Life Story (The most recent part at least 2004-2009 – the rest to follow…)

For a sample testimonial click here (more will be added):

To contact me and for commission enquiries write to: features@franceslaing.co.uk

I’m a freelance writer, blogger and journalist based in the North West of England. I’ve been a member of the National Union of Journalists since 2005. 

My focus is people and the environment. This includes an analysis of how businesses are adapting to the challenges and shifting sands of our global economy.

In 2009 the business of blogging took hold of me big time. I attended workshop sessions run by the NUJ (I’m listed in the Freelance Directory which you can access through this link) held  at the Digital Development Agency in Manchester. 

I soon created:  ‘How to Profit From your blog’  -  a reflective journal with a  focus on creating an income or securing publicity from blogging – target audience – business and not-for-profit organisations who want to understand better how to use this important communications tool.

As the recession hit the newspaper and magazine industry I was drawn to writing exclusively for the web. One of my favourite freelance sites is called Helium and to date I’ve written over a hundred articles there on topics as diverse as Greening I.T (tips for medium sized companies), Search Engine Optimisation, Blogging as a PR  tool, Assessing the success of the organic movement, Politics in the near and Middle East and Alternative Parenting. There’s no room for slackers on Helium -it’s a very competitive site with a truly global audience .

I’m a trained teacher in Adult Education, speak fluent German and have engaged with a broad range of human and environmental issues for several decades now.

I became a mother in 2005. That same year I completed a lengthy feature called ‘Fuelling the Future’ for The Green Parent magazine – based in the U.K. Doing the research on ‘Peak Oil’ gave me early warning of what was to come and encouraged me to craft an alternative. 

Growing food organically was at the centre of this vision and ‘Questioners Garden Time’   was my first blog (started in December 2008). I’m not dogmatic about organic food, I feel it puts readers off. But Britain produces a mere five per cent of it’s own fruit and there’s a huge surge of interest in growing your own.

So QGT is not just a ‘how-to’ blog (although I hope it continues to be useful for gardeners of all levels of experience) it  is also a writer’s blog  with smatterings of culture and politics. It charts a personal and political transition – the journey from derelict piece of ground to fully productive allotment plot.

 (For non-Brits an allotment is a large piece of land which you lease from your local council. Here’s a brief history of allotments from one of my favourite authors in the field).