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Getting to know Erica - Editor of Melbourne Mums Group

by Jacq_ (follow)
Writer, mum. Coffee lover @mammaknowssouth
Have you ever wondered who is responsible for all the fantastic content of the Melbourne Mums Group website and Facebook page?

Well, wonder no longer! We get to know a bit about her day-to-day life, advice she has for aspiring writers, and how she manages her work around two small children.



Is writing/editing something that you have always wanted to do?

Not always, but it is now! Iíve craved working in a creative field, but didnít realise my calling until I started documenting travel adventures in my 20ís.

Leaving tertiary education, I thought Iíd be destined for an office job, and thatís exactly what I did for the next ten years. That said, I did land a left-of-the-middle office job, which enabled me to travel, and document my adventures.

What is your history in writing?

Professionally, I have been writing and editing web articles, as well as managing branded social media pages for 7 years, although I've been writing for fun for longer.

Do you find that it is easier or harder to be a writer in these times of social media inundation?

In some ways easier, and in many ways harder. Because there are so many people in the world who self-publish on the internet, you can get lost in the digital jungle. Getting your voice heard over a very large cyberspace playing field is the biggest battle. It takes time to find yourself, and for others to find you in todayís current myriad of social media platforms.

What does a typical day in your life comprise of?

Iíll get up when my kids get up, and get them ready for school / childcare. Once Iíve dropped off my children, Iíll plant myself in front of my laptop for 3-4 hours straight. During this time, Iíll write articles, edit articles, plan and schedule social media posts, and reply to emails.

After a short break for lunch, Iíll work a little more before I collect my youngest from childcare at 2pm. We will spend a little time together, until itís time for school pick up.

Iíll cook dinner, clean-up a little and feed the family when my husband walks in the door around 6:30pm. Once weíve got the kids in bed 8-8:30pm, I will prepare lunches for the next day, and get straight back on my laptop again until I go to bed.

Some days are different; after school activities, days spent with my youngest son when he is not in childcare, catch-ups with friends or attending media events



What is your favourite way to spend a Saturday?

Exploring Melbourne and beyond with my family. I love Melbourne and all it has to offer. Some Saturdays we will head into the city and visit our favourite spots, other Saturdays we will see a show or go to an exhibition. We might take a walk along the river to the beach, or spend a day at home after brunch at a local cafť. Any of the aforementioned are my favourite ways to spend a Saturday.

What are your tricks in being a mum and fitting in your work?

Occasional care has been my lifesaver. Occasional care differs from long day care; the centres operate on shorter days, but offer flexible and affordable child care for pre-schoolers. I am able to use occasional care when I need to; it could be one, two or three days per week. During my busiest times, I book my youngest in for three days a week. Quiet weeks I will book him in for one day. Thatís the beauty of occasional care, and thatís how I fit my work around being a Mum!

Do you find it challenging working from home with a toddler?

Absolutely. Work-at-home parenting sounds ideal, but the reality is far different. It isnít really possible to work on my laptop whilst I leave my toddler to fend for himself. The Mummy guilt sets in when I work when itís only him and I at home. He craves time with Mummy, and rightly so.

What advice do you have for aspiring writers/editors?

If you feel the urge to write, but you donít know where to start, begin by writing your own self-published blog. Your blog will be a place to share your words, even if itís only for your immediate family members to read. When you feel confident, you can grow your blog by publicly sharing your blog posts on social media. When (and not if) you start to resonate with others, more readers will come. You can then use your blog as a way to advertise your capabilities when applying for paid writing jobs.

What advice would you give to a new mum looking into working from home?

Give it a six months, or even a year to spend with your baby before you start a work-from-home job. The juggle is hard, particularly when your baby is young. That said, you can still do your research during your babyís first year. Think about your strengths and what you like doing. Could you work your current skills into a freelance job? Talk to other work-at-home Mums with older children, you might be inspired to start something new. Itís absolutely possible to become a work-at-home Mum if you really want to.

Erica is also the Editor of KidTown Melbourne, her blog Recycled Fashion, and is a writer for WeekendNotes.

She is one very busy woman!
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