My not so 9 to 5! Courtney Westlake

My not so 9 to 5! Courtney Westlake




Courtney Westlake


Freelance writer and author



What time does your alarm go off?

Generally 5.30am

What is the first thing you do when you wake up?

I admit I get on my phone… but more to delay getting out of bed than a real desire to check my email!

What do you do for lunch?

Eat in, out, go to the gym, meetings or work through? Every day, I pick up my daughter from preschool at 10.30am, so we usually have lunch around 11 together – typically leftovers or something quick!

What are your work hours?

I work from home, but I am also the primary caretaker of my kids, so my hours look really different every week. I get in about 15 to 20 hours while they are at school, during naptime, in the morning before everyone else is up, here and there on the weekend. Next year, my youngest goes to kindergarten, so I know that will open up a lot more opportunity and time to invest more heavily into larger writing projects for businesses and nonprofits.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

The flexibility! For the most part, I can adjust my writing projects around my family, instead of the other way around. I love that I get to experience so much of my kids’ lives while still experiencing personal fulfillment in my work.

What do you least like about your job?

I am a pretty organized person and place high value on time management, so I find it extremely frustrating when people are late or cancel meetings at the last minute.

What do you do to develop relationships with potential clients?

I believe what is most important is doing my best for the clients I have – producing quality work, meeting all deadlines, and being reliable… referrals are the best source of business. I love attending community functions, too; I enjoy connecting with people, and you never know when someone needs a writer for a new project like website content, ghostwriting a blog, or newsletter.

Which organizations are you a member of/volunteer for?

I’m a steering committee member of the Young Philanthropists giving circle within the Community Foundation for the Land of Lincoln, and I’m very involved with the foundation itself as a volunteer. I am also involved with the Children’s Miracle Network, the Foundation for Ichthyosis and Related Skin Types, and an organization called School the World that provides educational opportunities for impoverished children in South America.

What is the first thing you do when you get home?

I get home multiple times throughout the day… but if I’m in for the rest of the night, my first move is to put on sweatpants.

What’s the last thing you do before you go to sleep?

Read. I love to read, and I fall asleep much more easily when it’s the last thing I do before lights out.