2021: Year in review

After another year of Covid-19, I think we’re all ready to relax and put our feet up for a Christmas break. I know I am.

But first, here are a few highlights from 2021, from the projects that helped to pay the bills, to the books I couldn’t put down and the fellow creatives that provided inspiration.

Professional highlights

As the clock chimed midnight on New Year’s Eve 2020 it marked a milestone moment – 2021 would be my first new year as a self-employed writer.

Fortunately, I’ve had a steady stream of work all year and I’ve been lucky to work with some fantastic clients.

In no particular order, here are a few professional highlights from the past year.

Joined the newsletter brigade

Anyone who is anyone has a newsletter these days, so I decided to jump on the bandwagon in January 2021.

Despite writing newsletters for clients for years (both freelance and in-house), writing my own was a different story and I felt incredibly self-conscious when hitting send on the first few editions.

Now though, I love the element of structure it brings to each month, and it provides a welcome creative break from client work.

Next year, the newsletter will continue to focus on writing tips and resources, as well as some insights into international living.

Not subscribed? You can sign up here.

Celebrated one year in business

The first of August officially marked one year since I ventured into self-employment.

It felt good to reach the first anniversary, but I couldn’t have done it without clients deciding to put their faith in me, as well as support from new-found freelance friends.

Here are the businesses that helped me to pay the bills during that first year: Chippa Nation, Liberty PR, Mengloria, Clearly PR, The Local, Puppycare Central, Office Chair Picks, Immigration Experts and SWPR Group.

I also have to give a big shout out to Freelancer Magazine founder Sophie Cross for being a fab accountability buddy, and copywriter and editor Robyn Santa Maria for sending work my way.

Thank you!

Hosted #ContentClubUK

Back in June, after taking part in #ContentClubUK for several months, I nervously hosted the weekly Twitter chat for the first time.

Thankfully, it was a success and I’m happy to say I will be in the hosting seat again on Tuesday 18th January (theme yet to be decided). Feel free to join in.

You can find the upcoming #ContentClubUK schedule here.

Wrote a countless number of words

I spent a lot of time sitting at my desk this year, which is never a bad thing for a freelance writer.

Highlights include interviewing Trina Scott-Priestley from Insiem for Chippa Nation (an online marketplace), writing website copy for Convelio (fine art logistics specialists), drafting a short listed award entry for a big property company (can’t say who) and writing about international living for The Local (an English-language news outlet in Europe).

Next year, I hope to expand on this by focusing on website copywriting projects, content writing for independent businesses and working with creative agencies doing top work for top clients.

Photo by Olya Kobruseva on Pexels.com

A year in books

Once a bookworm, always a bookworm.

Here are some of the best books that got me through months of lockdown in the Austrian winter.

Do Walk by Libby DeLana

As an avid walker and a firm believer in the benefits of putting one foot in front of the other, I can’t recommend this book enough. The chapters are concise and easy to read, but also packed with nuggets of wisdom and interesting facts.

The Saltpath by Raynor Winn

This a tale of survival amid economic hardship and personal struggle. Somehow though, Raynor manages to tell the story with positivity and grace, and leaves readers believing that anything is possible.

Holy Cow by Sarah Macdonald

Holy Cow might have been published 20 years ago but Sarah’s story of exploring India in the early 2000s is a carefree balm for these Covid-19 times. It was just the right amount of nostalgia I needed in 2021.

The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron

This is more than a book; it’s a toolkit for unlocking creativity and finding your way back to the right path. I didn’t complete all the tasks in The Artist’s Way (there are many) but the morning pages and weekly artist date are now key parts of my routine.

Daisy Jones and the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid

I loved this book. The story is set in the 1970s and revolves around a fictional band in LA. It has love, fashion, parties, heartbreak, recovery and rock ‘n’ roll. Basically, it’s a lovely dose of retro escapism.

Finding inspiration in others

No man (or woman) is an island and it’s important to find inspiration outside of ourselves.

Thankfully, the world is full of creative people, and they often like to share their thoughts and ideas with the rest of us.

The following sources of creative inspiration really stood out this year.

Freelancer Magazine

After a successful Kickstarter campaign in early 2021, Freelancer Magazine has quickly amassed a loyal following and is set to become a regular publication for the foreseeable future. The content is great, and the campaign to get the mag to print has even created a supportive community of freelancers from around the world. What’s not to love?

Feasts & Fables

For inspiration on how to live a life well and with purpose, then look no further than Feasts & Fables. Their weekly newsletter (every Sunday … 6pm sharp) is always positive, reflective and thoughtful. Exactly what you need on a Sunday evening.

Very Good Copy

I’m late to the party here but as they say, better late than never. Eddie Shleyner’s website Very Good Copy is filled to the brim with useful tips and tricks with a focus on micro-content. This means he gets straight to the point and doesn’t faff around.


Yes, I’m singing the praises of #ContentClubUK again, but it’s because you won’t find a more welcoming bunch on Twitter. So, if you write content for a living, come join us every Tuesday at 11am, UK time, to discuss all things content.

And that’s a wrap.

See you next year.

Want to work together in 2022? Get in touch at hello@hayleymaguire.com to find out more about copywriting and content writing services.