This just in. My pleasurable (and until now, personal) pastime that is writing has officially transitioned into my professional life.
Once I got over the initial excitement of telling family and friends that I had a side-gig where I was allowed to CHOOSE MY OWN JOB TITLE and then updating my LinkedIn profile accordingly (more about this later), I realised that I still had a longgg way to go in keeping this dreamboat (raft of reality) afloat.
A quill, ink pot, peace and quiet and a respectable intention to change the world is an outdated writers toolkit, sadly. A few centuries late to the party, I have discovered that there are deadlines to meet, a virtual world to engage and the pressure of being contactable round the clock (does anyone go offline these days)?
Gone are the days I can wistfully type and edit at my own pace. There are people waiting, expecting. I am no longer writing for me, or you it would seem *shamefully checks date of last blog update*. Although I vow to be back once I’ve “found my flow” which means, when I’ve discovered how to speed up the process.
With that in mind, I’ve decided to challenge myself. I’m going to bash out some quick and vastly unedited posts on a semi-regular basis and then lay them bare for you, dear readers of Lemoní. Of course, I am entirely uncomfortable with this since, when it comes to sharing my personal posts, something as minor as the late discovery of a typo or thinking up a better descriptive word post-publication has the ability to unhinge the inner perfectionist in me.
My uber-efficient German colleagues have instilled a “fill every second of every day with something productive” mentality in me and it’s sure rubbing off: Can’t. Sit. Still. Must. Get. Up. Earlier. Must. Write. Faster. Not being a qualified speed-typist isn’t the problem, nor is being short of ideas. But with screen time at an all time high, there’s only so much I can give.
Back to the day I updated my LinkedIn. I had two key updates that I was excited to jazz up my page with: One in the employment section where I revealed the writing gig, and the other in the languages section where I now boldly claim to have “Professional working proficiency” in Spanish (Ha)!
Excited as I was, I was busy too. So, I quickly made these amendments on my lunch-break alongside other life-admin tasks. A couple of clicks and the screen froze, the app shut down and I got irritated. I was in such a rush to tick another thing off my to-do list that I didn’t stop to realise the enormity of what I was actually doing: I was sharing my successes (of which I was immensely proud) whilst opening a door to a whole other world – of potential opportunity.
I recently read that you can be so focused on what’s ‘next’ in life that you forget you are now exactly where you once wanted to be. And while there is nada wrong with striving for more, what ever happened to stopping to enjoy the moment?
I’m sure we’re all guilty of this.
I am living now what once seemed like an irrealizable dream. Within 18 months, amidst a global pandemic and thanks to some very generous new amigas, I find myself with not one, but two jobs as well as the first traces of a writing portfolio: the birth of my blog and some published articles too. And now…paid to write!
Not enough to give up the day job, let’s be clear. But nevertheless I am amused by the (almost mythical) creatives who frequented Paris in the 1920’s, the “Lost Generation” of writers who pleaded glamorous poverty i.e. too poor to buy books, but who always had enough for champagne, who were unwilling to give up the dream and who were generally just having a real-good time.
What I am trying to say is that I realised it is so easy to lose sight of the thrill of the journey while racing towards the “end goal”, which is what exactly? Your memoir?
While we’re striving, are we really thriving?
And there we have it – attempt número uno. Composed in 23 minutes on a commuter train platform. Lightning fingers.
*editing time undisclosed. Poco a poco.