Spotlight On: Rebecca Shahoud
Every so often, The Study Room catches up with our favourite freelancers, creatives & fellow business owners to find out what really makes them tick (and jump out of bed everyday)
We join the editor of The Waltham Cat; Rebecca Shahoud who has a produced an e-zine and physical publication focusing on Walthamstow and its surrounding areas. It deals with local news, issues and features specific to the area.
Keep checking in with us as we will meet with lots of people from lots of different specialities, to help you make the most of your day!
What does a typical day look like to you?
There’s no typical day, I normally wake up early, before checking emails and planning and prioritising before 8am. Before all that I walk the dog in Epping Forest before the summer crowds arrive. I get my admin done or write any pressing news stories before lunch, then after lunch I’m usually writing features.
I’m always on the phone to the designer as his input is tremendous. We work well as a team and I’m lucky to be working with someone so talented.
My days are very long, usually well over ten hours. Our first press day was a good 22 hours straight. We were so tired that we couldn’t see the words on the screen any more. We learnt a lot from that!
Where do you call your ‘Office’?
I work from home, in Walthamstow. It’s a quiet street near the forest and I get a lot more done than I would if I had to spend hours commuting every day.
How did you end up in your line of work?
I’d always wanted to be a journalist., that or an artist or designer. My first attempt at a proper article was for the Guardian International Journalism Competition in 2011 and was published. I started late but I’ve had a wealth of weird jobs before that.
I trained to become a journalist after getting feedback from people and from local newspapers, trade magazines and financial journalism.
I wanted to write about the issues that were affecting me and my friends on a daily basis; that’s how I came to launch The Waltham Cat.
I love London, but there’s a lot going on that riles me. I couldn't just accept certain things.
I don’t know if I can change anything, but I can at least give topics exposure.
What is the one thing you wish you had known at the beginning?
I am still at the beginning, we’ve just launched the first edition of the magazine, which has been online for eight months.
When it came to putting the first edition to bed, we needed to spend longer than one day on it. I’m impatient, so I tend to rush things, but we should have stretched it over a couple of days at the very least.
We edited and put the whole magazine together in one day. That was far too optimistic.
We were screen-blind by the end of the day, we couldn’t see the most obvious errors. I was so tired I walked into a wall and gave myself a black eye.
What is the best part of your day?
Meeting new people. I’ve met some extraordinary folk through the course of this job. A lot of intelligent, passionate people who have had an idea and didn’t give up. The great feedback from readers really makes all the difference too!
What are you working on at the moment?
We’ve just had our launch party, at Mother's Ruin, so that was really exciting organising that! We’re putting a massive second edition together about the future of London, featuring opinions from all walks of life.