The realisation that this blog is not really addressing the question it asks made me finally sit down and think about it in between trying to make some money to pay for Christmas and finding a tenant for my flat. Both were stressing me out. It's back to picture research for the time being (at Look magazine) to fund both the present hoard and suddenly having to pay for a mortgage on a place I don't live in. Several years ago I didn't have any sympathy for people like me as home ownership seemed so out of reach. Little did I know that it would seem even more insurmountable now and thank God I scrimped for two years to make the deposit back in 2006. So: can I write for a living?
Not yet, not by a long chalk. My contributions to a website are earning me a little bit of money but apparently they're not paying other contributors so I have to keep schtum about who they are. There's also a good story idea that I've got, complete with good case studies (curious commissioning editors, get in touch now) but I'm finding it hard to make the time to pitch it to people. Is there a difference between an excuse and a reason? My reason (ahem) tonight is that I spent 3 hours missing trains and cursing a prospective tenant that never showed. Karma will do for you, French girl who works at Chelsea FC. Never mind that your accent felt like silk on my eardrum, only being a gentleman stopped me from venting my frustration when your phone went straight to voicemail as I called to find out where the bloody hell you were.
To get back to the point, I have to take some positives from what has happened so far this year. Though it needs a lot of work, the first draft of a novel is completed and there have been bylines both online and in print, which is a foundation to build on. The next quandry will be about turning down freelance picture research work as the redundancy cash has all but run out. I've learnt a lot from working with people at good titles like Marie Claire, the South London Press and Look magazine but I can't help thinking that I could have done things differently (and better). That you have to make mistakes in order to learn is some solace. I'm doing the thing that I always wanted to do but never got around to and when I'm doing it, I find it exciting, which is pretty much all I ever wanted out of a job. Now all I have to do is get paid for it.