At first glance, my career can be split into two distinct phases: as a full-time employee at Future Publishing from 1994 to 2002, and then a full-time self-employed writer, editor and all-round freelancer from January 2003 until the present. Here’s a quick list of highlights from the latter period:
- Windows XP Answers: Throughout 2003 I juggled writing with subbing and editing. In fact, my first major role after leaving Future was to serve as launch editor for Windows XP Answers. After two issues, I stepped down to take on a purely writing role. Later that year, I edited a handful of issues of Practical Web Pages.
- Focus: Now known as BBC Science Focus, I contributed regular group tests on a wide range of different products for around 18 months, reviewing everything from telescopes and hi-tech tennis racquets to early digital radios and electronic weather stations.
- Charged! I wrote my first pieces for an overseas title: the first, a cover feature on real-life gadgets inspired by James Bond, and then a top 10 list of sports gadgets. Charged! was an English-language magazine published in the United Arab Emirates.
- Your Family Tree: I was a regular contributor to the magazine from its very first issue to the last, writing tips, tutorials and reviews as well as a handful of features for family historians.
- PC World: My first major non-magazine work saw me hired to help write a number of brochures for the Currys-owned superstore. The brochures were distributed free nationwide in all stores.
- More writing gigs: I also contributed regularly to many of Future’s computing titles throughout 2003, including PC Answers, PC Format, Laptop Magazine and PC Plus.
- Microsoft Official Windows XP Magazine (Australia): In 2004, Australian publishing house Derwent Howard secured the rights to publish Microsoft’s official magazine for Windows XP. I played a major role from the off, writing 15 pages an issue before accepting the role of Consultant Editor, which involved commissioning as well as writing pages.
- Dell Outlet: I contributed several tutorials to the Dell Outlet website as part of what has become an ongoing role working with GGMR Media Ltd across a broad range of consumer and corporate clients.
- Future Publishing Training: In January, I started work with a group of fellow former editors to provide training to Future’s editorial staff who were migrating to a new digital commissioning, payment and planning system. This work involved training in both Bath and London, and would continue on and off into 2006.
- Roam: In mid 2005, Derwent Howard launched a new magazine for the burgeoning mobile market. I would contribute regularly throughout the magazine’s life, offering features, tutorials, tips and reviews.
- BBC Mindgames: I contribute a cover feature on the effects of alcohol on the brain, which includes seeing how my performance at Sudoku is affected by several glasses of wine.