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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On New Year’s Resolutions (or: what I learned about how to get what you want)

For the past few days I’ve been thinking about the whole topic of New Year’s Resolutions after reading Jeff Goins’s blog post on the topic (entitled ‘Why You Shouldn’t Bother With Resolutions This Year’ – it’s a blog aimed at writers, but the post is worth a read as it can apply to any resolution one might make), where he argues that one should focus on something far better than simply making resolutions: having resolve.

IMG_8735 (Rome, Italy. One place we’d always wanted to visit, and finally got to in 2013.)

New Year’s Resolutions have almost become a bit of a running joke: no sooner does anyone make one (whether it’s to get fit, lose weight, start a business, drink less, eat more healthily, write a book, give up smoking), you know that many people will – and probably already have – failed theirs just a few days into the new year itself. Is there any point to making any? Why do we bother? Should we bother?  Continue reading

Working from anywhere: is it always a good thing?

It has been a while since I last posted here; a lot has happened since then. I spent the months of March to May travelling the world: in March, to Doha, Qatar, to spend time with a good friend of mine who moved out there; in March and April, to China to visit family and tour the cities of Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong (including short day trips to the cities of Hangzhou and Suzhou); and in April and May, to Chicago in the USA on a work-related trip.

IMG_5321(Riding camels in the Arabian Desert, in Qatar. Hard to get used to.)

Travel is a huge passion of mine; although since we spent only a week back in the UK after each trip getting ready for the next one (while sleeping off jet-lag, securing the right visas, and dealing with the piles of travel laundry before packing for the next big trip), I question whether travelling as much as we did in that short a space of time is really wise: the jet-lag and the exhaustion are terrible! I think I’ve only just recovered enough to start posting to this blog again, and it’s June already!

I was fortunate to be able to take my work with me for most of my time away from the UK – as long as I have my trusty laptop, smartphone and a good Wi-Fi internet connection, I can pretty much work anywhere. Working from our room in the US was fine; all I needed to do was take the six-hour time difference into account when interviewing people back in the UK for an article I was writing (a piece for on how recent global tax changes may affect business in the Channel Islands – see page 70 of this month’s interactive online magazine for the article), but working in China was a little more tricky – the Wi-Fi in our hotel was rather flaky, and producing even a short piece for PC Advisor magazine reviewing Sage One payroll software was a struggle.  Continue reading