2013 was an interesting year for me.
I quit my job of 9 years and took the leap into a new career as a self employed writer and it felt great. I had control of my life and my time and I’d left behind the IT career that I’d grown really tired of.
My year was spent working on as many different projects as I could and tried to find that thing where I could say, “THIS is what I want to do with my life.”
Did I find it?
A Quick Review of 2013
I spent my year writing for clients, whether that was blogging, ghost writing or copywriting. I managed to have my own name attached to a few articles here and there which was really fun and I started pushing myself out of my comfort zone whenever I could.
I spent a lot of time writing about technology last year because it seemed like the easiest transition from the IT career. I can’t say I enjoyed it, but it helped pay the bills so I stuck with it. It didn’t take too long for that to become a chore and something I lost interest in. I still write tho odd tech related article for clients, but not to the extent I was before which keeps it interesting for me.
What did surprise me was that half way through the year I started finding some interest in working with technology again. Not writing about it, but actually getting in there and and getting my hands dirty. So to scratch that itch I took a few consultancy gigs for corporate network reviews as well as some WordPress maintenance and support. I attribute that change to the IT burnout I had been experiencing for the last few years finally falling away. I actually enjoy working with technology again. These are strange times indeed.
The standout portions of my year were when I decided not to write for other people, but to write something for myself. I wrote screenplays and short films. I wrote short stories and the initial draft of a novel. I wrote about sport and had things published. I loved every minute of it and would lose myself for days at a time. None of it brought in any real money to pay the bills but I didn’t care. It was writing for myself because I wanted to do it rather than having to meet a deadline.
It wasn’t a year free of problems but I can say without doubt that it was one of the best years I’ve had in as long as I can remember. I have plans in motion to make 2014 even better because I finally have an idea of what I really want to do with my life.
My Three Words for 2014
Just like last year, I’ve reduced my plans for the year into three key words. These words can be used to define my mindset for the upcoming year rather than focusing on tasks to complete. I try think of them as the three foundation pillars my career and life are going to stand upon.
The most fun I had in my writing career last year was when I was creating screenplays and novels. Crafting a story that I enjoyed became addictive. Not only was it fun to do, it allowed me understand and appreciate my favourite novels and movies even more. It also really helped me grok how important using storytelling techniques in posts and articles to make them more interesting and engaging.
This year I’m going to be writing more screenplays, short films, and novels. I’m going to work on the ones I created last year for fun and try to have them published or made. Creating something of my own is going to be the biggest aspect of my life in 2014 and I am so excited about doing it.
I talk about sport all the time. I enjoy reading about sport and sharing my own opinions on any game or event there is. I sometimes go on a little too much about sport at times. I’ve decided to make use of all that energy and try build a pillar of my career around it.
I’ve spent the first few weeks of the year developing a few sport related projects: I have a website that I’ll be writing articles about sport and sporting events, there will be more on that very soon. I’ve become involved in a sporting project being run by a few friends that begins in a week or so and I’m looking to get involved in a something I can’t talk about yet, but it will cover this and the third word of 2014.
One of my words from last year was Adventure and I could have used that again this year. Instead I’m using Travel (though I interchange them in my head) because I have plans to see as much of the world as I possibly can in 2014. Last year the travelling and adventures were limited. I managed to do a few things but various commitments kept me in Edinburgh for most of the year.
As I mentioned before there is something that I can’t talk about that would involve sport and travel which is an amazing combination. If things work out I’ll be sharing it here as soon as I can. If it doesn’t work out the way I hoped I have a few ideas that will allow me to combine both of those things together in a different way.
Travel brings multiple benefits. Not only do you get to experience new places but it allows you to learn new things about the world and yourself. It gives you a perfect opportunity to enhance your skill set with a new language as well as develop your photography and cinematography skills. I love travelling and I can’t wait to do more of it this year.
CHN in 2014
One final but very important thing I aim to improve upon this year is my content here on CHN. I used the site as a place for clients to find me and because of that anything that I wrote was straight down the middle, beige and boring. Nothing had any real soul because I was writing to try to please everyone. That’s why there were an unusually small number of posts published last year. That is changing this year.
I’ll be writing about my adventures here, whether they are in creating a movie or short film, writing a book, travelling around the world, or my self improvement project I’m calling the “Levelling Up Project” where I learn new skills or dramatically improve the ones I have.
I’m saving CHN from the boring place it had become and re-injecting some life back into it. This site is going to showcase exactly who I am rather than playing the safe and useless path down the middle of the road. I really hope you stick around to enjoy what’s coming in 2014.
Image Credit: Artis Rams