Weeks 5-8

As the title of this post would suggest, things have been a bit slack at my end over the past few weeks. There’s a massive gap that now needs filling and all the continuity that I once had has pretty much gone to shit. This is simply due to the fact that I took a little holiday and whilst I did anticipate that writing opportunities would be rather sporadic, I didn’t realise how few and far between they would actually be.

I realise that taking a break at this early stage might not be the most ideal scenario. However, my family were visiting and as I hadn’t seen them in two years, I wanted to lap up as much time with them as is possible – perfectly justifiable, if you ask me.

So, the holiday was cracking. We embarked on a road-trip to Sydney, and then took in some stunning beaches on Australia’s south east coast. Although my girlfriend and I have visited these areas previously, it was well worth retracing our steps just to fall in love with this magnificent country again.

By living in a city centre, you seem to miss the real essence of the land. Now, that’s not to say that I don’t enjoy Melbourne – it’s a fantastic place and will now always be my second home – but as with any bustling metropolis, the city isn’t a true representation of its nation. It’s really more of its own entity, much like London and England.

Anyway, I’m shit-chatting. Back to business.

Whilst the past few weeks have been generally unproductive on the writing front, it’s not all been doom and gloom: I completed my assignment for the national betting company and received a PayPal transfer for $700 – my first significant pay-packet; I wrote an article to pitch to the travel editor at the Guardian that was unfortunately declined, but it was a fantastic learning curve non-the-less and gave me a good insight into the world I’m seeking to enter; I also brought one further paid client on board who is in the financial industry and has asked for website content.

That pretty much brings us up to the start of this week, when I returned to Melbourne and began to run through the usual post-holiday motions. It started with a brief spell of denial followed by full acceptance of the circumstance soon after. Once I had my organising head securely fitted, I then compiled and prioritised a mental list of tasks, including drawing up an aggressive fitness regime to shift the excess weight gained in the past fortnight or so. Reluctantly undertaking those duties was the final phase on returning to reality.

If I remember correctly, picking up on the writing slotted somewhere in-between searching for a new full-time job – my current contract actually ends today – and the thorough cleaning of my apartment. Although despite all the good intentions, deep down I knew it was to be a slow resurgence.

However, as the week comes to an end, I do feel as though I’m finally making headway across the park. Granted, I’ve not been able to devote as much time to writing as I would have liked, but I’ve made headway on the finance website content and there have been some exciting developments with a friend who has set up a social network solutions company. Although, it’s still in the early stages, so I’ll report back more on that next week.

Elsewhere, there’s some repeat business from a previous client that I’ll also be picking up next week and I’m seeking alternative publications for my travel article pitch too.

My application to contribute to an online recipe website was accepted. Whilst I appreciate that this may seem rather odd, I can assure you that there is an element of sense in there. You see, my girlfriend and I fancy ourselves as half-decent cooks, so it could be a decent little earner for not much effort – we’d simply be detailing our usual creations.

Finally, there’s my football blog, South Stand Grumps, which will be resumed this weekend too. As we were on the road, I was unable to keep totally up-to-date with the goings on in England, an absolute nightmare for any normal fan, let alone a chap trying to document his thoughts and opinions. Above all, I think I’m just mostly excited about watching a live game for the first time in three weeks.

The only current concerning matter is on the cash-flow front. As I’ve mentioned, I’m precariously close to being unemployed with nothing concrete lined up. Now, I’m not ready to write in a full-time capacity just yet, so my attention may therefore have to be divided. I’ll need to learn how to effectively juggle writing with job hunting, which might seem easy, but it could also be my biggest challenge to date.


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