My journey to meet DEadlines

As a primary school poet, founder of my high school magazine and a Theatre and Literature graduate, it was no surprise my career choice would steer towards the writing / creative industries.

As a 12-year-old, I made my decision to become a journalist quite romantically on a pebble lake-side beach at Windermere whilst on holiday with my mum.

My school career advisor clearly thought this was a lofty pursuit, perhaps too high for my reach, and poised her pen ready to fill in my Plan B on her form.

“There isn’t one”, I replied and she frowned, grunted and sent me on my way with a roll of her eyes.

I’m now the eye-roller, trying to prompt and promote Plans B through to Z for my two boys desperate to follow in the footsteps of Ronaldo and Andy Murray.

I didn’t quite step into Kate Aidie’s combat boots but I followed my dream nonetheless.

I was the only under-graduate accepted on to the NCTJ professional journalism course and went on to win awards for my writing with Yorkshire Regional Newspapers, starting out on a good old-fashioned typewriter with carbon paper and a spike on my desk. Hence the retro’ typewriter branding which also, I hope, symbolises good old-fashioned quality writing with all the Is dotted and the Ts crossed and not a misplaced apostrophe or an LOL in sight!

Life eventually took me to the other side of the fence and I became a press officer, using my inside knowledge of the media to build my reputation and eventually work at national level.

Motherhood came along and as is often the case with professional women in their late 30s, my career took a back seat while the kids jumped in the front.

Thankfully it turned out I did have a Plan B after all, and in April of this year I filled in the online registration with the HMRC and DEadlines was born.

Why the irregular capitalisation of the D and E? Simple, my name is Dianne Elizabeth therefore it’s my initials and by happy, and entirely fortuitous, coincidence my children’s names are Daniel and Eduardo.

The word ‘deadlines’ itself? Well, that’s simply the literal buzz word in the writing industries symbolising the mutually agreed hour or day that the job must be signed, sealed and delivered, these days into the clouds. For me, it symbolises meeting not only the specified timescale but also delivering my promise of dedication and efficiency from beginning to end together with quality, flair and creativity.

DEadlines allows me to pursue the career I began more than 20 years ago while also meeting the ‘deadlines’ of my commitments and dedication to my children and family life.

Establishing self-employed status was relatively easy but my natural desire for precision and professionalism in everything I do, means I sought help and advice from the experts along the way.

Rather Oscar-speech like, for all their practical help and inspiration, I have to thank Sajid Seedat (DWP), Mandy Humphries (, David Cramp and Stephanie Harding ( Krista, Jenny and Becky ( , Debra Johnson (, Paul Clarke ( and the and my mum for not questioning my Plan B on that beach in the Lake District 30 years ago.

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