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Weekly Relationship Columnist for Curious | Backstage pass to the writers life |


Hey, I’m Ellen, and this is my (hopefully not-so-cliche) bio.

Ellen ‘Jelly’ McRae

Born in the late 80’s. Aussie girl. Married to the most amazing man. Collects Garfield books and handbags. Wrestling addict. Full-time freelance writer.

I don’t like the writer stereotype.

If we aren’t obsessing over literature and the dictionary, we’re wearing glasses. Drinking our eighteenth coffee for the day, and flexing our arrogance in written prose.

And yes, we use the word ‘prose’ far too often.

Even when I decided to write something about myself, put together a few poignant so I wasn’t just an avatar on the screen, I didn’t want to write anything cliché. Here’s my bio, look at…

This life is as misunderstood as the people we help

As I’ve shared more about my life as a mental health carer, people want to know what my life is really like.

Sometimes, I wish they didn’t ask me. The moments can be so dark and soul-crushing that I, like the person I care for, don’t want to get out of bed. I wouldn’t ask anyone to swap with me or have someone else take the pressure for a day. It wouldn’t be fair on that person.

Yet, there are other days when life goes on as it does for everyone else. I walk down the street, do the shopping…

You are holding yourself back. But you don’t even know it.

You can’t get fired as a freelancer. Unless you’re willing to fire yourself.

But it doesn’t mean you can’t get yourself in the position where you should fire yourself. Because you’re not doing your freelancing job well enough.

Ok, so that was a little harsh, I must admit.

But I know what it’s like to venture down the freelancing spiral and to start doing all the things that an employer would fire me for. Or someone in my life would likely warn me about.

‘This isn’t sustainable,’ or ‘Your approach isn’t going to end well for you.’

And for all…


Everything we don’t know is holding us back.

I’ve told many prospective freelancers, and entrepreneurs, that sacrifice is part of the success game.

Sometimes, I wear my sacrifice like a strange badge of honour.

I keep reminding myself of that when I climb out of bed when it’s still dark, push open the screen of my laptop, and start another day at the screen.

And if you’re unwilling to make sacrifices in your business life, you can’t expect to be the best or compete with them either. You can’t even expect to succeed even the slightest bit. That’s the sacrificing game.

Yet, sacrifice keeps being one of those…

There are no rules. Yet we keep trying to live by them

I’m in the middle of a rebellion. A writing rebellion.

I’ve been reading since I could remember. And I’ve been writing for almost as long as that. I’m absorbed in the writing life. This is what I do every day. It’s my job title. Writer. No part-time gig, no side hustle. Pure, all immersed writer.

I’ve had moments of delusion where I’ve tried to convince myself I’m a writer in waiting. I’ve undertaken stupid side hustles that I thought would sustain me whilst I secretly wrote. I’ve denied myself the joy of sharing my writing in fear of what others…


There are no entrepreneur promotions. Chasing them only causes you problems.

There’s one thing every entrepreneur needs to know about quitting their job and going off on their own.

We know it will be challenging, patience-testing, time and money demanding. That’s a given. And if you haven’t worked it out already, the experience will be unpredictable at best.

It doesn’t take much to realise how different the entrepreneurial life is from the employed one. But the big difference most of us seem to forget is a simple one.

We don’t work for someone else.

Though most of us entrepreneurs relish the idea that we are now the boss, we forget we…


And you will spend your dating life fighting the assumptions that come with it.

I’m thirty-three, female, married. You could say that I’m a boring stereotype.

I have done everything that I should have. At some point, in the not too distant future, I will have a child, the last step to complete the thirty-something rite of passage.

I didn’t plan my life like this, to do what most people my age will do. It sort of, just, happened.

And all my relationships before getting married happened the same way too. I didn’t seek out my boyfriends, I found myself with them. I never let an opportunity to experience life and love pass me…

And everything I wished I knew before succumbing to complete burnout

Freelancing fatigue is real.

The problem is that it’s not the fatigue we’ve come to know.

When I first start experiencing it, when my business was on the verge of closure, I wasn’t tired. I didn’t have all those classical fatigue symptoms. I didn’t even feel basic tiredness. I could think. I could keep my head off the keyboard. I was actually quite full of energy.

Sometimes we hit a point where things don’t feel right in our business. It seems unexplainable. There isn’t anything medically wrong with us. …

If it works for you, you’re a fool to stop. Even if a professional tells you to.

Man holding statistics charts
Man holding statistics charts

Please stop believing that you don’t need to care about your stats.

Or that your unhealthy obsession with checking your performance statistics every hour is something you should stop. Or need intervention from.

Let me assure you: you don’t have a problem. You don’t need a cure. There is nothing wrong with your dedication to your performance.

The more the ‘experts’ keep peddling the idea you don’t need to check your stats, the more worrisome I become about what we’re learning.

I hate rules put on business owners, or any person trying to build an enterprise for that matter. The…

And a clear guide to the times you should and shouldn’t compromise.

You can’t have a freelancing business without customers.

But it would be nice if you could.

In my experience, when I was working as a freelancing website designer prior to full-time writing, customers will push you. They will test your patience and understanding in the best possible way. They will make you a better entrepreneur, and a more savvy one at that.

But for everything you learn the best way, you discover so much the hard way.

The problem for us freelancers is that we can never be perfect. Every customer has their own expectations of what they want and…

Ellen McRae

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