much for mentioning me and putting me in your 'good' column - I'm so touched!!!

    Love your cardie too - well done, you deserve it :)

    Rejection is not much fun but look at how well you're doing - you're an inspiration.

  2. Congratulations Becks!!!! Well done, it's great to see all your hard work has paid off and that's such a cute cardi to reward yourself with.

    I love your challenges as well- great way to keep yourself motivated!

  3. Thanks, guys!

    Miranda -- I hope your writing and internship are going well. I've still got the Marc Jacobs Challenge going now, although I haven't done anything on that in ages. Perhaps it's time to kickstart it? I'd love to hear ideas for new challenges as well!

    No worries, Evelyn. It's great to have you to bounce ideas off. It's really, really helping. You're definitely inspiring me as well.

    Hope you guys are having a great weekend. : )




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