Reader queries: “I want to make the switch from accountancy to writing – how difficult is it?”

The past few months have been busy ones – as well as taking a trip to Barcelona (beautiful city, by the way; I highly recommend a visit), I’ve been continuing to work on the editorial team of a weekly tax magazine (the recent UK Budget in March and the subsequent Finance Bill kept me very busy). I had my “Tax and Russia” article published, as part of a special report on tax in the BRIC countries. I’m also still writing a lot. I haven’t been so good at keeping up my daily habit of writing 500 words a day – that mini-resolution fell away in March, BUT I have still been writing almost every day (so at least several times a week) and writing about 800 words of creative writing a day, so all is not lost.

Recently, however, I received a reader query, which I will share below (as well as my answer) in the hope it’ll help those in a similar situation.

IMG_9871 (Casa Batlló in Barcelona, Spain. One of Gaudí’s architectural masterpieces.)

“Hi Santhie, I recently came across your article on, and found it so inspirational. I’m a newly qualified chartered accountant who hates her job and the profession. I too have always enjoyed writing and set up a blog last year to document my travels with my husband so I could at least continue my passion to some extent.

I was wondering how difficult you found it to make the switch from being an accountant to a writer, i.e. what stumbling blocks did you come across? I’d really appreciate any advice you could give me as to how I too can follow my own passion in life, as opposed to being stuck in a job I hate.” 

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Appearances on other blogs: My wedding, and my career change story

I got married last year. My husband and I, being avid gamers and huge fans of the popular sci-fi videogame franchise Mass Effect (an epic battle saga of good-versus-evil set in outer space during 2183–2186 AD), decided it might be fun to incorporate elements from the series into our wedding day. However, as anyone who ever plans a wedding knows, despite what anyone ever tells you, your ‘big day’ is not just about you – expectations from family and good friends come into play, so (fortunately for our mothers and my bridesmaids, at least) cosplay wedding costumes were definitely out! 😀 

Wedding Photos-day 2-low res-55(From the next day’s photoshoot: In front of St Michael’s Mount, Cornwall, UK.)

Deciding which elements to include and which to leave out, especially because with an unusual/geeky theme most of the wedding day items needed to be created from scratch, was incredibly difficult. We were working to a budget and very tight time constraints in which to do anything: balancing full-time working with planning a wedding in my husband’s home village – nearly 300 miles away from where we live! – attempting to find tasteful, non-tacky and affordable ways to incorporate a non-standard geeky wedding theme, and balancing everyone else’s expectations with what you (as the wedding couple) want, is incredibly hard and incredibly stressful. Especially when all you want to do is simply marry the man of your dreams, and forget all the faff and fuss that goes around it!

I cannot possibly say if we got the wedding ‘right’, as everyone will have different views on what we should and shouldn’t have done; everyone will have different views on what constitutes ‘tacky’ and ‘classy’; everyone will have different views on what is ‘a waste of money’ and ‘worth paying for’… but my hope is that we got the important part right: not the Mass Effect theme, but whether our guests – our closest friends and family – were well-fed and well-looked-after. Beyond that, nothing else matters. I really hope we got that bit right. I hope our guests loved our wedding day as much as my husband and I did.

Our photographer was London-based Kari Bellamy, and thanks to her we had the honour of having our Mass Effect wedding featured on the ‘When Geeks Wed’ blog – here is the link:

My other blog appearance was on the popular CareerShifters site: my own career change was featured in their ‘Success Stories’ column, and I hope it manages to inspire and help people as much as their previous career-changing success stories inspired and helped me. You can read all about how I changed career from a corporate tax accountant to a freelance writer and editor here: It’s a long article, but hopefully a fairly comprehensive ‘how I did it’ piece. Changing career is not easy, but absolutely can be done – and once you do, there is no shortage of people who’d love to know how to do the same.