THE WRITER’S LIFE
I’ve sectioned myself. That is to say, I’ve successfully compartmentalised my brain into my constituent personalities. There are three things I’ve learned to like about what goes on inside my head: My mind. Talking to oneself is perhaps a sign of madness. It may be true that there’s a fine line between genius and insanity. My IQ has been measured at 147, so go figure.
I figured out that what was holding me back was the merging of a passion into a profession. I love to write; to create. It’s become clear that I can make money from something I’m good at. Writing has been my life for a while now and although I enjoyed the freelance stuff, I needed a separator between work and pleasure writing. That said, the paid stuff is great fun when it’s so varied.
As a freelancer, I get to choose what I take on from the various agencies and my main regular client is certainly fun to work with. They’re a media company in Eastern Europe and they have a constant need for blog entries and articles for their own clients. Just today I’ve written copy about mobile phones in the near future; and Facebook / cafe culture. The work is varied, interesting and fun. I get to choose how much I do, when I do it and how long for. With this particular client, I can message them through an app and let them know my availability for the next day, then arrive at my desk in the morning and have work waiting. With a coffee and doughnut next to the laptop, I’m a contented writer. If I have the odd bit of time to spare, I can fire off a message and get an assignment by return. And it pays.
It took a while for me to accept that I’m a writer, simply because it’s what I’ve always wanted to be, now that I know. It just took some time to work that out. I had to have arrived at the point I did where I had nothing, in order to be able to start from scratch: That’s my life, summed up. The biggest personal hurdle though, was realising that I’m good at what I do, because it’s all happened relatively suddenly. But having won prizes, been published and now working as a writer for hire and gaining business, I feel fully qualified to introduce myself as what I am: A professional writer.
I can’t share any of the writing I do for my clients because I’m contractually forbidden: I’m paid to write for them and what’s published is what “they” wrote. With permission from individual clients though, I can use pieces from my growing portfolio to send to other prospective clients and demonstrate what I do. I really am in business and I love it.
My pseudonym ghost writer (me) is about 1000 words into the next short story to be published under my name, with a final working title of “Cardboard sky”:
…Like mankind, George could only imagine. He could only wonder at the sky, or lie in bed and dream of what was beyond the ceiling. Humans travelling to other stars was one lifetime away. It was only a matter of generations before the dream could be anyone’s reality. George wanted to be anyone…
For the second time in as many years, last week I proved to a judge that my mental health adversely affects my life. Thus I am recognised as being disabled, through alcohol dependence, PTSD, depression and anxiety, and entitled to the relevant benefit payments. So although the plastic police will never leave it, that’s the end of the conversation as far as I’m concerned.
The system may section me one day but for now, it pays the bills and allows me to earn a little with the therapy of prose, narrative and making dreams come true.