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Cat Hufton, Freelance Writer

The journalist and author of The Freelance Parent newsletter talks to us about writing her most personal piece for Grazia, reading for inspiration and her son's first word.

I cut my teeth as a writer at Net-a-Porter. I started working there in 2008 – it was my first ever writing job as an intern in the magazine team and I was lucky enough to be offered a job in the copy team after my three-month placement. It was fast-paced, quite scary, and the standards were sky-high but I learned so much about copywriting and editing.

Next on my reading list is A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara. I've heard great things about this book for a while, and last week it was mentioned on Sara Cox's book review show on the BBC, Between the Covers. One of the guests (I forget his name, sorry) said it was one of the best books he's ever read and he'd loved every minute of it. I can't wait to start it.

Everyone should read The Gift: 12 Lessons to Save Your Life by Edith Eger. I read this when something sad happened, and it really helped me get through it and provided me with so much comfort. Edith Eger is a Holocaust survivor and a psychotherapist and she has such as great way of viewing the world and the problems we face.

My son's first word was Dadda (annoying).

For fun, I write poems on my phone – often when I can’t sleep.

Every writer needs time to read so that they have space to be inspired by other writers. If I'm finding it hard to write or think of ideas, I find the best thing to do is to just take a break, read and relax. (Where possible).

As a child I really loved The Jolly Postman and Other People’s Letters by Janet and Allan Ahlberg.

Anything that makes you think, makes you feel something, or helps you forget for a little while makes a good piece of writing.

The feature I’m proudest at having penned is this one for Grazia. It's such a personal subject that I almost didn't send the pitch, but it received such a supportive reception. Many women contacted me to say they had also experienced intrusive thoughts but had been too scared to speak to anyone about it. I feel proud that I could write about such a taboo topic and hopefully help others in the process.

My advice for thriving as a freelance writer is don’t sit on your laurels or get complacent and always keep thinking ahead – even when you’re busy. Also, be nice to people and treat them well but equally learn when to cut your losses if a client isn’t treating you well or making you feel good. Those types of working relationships take up so much energy.

Cat Hufton is a senior copywriter and journalist with over 13 years of experience. She specialises in fashion, beauty and lifestyle and, since becoming a mum, has also added parenting and working family life to her arsenal. She also writes a weekly newsletter, The Freelance Parent. You can follow Cat on Instagram and Twitter.

The Storyteller

Interviews with wordsmiths, writers, bookworms & bibliophiles
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