Ashleigh Mills wanted to combine her passion for cats, travel and freelance writing. So she took AWC’s courses in Blogging for Beginners, Travel Writing and Freelance Writing Stage 1. Then everything fell into place.
“I completed AWC’s Blogging for Beginners course and started a personal blog mymeow.com.au where I met some lovely friends in the blogging community and taught myself about web design.
“Not long after, I completed the Travel Writing course and started having success being published in publications such as Get Lost, The SMH, SBS Life, Luxurious Magazine and International Living. I also launched my own travel website for cat lovers.”
Ashleigh’s lightbulb moment
Then, while lying by the pool in a villa in Bali she spied a resident cat and had a light bulb moment.
“I wondered if I could find more places with cats and put them in a directory which cat-lovers would embrace, I could then combine my love for travel, cats and animal welfare, all in one place.”
The result is Ashleigh’s self-published Hotels with Cats magazine featuring 30 cat-friendly hotels around the world.
What Ashleigh learnt from AWC
“All the AWC courses have assisted me so much in this journey. I’ve had to ‘pitch’ to hotels for their inclusion in the magazine, negotiate advertising rates, as well as write all the articles, including 18 cat profiles and a number of interviews and features.
“The Travel Writing course gave me the practical tools to learn how to pitch ideas to editors which was so helpful. Writing is something that you just have to keep doing every day and you will eventually improve. But the business-side is hard to learn and can be difficult for us creative folk!
“You can’t help but get emotional when your idea gets rejected and the pitching lessons in the courses as well as the ongoing support from the community have helped me develop a thick skin.”
Combining writing with her day job
Ashleigh could be described as a different type of cat as, despite her successes, she has no desire to be a full-time freelance writer and loves combining her passion for writing with her day job.
“Learning how to structure a feature article or find an angle for a profile piece has been most useful. It is a skill I now use all the time in the mental health reporting I do as Senior Advisor for the NSW Mental Health Commission and it’s even helped for my cat profiles in the magazine!
“I actually love my job working four days a week and creative writing is something I see as my side-hustle.”
Hotels with Cats is sold online and stocked in the 18 hotels that have their resident cat featured!
Congratulations Ashleigh we are purring with delight for you!
For more success stories see here!