Young’un of the Week – Rachel Argyle

15 Apr

Being a freelance writer can be a lonely little job. You can fall into a place where you’re not sure if anything will come of your valiant voluntary efforts – but then all of a sudden you will have a sudden wave of success resulting in lifted spirits and mental motivation. This week’s Young’un of the Week is Rachel Argyle: A freelance writer and new business owner and her interview was a personal fave of mine due to the fact that I, too, am in the same field with some of the same goals.

rache argyle photo

Reading through Rachel’s interview answers not only inspired me as a writer but also as an ambitious person in general: It’s possibly the perfect story – qualifying from uni, working as a reporter, going into management then ending up freelance. Until she gets to the part where she is has decided to take the plunge and launch her own online magazine – or e-zine.

“I graduated from Cardiff Uni with a BA Hons in Journalism, Film and Broadcasting and worked as a newspaper reporter for three years, before managing communications for a local Hospice for over two years. Last year, I decided to take the (risky) step of going freelance with my writing and marketing work: Contracts include marketing for a Sports Development Unit, social media for a sports events company, etc. It’s been going pretty well.
It has always been an ambition of mine to start a magazine, but I’ve never had the start-up funds available to do so. But this year, I thought I’d go ahead regardless, and Delilah Magazine was born!”

Throwing all caution to the wind, Rachel decided to go for broke:

“I’ve always been ambitious but starting my own magazine was the dream. The main challenge is the financing. I have always been a bad saver and I’ll never have thousands behind me to set up a publishing business. So the biggest hurdles to overcome have been how to make the magazine a reality, without having to put down any money up-front. Thanks to social media, there are now ways to do this and  build support slowly and although producing a free e-zine for the first edition isn’t exactly what I had in mind initially and isn’t the most conventional of routes, it seems to be the best way forward. So many illustrators and writers have agreed to write for free (for a credit in the mag) and that’s helped me progress with the idea. Having a Twitter and Facebook account helped drum up support. I wish I had more time to dedicate to the magazine and that one day it will be my main job, but for now it’s about squeezing in tiny moments of ‘Delilah’ whenever I can.”

A lot of young people often read these sorts of stories and think that to achieve something on this scale is simply impossible. Although you have to get used to rejection and constructive criticism in many careers, it is easy to feel despondent and hopeless at times (literally talking from my own experience over the last two years!) – so how does Rachel stay so focussed? What keeps her strategy positive and on track? She explained:

“I’m a naturally positive person. I dream big. Once I have my mind set on something, I strive to make it happen. Don’t get me wrong, I hit some brick walls along the way, but I take some time out, do some exercise, have a nice cuppa and a chat and get back on track. I talk a lot and I find it pretty easy to unwind. My hobby is women’s football and that’s quite a good stress relief! I have a really supportive network of friends, family and a great husband who keep me sane. As for focus, sometimes my brain (and house) is a bit cluttered: I write ‘to do’ lists galore and have a very untidy desk, but despite all this my focus comes from within, I’m determined to see things through to the end. I think if you almost visualise your dream as a reality, it keeps you positive and focused. I actually imagine Delilah being a huge success and then work out how to get to that point.”

There must be certain things that de-motivate her, or really put a spanner in the works – just the same as in every career move. I asked Rachel how she keeps it all together?

“Sometimes when I’m having a busy day and have lots on my mind, it’s really unhelpful to have a desk, house and garden that needs de-cluttering – they make for really good excuses of why I can’t be as productive as I should be. At those moments, I hit what I call my ‘freak out’ moments. This is when my mind gets so full, that I actually end up doing nothing productive. I then stop, remove myself from whatever I’m doing, go for a walk with the dogs (my two Jack Russell puppies Bonnie and Clyde), de-clutter a little, stop making excuses and press the re-start button.”

My own personal blockade is the lack of money and I know from talking from other young people setting up businesses and careers that they have the same issue, too. Rachel tells me how she funds her dream:

“Money burns a hole in my pocket, I’m a terrible saver. I have champagne desires on a lemonade budget. My magazine dream currently has no financial funding. My freelance business pays the mortgage and bills and my spare time is taken up planning and writing Delilah, so I don’t need funds for a social life at the moment!”

Summary: If you’re serious enough about your dreams you don’t need money for anything else! *Quote of the Week*!

Before we launch into ‘Delilah’ and what the magazine is about I asked Rachel what her advice would be for those looking to climb the same ladder as herself. She said:

Stop sitting back and thinking about your dream job but telling yourself the reasons that it can’t become a reality. Look at things differently and find ways around it. Nothing works out exactly the way you might think it should, but that’s what makes the journey all the more interesting! Work hard, play hard and you’ll get rewarded.

I wrote for the university newspaper and temped for Bauer Publishing in London for a few months after graduating, before I landed my first job as a newspaper reporter for Trinity Mirror North Wales. I’ve always been career-driven, so I’ve done a lot of blogging and writing with experience in mind. I always know what I want and there’s very little anyone can say or do to make me change my mind. This was the case upon going freelance last year.”

So, with the launch of Rachel’s magazine TONIGHT let’s have a listen of what we can expect:

delilah banner

“The first edition, out today, will be an e-zine, completely free of charge, to distribute as widely as possible. The hope is then to get some momentum going and have it printed as a quarterly, paid for publication. It is aimed at women aged 18-35 and all about inspiring people, places and pretty things, very positive and feel-good. I’ve absolutely loved the creative process and working with so many talented people and am giddy with excitement for the launch!”

I hope all my readers will get together and help make Rachel’s dream a reality buy CLICKING HERE – visit her website to receive the first edition for FREE!

delilah issue one banner

[Click the image to get Issue 1]

As always here are some helpful links for those of you interested in the Writing/Journalism career:

London School of Journalism (Distance Learning)

The Word Cloud – Writing Community

BBC Writers Room

And as always if you feel like you would like some recognition for the hard work that you’re putting into your business or career then get in touch! I feature an inspiring young person every single week on ‘Obsessed With Them’ to broadcast to the world that we are not all hood-rats or scallywags! Get involved – Tweet me @sheldan2207 or comment below!



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