One of my articles was in the paper the other day. It was received pretty well. So much so that a couple of things have happened as a result.
First of all, it looks like I’m going to be on the radio. A producer got in touch with me and wants to have me as a guest on a relatively popular radio show to debate the contents of my article. I was shocked when I got the email. It definitely came as a surprise. I guess part of me wasn’t convinced that people actually read my stuff.
There are so many interesting articles on any given day in a good newspaper that I always assumed that my stuff got lost in the bigger news. It’s really flattering to think that not only did someone influential read what I wrote, they have decided to act on it and have a debate around my ideas. It’s a very gratifying thing to have happen.
The other thing is that an executive of a pretty big organisation emailed to congratulate me on the same piece. I got chatting to his assistant, and I might even get to meet him. I wonder if I should mention that I’m not formally employed and that if he offers me a decent job I will probably take it. Nah…I’ll play it cool, dress up for the occassion, and pretend that I’m in my element and that things are going very well for me, thank you very much! Just meeting someone of that caliber will be an fantastic.
All that out of an article that I wrote in the library. Maybe I should go to the library more often. Who knows, next time I write something there, someone might offer to buy me a car! If that’s you, my contact details are available on this website. Everybody is allowed to dream, right?
Thank God for the big and small things that make life so worth living.
I’ve been struggling these last few days. I got my first cheque from my writing not too long ago and it felt great! It was only a few hundred Euros, but it felt good to be earning again. The only thing is that I now felt quite a bit of pressure to at least maintain that income. Coincidentally, that was the time I seemed to hit a brick wall in terms of creative inspiration. It never rains…
So I was getting pretty worked up. I’ve even neglected this blog a bit. I was too preoccupied to keep this going at full pace. It was all a little much and I was wondering whether I really had a future as a writer. Reading about Mbeki’s writing prowess and general brilliance didn’t help either. It left me feeling more than a little jealous and a bit pathetic. I know, a little over the top.
Anyway, I was in the library today to do a little reading. Being the great procrastinator that I am, I decided to start by going through the newspaper. I found an article there I disagreed with so strongly that I whipped out my laptop and in about three quarters of an hour had my first draft done. I’ll polish it up over the weekend and email it to the boss on Sunday evening.
I literally feel like there’s a weight that has been lifted off my shoulders. Now I can deal with all the things I’ve let slide. And in a couple of days, I can start to worry about the next article. My life certainly isn’t boring!
I’ve had another article published and I’ve got a semi-regular thing going with one of the national papers. It’s amazing how as soon as you get to one summit you suddenly start to see others instead of taking time out to celebrate!
Why aren’t I celebrating? So far I’ve made a couple of hundred Euros in about 4 weeks. I need to start using the articles I’ve had published to get more work. As things stand, I can’t make a living. That said, I’ve made money doing what I want to do. If nothing else, it shows there’s potential for me to make a living writing. I had planned to give myself 6 months to come up with a tangible plan. Based on what I’m spending and what my wife and I need to cover bills, I need to be earning at least six times what I’m earning now by about July. I guess that’s the challenge.
Now, the ‘work’ part begins. I need to call people who I think may have a story to tell and interview them. I need to get in touch with as many editors as I can and try to sell myself. I’m even planning a trip out to Sierra Leone – a friend knows a government minister there. It all sounds great, so why am I terrified?
My wife says I’ve always been a non-conformist. That surprises me because I hate sticking out. Don’t get me wrong, I like attention as much as the next guy, but I don’t like sticking out too much. I’m happiest when I’m in a group and feel like we’re all going in the same direction. You know how most normal people grow out of wanting to change the world and become realists? That hasn’t happened to me.
Of my friends, the one I look up to most went to law school and tried to set up a business when he graduated. It’s been 3 years now, he’s moved back into his folks’ house, but he’s still determined. The reason? I guess he’s just really stubborn and has decided to walk away from the rat race most of our other friends are in. I guess he just can’t handle being a comodity in some manager or director’s eyes. Since he can’t live in their world, he’s trying to create his own. Now maybe, God forbid, he’s an idiot who just doesn’t have a solid grasp on reality. I hope not, because I’m following in his footsteps.
My plan is pretty simple. I love writing and discussing ideas and sharing opinions. So I’m going to try and make a living writing. I’ve also taken up photography and I’m going to teach myself how to design and develop web sites. The plan is that by the end of the year I’ll be able to get by on something that’s birthed out of these activities.
This blog is going to be a record of my journey. Not to mention practice writing and maybe, my very first audience.