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The loneliness of the long distance writer

I’ll be honest with you now – when I first became self-employed as a writer, a copywriter, I missed work.


I missed standing up in front of a class and educating and entertaining them, missed the banter, the bonhomie with students and leading a team of staff as Head of English.

My mind though and body was stressed to the hilt by 2013 and I knew I had to do something about it – Richard talked of plane crash thinking in a recent blog – and I like that analogy.

When my mental health had crashed, my first reaction was: I need to get back into the place that made me so unwell (schools) and it took me ages to throw off the institutional shackles of work.

I had no idea what to do: after a spell working for a local estate agency (property is a passion of mine, bizarrely) and setting up my own estate agency business.

I did what any teacher looking for income would do – I went back to teaching.

More illness and stress resurfaced – the cycle of misery recommenced.

I knew then that education was my plane crash moment.

No matter how good a teacher I was (and I was good), it had taken me to the brink of suicide and the troughs of clinical depression.

Self-employment became my escape tunnel to physical and mental sanity.

The brain fog that had clouded my thoughts for 3 years slowly dissipated and I could see a future mapped out – writing about property on Get Pro Copy Ltd, my copywriting business.

When that became successful, and I was making money and becoming my old self again, the next logical step was to create more self-employment opportunities – with website building and other spin offs from there.

Not drinking, getting a dog, leaving education have all been three key factors in my recovery.

I’ve learned new skills, developed a wide professional and personal network and my advice to anyone suffering from workplace stress is to leave it promptly.

Work for yourself, don’t make others rich and yourself miserable.

Find a job that will make you get up every day with a spring in your step.

I have.

I was institutionalised for 27 years, but I’ve seen the light – it’s called being freelance and self-employed with my only bosses now being my lovely wife and two delightful children.


By |2018-03-06T20:45:38+00:00March 6th, 2018|The Tribe|2 Comments


  1. Paul Turley 8th March 2018 at 12:19 pm - Reply

    I fully agree with you Stuart. The problem for a lot of guys is they stick with the job that is slowly killing them because they think that is all they know and it is the fear of the unknown! But as you and I have proved it can be done, you just have to believe in yourself!

  2. Stuart Walton 8th March 2018 at 12:23 pm - Reply

    Exactly Paul – we are all reluctant to take risks, even though the risk of remaining is mental illness and misery.

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