Aoife, 44, is now a freelance writer living in Sydney. She completed the Australian Writers' Centre online course Magazines and Newspaper Writing Stage 1. Aoife has written for Body+Soul (The Sunday Telegraph), Echo Paper and TNT magazine. She is also a regular contributor to Australia and New Zealand Magazine in the United Kingdom.
A love for writing
Aoife had always loved writing, and was looking for a way to earn money while caring for her children. “When they were all at school, I thought it was about time I did something for myself,” she says. She decided to explore freelance writing to reinvigorate her creative side while still ensuring that she there to look after her kids when they got home from school.
Choosing the best course
Aoife enrolled in the online version of the Australian Writers' Centre Magazines and Newspaper Writing Stage 1.
“I simply Googled writing courses and I loved that the Australian Writers' Centre offered online courses with flexibility, and the tutors were always there to answer questions and offer amazing feedback,” Aoife says.
“It really was just like sitting in a classroom. I also appreciated that the course was only five weeks long. Some organisations offered year-long journalism diplomas and I really didn't want to commit to that length of time, as I wasn't sure if I'd be any good at writing.”
Achieving the goal
Aoife is now a full time freelance writer and believes achieving this goal is possible for anyone. She has interviewed a host of interesting people including authors, singers, celebrities and politicians. One of her favourite assignments was a cultural feature on the Sydney Opera House in 2009.
“It was just so interesting learning how long it takes, almost five years to get an opera on the stage, and I got to climb up all the backstage stairs exploring,” Aoife says.
“The best thing is getting paid to do what I enjoy. I still run around after the kids, but I do as much writing as I can while they're at school.”
Aoife highly recommends the Australian Writers' Centre. “The practical and informative courses with great support and wonderful teachers make the Centre a great place to learn,” she says.
She believes that becoming a freelance writer is an achievable goal for anyone. “I am the living proof that you don't have to have a degree, which is what I had previously thought – you just have to have the determination to follow your dreams.
“I know it sounds corny, but it's true, really. I have really pushed myself. There have been times when I could have given up, especially trying to get published for the first time. But after that first time, I think your confidence grows and you think, ‘I can do this'.”