Since I wrote the article Being in the Present and because of it I have been able to make changes to my attitude to life. As a result of those insights I have changed my focus and I am no longer hankering after my old life and especially not my old career. Although I miss the income I do not want to go back; it is time for a change. Letting go of the past was a useful lesson from Choosing to Be.
Writing for M-dash and Suite101 has reignited my love of language and words. Other work is now getting in the way of my writing and I am in the process of relaunching my writing and photography career. It has taken time as I have had to find a focus for this new direction. I have always loved ideas, creativity and the pursuit of knowledge so I have had a broad, potentially unfocussed, spectrum of interests on which to draw.
However, I have been clear for some time about some key requirements. I want to be time and location independent. After years of living away from home and working long hours to meet client’s needs I want to be able to go where I want, when I want. I want Alison and I to be free to gently explore and eat our way around the world, especially Europe. In many ways Tim Ferris’ book, 4-hour Work Week, coincided with some of my latent ideas. My struggle was to find a way of earning enough money without sacrificing the independence to make the desired lifestyle possible.
Before I embarked on my professional career I was a full time sports photographer and occasional writer. Even during my high-level career I managed to write three books and occasional articles. So I have been able to make a living as a writer and photographer in the past. Unlike many aspiring writers and photographers I know what it takes and through my professional background I have stayed in touch with the changes taking place in the media world. Most importantly my expectations are modest and I am prepared for the reality of building a writing and photography career. Indeed, in frustration at the attitude of many “wannabe” writers and photographers I wrote a couple pieces on what it means to be a professional writer or to treat photography as a business. I am prepared for the commitment and hard work that my new venture will need.
As regular readers of M-dash will have seen I have been busy republishing my Suite101 archive, that has been worthwhile as they are getting better readership here than on Suite101, in part due to the Google “Panda” search changes. I have also launched a new niche travel web site The Winding Way which is aimed at those free spirited and independently minded folk who aspire to be travellers rather than tourists. It is a vehicle to make use of my own travelling. I am pleased to say that it had as good a first week as I could have hoped for considering how little content it had. Now the hard work starts as I now need to keep the content flowing.
But I must not neglect my other writing as I will need to be well diversified if my new career is to be viable. I will continue to write for M-dash and probably move it more towards the “Miscellany Magazine” of the title. It will be a vehicle for all those interesting snippets that do not fit elsewhere.
I will not be wasting my professional experience so will use the Solidus web site for writing on business and writing matters. The aim will be to provide creative thinking and approaches to business and management, especially project and programme management. Hopefully it will develop a reputation for leading thought in the fields and provide occasional opportunities for speaking and mentoring assignments. Time will tell.
Finally, by working full time at my writing and photography I will be able to give my photolibrary site the attention it deserves. That will be important as it will provide the illustrations for the other sites. In return, I will need to provide a bit more writing to help bring it alive and make it worth visiting for more than just sourcing images. It probably needs a makeover but that can wait until the dark winter evenings.
At last, I have a new direction. All I need to do is make it happen, I am working on that, and you will be able to follow progress here and on my other sites. I hope you, the reader, will be able to come with me on this exciting new journey and help by spreading the word, sharing ideas and, most importantly, providing encouragement by simply reading my efforts.
Please do share your thoughts by commenting on this or any other article. It is only through such feedback that I can meet your needs. I will read them all.