johanna payton: writer, author, fashion detetective

Johanna Payton - Fashion Detective

Photo: Nina Hollington

The time has come for me to turn the tables on my contemporaries. I met Jo when I attended a freelance writers course she was running with her friend and business partner Olivia Gordon. I learned a lot that day – they taught me that twitter was an essential business tool, a blog was a necessity for a writer (enter i am not a celebrity) and that I should have my own business cards printed – 2 out of three aint too bad, right ladies?

Anyway, this is not about me… much. Over to you, Jo.

who: Johanna Payton

where: I’m originally from Bradford in Yorkshire. I’ve been living in London for 15 years.

what: I’m a freelance journalist, copywriter, author, broadcaster, blogger, media trainer, super-mum and domestic Goddess.

why: I always enjoyed writing – and found it incredibly easy – but it wasn’t until I got a non-creative, production job in the music industry that I realised just how much I wanted to do it for a living. I gave up my 9-5 and went freelance eight years ago.

how: I had a child and realised that anything is possible. I thought that becoming a mother would make me less ambitious. It actually made me more determined to succeed. I had a newfound confidence in myself and was full of ideas. I actually railed against the idea I had in my head of what a mother was and got more into fashion, started pitching big name magazines and papers with story ideas and found a brilliant new group of girlfriends at ante natal class who inspired and encouraged me to aim high. Although I went freelance in 2002, it was in 2005, after my son was born, that my career really took off.

anything you’d like to brag about? I love writing first person pieces for the papers – I did one about my love of vampire film and fiction for the Express this year and that was a major buzz. I also wrote about my love of line dancing for them, which was brilliant.

I guest on BBC London Radio’s Late Show every other week and consider that to be a big success – gossiping and having a laugh with thousands of listeners for company is pretty good fun.

It was also a coup to have my first book published – but what I’m really focusing on is my blog, Fashion Detective, which I’m hoping to turn into a book about trends in the 80s.

It sounds cheesy, but every day, week, month and year I manage to keep working for myself, doing the thing I love, is a massive achievement and one that I am immensely proud of.

what are you working on right now? A feature on weight loss for EasyLiving, two features on fashion and film for a Guardian microsite sponsored by BlackBerry, a real life story for the December issue of Essentials, a Guardian podcast on Christmas food markets in London, a piece on social egg freezing for a fertility magazine, a Christmas gift guide for The Guardian, a commercial project for Elle Online, and a story about fashion hoarding that The Express are interested in running. I’m also marketing a couple of training courses and, of course, working on the Fashion Detective book. I like to have a lot on my plate.

Where can we find out more about you?

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