About Me

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Weston Super Mare, Somerset, United Kingdom
Hello and welcome to my blog. My name is Robin Whitlock. I am a freelance journalist with a special interest in environmental issues and renewable energy. I have numerous published articles to my credit and write regularly for a number of renewable energy websites. I am also a writer for Renewable Energy Magazine and a sub-editor for Renewable Energy Focus. I am currently based in Bristol, UK. Besides renewable energy and green issues I have a wide variety of other interests which includes World War 2, mythology and folklore, gardening, railways and lots more besides. You can also reach me on either of my two email addresses, which are: robinwhitlock66@hotmail.com and robinwhitlock1966@gmail.com Thanks!

Hire Me!!

Hire Me!! - Freelance Journalist specializing in environmental issues and renewable energy
Writer for Renewable Energy Magazine
Sub-editor for Renewable Energy Focus
Contributor to Holmes Digital Media websites (Solar Guide, Renewables Guide, Boiler Guide, Builder Guide)
Contributor to Cleversolar blog and Find Energy Savings
Published in numerous national magazines
See below for writing samples

Monday, 17 June 2013

Water sector articles for IWA Publishing

Breaking into the rail sector

Earlier this year I managed to break into the modern rail sector with an article on the plan to reopen the branch line from Bristol to Portishead. The article made it into Rail Professional magazine, unpaid unfortunately, but I will shortly have a similar article appearing in another rail sector magazine with any luck.

Frankie... my review of the BBC's new drama

Following the views of this rather dire BBC drama I posted earlier on this blog, I wrote a review piece for Bristol 24-7. Here's a copy of it for you to read. http://www.bristol247.com/2013/05/15/frankie-lives-in-bristol-apparently-or-does-she-51042/

Two recent articles in Kindred Spirit

I have been fortunate enough to have had regular articles published in the spirituality magazine Kindred Spirit. Here are the first pages of the two latest such articles.

The Mindful Gardener looks at the gardening practice followed by the Head Gardener of Chalice Well in Glastonbury, Somerset, who is a close personal friend of mine. He follows the 'mindfulness' practice of the Buddhist Thich Nat Hanh and applies it to his gardening practice. Because of this, a year or so ago, he was asked to write a book about the subject and so the article explores both Ark's practice and also provides a few insights into his book and how he came to write it.

Following this success I was then asked by the magazine to write a specially commissioned article on the archaeological excavation of Goebekli Tepe in Turkey, which is one of the oldest ancient cities in the world. There is considerable evidence for shamanic practice having been followed at this location with a city priesthood and the worship of animal and/or ancestor spirits.

With Andrew Collins being a Facebook friend of mine, I decided to seek his opinion on the site, and upon having taken this decision discovered that Andrew had, unsurprisingly, been following the excavation all along and was even working on his own book about the site. All of which made a very interesting article even better.

Friday, 14 June 2013

Fits and starts... and a little patience

One of the most annoying things for a freelancer in my experience is turnover. I don't mean with regard to the amount of work engaged in at any one time but the time it can take for payment to arrive either in one's bank account or through the letter box in the form of a cheque. Unlike people employed in a regular salaried job, a freelancer's payment can often be best described in terms of "fits and starts". So, for example I have precisely 15 pence in my current account at the moment, requiring me to keep the £20 in my wallet, exactly where it is, for any sudden emergency, or for a sudden bus trip should I be required to travel into town for some reason. If it wasn't for my partner, there would be no chocolate every now and again.... a complete disaster for a confirmed chocoholic... and as for beer... can't even remember when I last had any of that. I suspect however, being the end of the week, and with a polite call just having been made to a particular publications finance department, at least some of that £20 will go on a few bottles of "Old Speckled Hen" from the shop up the road a bit later.

This is a regular occurrence, in between the times when suddenly I get two or three payments at once resulting in my bank account leaping from very little to a figure somewhere between £200 to £400.

How do I pay my rent and bills I can hear people say... ah, well fortunately the figures I am discussing here are basically my spending money, over and above the money I receive from my regular spot writing for Renewable Energy Magazine (REM). Yes I do have a regular writing gig, a daily commitment to write at least 2-3 renewable energy articles per day with regular interview-based pieces and longer ad hoc articles, for which I get paid a monthly sum. This makes the guys at REM my saviours, aside from the fact that they are all totally wonderfully nice people whom I now include among my best friends, if it wasn't for them I would almost certainly be in a right pickle.

I am sure for every freelancer it's the same story, particularly when starting off. Unfortunately, this irregularity of payment just goes with the territory of being a freelancer I am afraid, but the payoff is great. I get to decide my own routine, more or less, I have far more creativity and flexibility in what I can write and when than say I would do in a staff job, and thus have far greater freedom and less stress. I can also say that my achievements are clearly identifiable as my own achievements and no-one else's, which makes it all the more rewarding when contacts at LinkedIn give me a nice cyber 'pat on the back' for a job well done.

So, one of the qualities of being a good freelancer, aside from tenacity and ambition, is patience.

Because even though your belly is starting to rumble and the fridge looks bare, you know that all you have to do, providing you've worked hard of course, is just wait a while, and then a nice fat cheque will come bouncing through your door.