Last Friday night I had dinner with a friend. We hadn’t seen each other for a quite a while, so we had a lot to catch up on. There have been a lot of changes in her life (all good). I had a few revelations to share, so we really took our time. We enjoyed a leisurely meal, punctuated with much conversation.
We worked together years ago, when I first moved to Toronto. Turned out she’s as cat crazy as I am; and we bonded over our feline friends. So it goes without saying we had to spend some time bringing each other up to date on our four-legged children. She’s renovating her condo, so we also talked a bit about that.
But she’s got a new man in her life. And I had a gazillion (slight exaggeration) questions.
When it was ‘my’ turn, all I wanted to talk about was my writing. Yeah, yeah, I know. “All work and no play makes Jane a dull girl”. What can I say? My writing is going exceptionally well (knock on wood). I’m excited. And wanted to share. She spent a few years writing a book (since abandoned), so she gets it.
Like I’ve said in a few other posts, I didn’t have a particular agenda when I started this blog, almost six months ago. One day I woke up and decided to challenge myself. To force myself to write each and every day. Topic to be determined. Each and every day. I had no idea what to expect.
Would I be up to it? Would I have the discipline to keep at it? Would I get stuck? Would I run out of ideas? Would it start to feel like ‘work’? Would it start to become a drag? Would I get bored? Would I be sorry I’d ever thought of doing it? Would I last? Would the blog?
It never occurred to me to wonder whether anyone in the blogosphere would like it. Read it. Keep reading it. I wasn’t being arrogant. At the time I’d simply considered it an exercise for myself. Something ‘neat’ to try.
What has happened has absolutely astounded me. And thrills me down to the ground.
To find folks like what I’m doing. Amazing. So much so, they give me awards. More amazing. To find WordPress curators like it enough to get Freshly Pressed. Beyond amazing. To find I like what I’m doing. Hallelujah. The satisfaction I get from sticking with it. From writing every day. To see how my writing’s improving. Evolving. It’s all just one big WOW!
The very best, though, is, this blog’s helping me ‘see’ a path to a dream I’ve had for a long time. It’s helping me find my truth.
Advertising has been very good to me. But it’s not what I want to do for the rest of my life. Never was. I have always wanted to do more ‘editorial’ writing. Over the years I have done a bit. Occasionally reporting on fashion for one of Montreal’s daily newspapers; and some fairly regular work for a couple of advertising trade publications.
But I’ve always hoped writing for magazines and newspapers would become my ‘second’ career.
You’d think it wouldn’t be that difficult. I’ve been writing for more than thirty years. Sadly, though, it means nothing. Journalism and advertising are two different worlds. Two entirely different ‘beasts’. Separation of church and state, and all that. So a successful career and tons of experience as a copywriter, means nothing to an editor. And now, because most publications are struggling financially, it’s even tougher to break into an industry where your experience is rather limited.
This blog, as it turns out, is more ‘journalistic’ in nature. Here, I express opinions. Share my observations. And thoughts. Here, I discuss issues I believe are important, not just to me, but hopefully to all of us. Here, I speak my mind.
This blog, and your reaction to it, tells me I can stop thinking of myself as simply a writer of ads. I’m a writer. And my dream can become my reality. I may not have known it at the time, but I now know why I started this blog.
To find my truth.
About two hours after I’d arrived home, I got an email from Debbie. This was all it said:
“Seek out that particular mental attribute which makes you feel most deeply and vitally alive, along with which comes the inner voice which says: This is the real me. And when you have found that attitude, follow it.” William James