Last week, I finished working at my regular online writing gig.
The word “finished” misses the point somewhat, because I burnt out: a novel and thoroughly unpleasant experience in my budding writing career. (So that’s what it’s like). I’ll return to freelance blogging sometime soon, but it’ll be one-off jobs, easing back into the work here and there. I’ve got some bad habits to iron out before I get back into the fast lane. The way I’m always bloody well mixing metaphors, for example.
It’s been a huge honour to work with everyone at EcoSalon. They’re a deeply talented bunch, led by an editor whose creativity, professionalism and vision have propelled the site to dizzying heights. It’s been a pleasure to hang on, and the view has been truly incredible. And realising I had to let go was hard.
From my first post to my last, it’s been a career-changing experience. It’s also poked me off the fence in a number of interesting ways. For example, I’m now:
- Deeply interested in the implications of a world of cranks and stairs.
- A lover of the evil, beautiful bean-juice of wakefulness, but not so much of the way it’s carted around.
- Someone who admits he lays in the garden some nights.
- Someone who obsesses about notebooks but has all sorts of problems with paper and how it’s made.
- Deeply aware of the mess urban tumbleweed makes of our world.
- A born-again glasshead – recycled by us or by the sea.
- Someone who welcomes the dark for many reasons.
- Someone who is ashamed yet proud of this headline.
- Still terrified of the power of the Pentland Firth (which I’ll be crossing again this July).
- A chunkee (that’s “chocolate” + “junkee”).
- Vocal on the subject of PETA. PETA? Don’t get me started. No, really.
- A fan of weird science…
- …and of the 21st Century home.
Hundreds of articles. And a different me at the end of them.
I know what I’m meant to be writing. My instincts are strong on this point. Every single piece of my work that I’ve had the shameless affrontery to fall in love with has been some kind of story. My best stories are my misadventures. They’re about how I fought the world, and the world won. They’re shamelessly subjective. That’s what good travel-writing is, for me: a perspective on life that is deeply personal even when it’s at its most factual. It’s an informed, engaging invention of the Now, just like archaeology and history are rigorously constructed inventions of the Then.
In short, it’s a story. And I want to tell stories. It’s the voice inside me, and the voice that calls from just over the next hill.
Time to listen again.