Editors / Freelancers / Interviews / Writers

Balancing the Grind with Kristen Amiet, Freelance Writer & Editor

Kristen Amiet is a freelance writer and editor, who recently finished up at Junkee where she was the editor of AWOL and Managing Editor of Branded Content.

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1) To kick things off, could you tell us a little about your career background and current role?

I’ve recently returned to freelance life after a four-year stint at Junkee, where I was first the editor of AWOL (a millennial travel title published in partnership with Qantas) and then the Managing Editor of Branded Content.

All up, I spent three years in Junkee’s Studio business, where I oversaw branded content published by the media and agency businesses. Short of shooting and editing, I managed a small team of creatives who did everything from respond to briefs and write articles to make memes, write scripts and create storyboards.

The first few years of my career as a writer and editor were spent at, which was then known as ninemsn. I was fortunate to work on a number of vertical launches, which gave me a lot of insight into the inner workings of websites and digital content.

2) What does a day in the life look like for you? Can you take us through a recent workday?

I’m still finding my feet as a freelancer, but am very much enjoying the opportunity to sleep in! In all seriousness, though, I’m taking on as much work as I can across editorial, branded and social content.

I’m working some days in-house, and others on commissioned work. At this stage, no two days are the same, but I thrive off variety, so I’m enjoying having the freedom to flex creatively.

3) Does your current role allow for flexible or remote working? If so, how does that fit into your life and routine?

Yes, I’m working 100% from home now, which would have been quite a shock to the system, if not for the year we’ve just had!

Because of the challenges of 2020, I’m aware of the importance of maintaining structured days, but I am enjoying being able to set my own schedule and take time for myself when I need it. Not going to the gym in the dark has been a real treat!

4) What does work-life balance mean to you and how do you work to achieve that goal?

Work-life balance is one of my biggest priorities. Anyone in media will tell you the first few years of your career are spent working really hard and climbing quickly, but it catches up with you after a while.

I try to be cognisant of the fact that, with any luck, I’m going to be doing this for a long time, so I can slow down and seek out work that challenges and fulfills me creatively. 

In terms of the day-to-day, I try to work regular hours and resist the urge to reply to emails when I’ve ‘clocked off’, but I do have more flexibility now that I’m my own boss. And a walk around the block at lunchtime does wonders! 

5) In the past 12 months, have you started or stopped any routines or habits to change your life?

I’ve been an on-and-off meditator over the past couple of years, but I’ve re-established my routine since returning to freelance life, and I’m feeling a lot more focused as a result.

6) Do you have any favourite books, podcasts or newsletters that you’d like to recommend?

I listen to 7am from Schwartz Media every day. It does local news and deep-dives really well. I also have No Such Thing As A Fish, Casefile and My Dad Wrote A Porno on rotation for a bit of balance! 

Generally, I’m a huge fan of anything Wondery does, and really, really loved Dolly Parton’s America. You don’t need to be a Dolly fan to enjoy the beautiful storytelling and commentary (that said, if you’re not a Dolly fan, I have questions).

7) Are there any products, gadgets or apps that you can’t live without?

Not really!

8) If you could read an interview about work-life balance by anyone, who would that be?  

Angela Duckworth. I really loved Grit, so I think her perspective on how to balance ambition with downtime would be really interesting.

9) Do you have any last thoughts on work, life or balance that you’d like to share with our readers?

Find creative fulfillment wherever you can. If there’s one thing I’ve learned, is that, as the demands of business increase, the opportunities for creativity decrease. It’s much easier to show up each day when you accept that for what it is and find that outlet outside of work. 

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About Author

Hey there! I'm Hao, the Editor-in-Chief at Balance the Grind. We’re on a mission to showcase healthy work-life balance through interesting stories from people all over the world, in different careers and lifestyles.