I'm Annie Ridout.
Author, journalist, poet and coach.
I send out personal essays, short stories and self-development tools weekly via Substack. You can sign up here.
It's the best way to get regular writing from me, and if you decide to contribute a small amount each month, you'll get all the articles, while buying me a coffee from my local (independent) coffee shop.
These articles are written for people who'd like to think more creatively about feminist issues, happiness, motherhood, work, wellbeing, tech and more - and to move forward with hope.
My writing has been described as "calm, clear, comforting and hopeful". And I've been described as "clever. But not too clever". So it'll never go over your head. But it will get you thinking and doing.
My latest book - Raise Your SQ: Transform your life with Spiritual Intelligence (Radar, 2023) - is full of tips, rituals, spiritual practices and coaching exercises that will help you to improve your life. I share my own spiritual journey, and interview leading figures to ask about theirs.
Before that, I wrote Shy: How being quiet can lead to success (4th Estate, 2021). This book - part-memoir, part research - reframes shyness as an attribute, rather than a flaw that needs fixing. It has helped thousands of people to embrace this personality trait.
My first book - The Freelance Mum: a flexible guide for better work-life balance (4th Estate, 2019) - is a guide to setting up as a freelancer after having a baby. Again, it's part-memoir, and is packed with tips for setting up as a freelancer/small business owner.
Right now, I'm working on an exciting ghostwriting project. I get to bring together my love of interviewing and coaching (finding the right questions to help the client to piece together their own story) with writing. It's so nice to be behind the scenes.
As a freelance journalist, I've written for most of the national newspapers and women's magazines (the Guardian, the Observer, Forbes, Grazia, Red Magazine, Stylist, Metro, the Telegraph, the Independent, the Evening Standard, Refinery29, You Magazine, Women's Health, iNews and more).
And I've been interviewed on BBC Woman's Hour, on a panel at Stylist Live, on the Sunday Times Style 'Secrets of the Side Hustle' podcast, on Gaby Roslin's BBC Radio London show, the Jeremy Vine show and for the Independent.
I'm a poet, as well. Two of my poems have gone viral - 'I've just had a baby' and 'what I want', after being shared by thousands of women around the world, including Paloma Faith and Busy Philipps. So I turned them into prints and books, which sold globally - across Europe, the US, Australia, Canada.
I run online poetry workshops, which you can read more about here.
Coaching and consultancy
I'm a qualified and experienced life and business coach, and having grown my own online businesses (online courses, coaching, self-publishing, freelance writing), I offer consultancy to other women looking to do the same. I coach one-to-one, in groups, and in both SMEs and corporate companies.
I was born and raised in north London and had my own three children there but now we live in Somerset.
It's rather lovely - running through fields and meadows each morning, breathing in the fresh air, lighting fires in the garden.
I play the piano, guitar and handpan and compose my own music.
(I love an online chat).