Dilemmas and Dead Ends

Of late, I’ve been dipping my feet a little into the Editing end of things.

Yes. Editing with a capital E. Heh.

I’m mostly a writer, but given how I’ve been working in an editorial environment for a good few years, I believe I have gleaned enough relevant wisdom to take on some small editing projects.

So I have mustered some courage and had a go at the smattering of editing roles that have landed in my lap in recent times. Can’t 100% say that I’ve always handled them well, but I do think that I gave each of them my best shot.

What I’m here to talk about, actually, is a terribly upsetting predicament that unfortunately seems to be a recurring theme in my editorial dealings.

You might wonder what exactly I’m going on and on about, my dear Reader.

Well, it’s simply this: So many people out there seem to be unwilling to pay a decent fee for editing services. Well, writing services too. Probably just any form of editorial services, I guess.

Now, I know I need to tread a bit carefully here as I discuss this topic.

Generally, I don’t like to talk about my paid writing gigs because I don’t think it’s particularly professional to quote experiences I have with clients (or potential ones). However, I’d like to say a little bit of something here because I think it’s a point worth bringing up.

With no mention of specific names or incidents… dear Reader, please tell me…

How is it you can spend thousands on a single inanimate object (like a smartphone, for example) and yet stinge so much on remunerating your (quite literally) poor writer/editor?

A smartphone costs thousands because so much effort went into sourcing and assembling all those tiny electronic components that, when put together, can work magic and mysteriously connect you to the rest of the universe as found on the World Wide Web.

Well, now. Let’s take a moment to consider this, shall we?

Just as much effort goes into sorting out your words from your sentences, rearranging your sentences into intelligible paragraphs, and building your paragraphs into a compelling story.

In fact, I think it’s highly probable that there are so many more words in your manuscript that require processing than the number of parts that you find in your average digital device.

But it’s alright, I suppose. Go invest your resources into those items that quickly depreciate over time.

Words written have the potential to be immortalised. To earn you a far reaching good reputation that might result in the wise things you said being quoted for generations to come.

Oh, but you don’t care, do you, my dear Reader? Forgive my sarcasm. Perhaps it’s just a temporary bad season for me.

Well, anyway, in case you might have been wondering about the title of this post…

Here’s the dilemma: Should fees that I’ve quoted for above mentioned editing tasks be lowered for the sake of accommodating the (somewhat unreasonable) demands of potential clients? Or should I let dead ends run their course since it’s good to do your work with dignity and to be paid what you’re worth?

Hmm.

Let me know what you think. Although I can wager a guess already as it is.

Reminisce

Back when I was a new Mum, I started a blog with a friend about our early days in motherhood. It was great, but sadly, it didn’t last for very long.

I’ve often thought of reviving it since having my second son, but have been delaying it because the site does kind of need some kind of sprucing up, and just as with every other project I hope to embark on, I am always hoping to devote enough time till I am satisfied with the result before making it public/known.

But aargh. Will it ever happen? Or will it be like almost every other motherhood related project I’ve ever dreamed up: Never executed, only to have my child grow up. Pfft.

I intended to recruit a bigger pool of writers this time, and to maybe extend the content contribution to go beyond just writing to maybe even art forms or any other kind of expression that can properly encapsulate the journey of motherhood.

So far, I’ve only mentioned these intentions to the original friend whom I started the blog with and another Mum friend. Heh. I wonder will I be creating unnecessary expectations that I can’t meet. I seem to be always doing that.

Anyway, it was kind of quaint to revisit those old blog posts and to briefly remember what it was like in Jamie’s first year of life. Oh how well I wrote back then. How I pen words these days seems to be but a shadow of my past writer self.

I can’t stay for long at the moment (isn’t that always the case nowadays?) but I’m glad I popped in.

Dear reader, I hope you are well. I certainly haven’t blogged as frequently as I had hoped (again, normal behaviour by my standards, isn’t it?) but I hope you’re still hanging on every word. Rest assured that whenever I am not posting something here I am actually endlessly thinking of what is worth writing about here. But self censorship prevails way too often, unfortunately.

Well, the morning’s coming so I’ll catch you later.

Spaces

There’s a lull in work currently. But I don’t think it’s good to lose whatever little writing rhythm I might still have in me. So here I am.

How have you been, dear Reader? Has the world been kinder to you in recent times?

Understandably, this year has been bleak in so many ways due to the whole Covid-19 drama. And it has yet to reach a satisfactory conclusion for the most part. In fact, most of our lives have been deeply impacted in ways maybe most of us don’t really wish to dwell too much on.

But these are just circumstances. The external layers, the things that envelope us, but should not define us.

What makes us who we truly are is what goes on inside us.

What has been bubbling within you lately? Do you still dream? What do you hang on to?

I must admit, in these recent years, I have not been left with much to hold on to.

Yes, family is an anchor, and God is always, always there. But there are times that I do wonder if I have enough with me to keep me going to the end of my days.

Will I be at peace with the version of me that I find as I draw my last breath?

Then again, nowadays there is so much to keep me busy that perhaps I shall not have time to think and reflect too much. Maybe that is good to avoid overthinking, which is something I am almost constantly doing throughout my life.

It feels strange to be writing to you right now, honestly. Like it’s a lost part of me. In fact, it’s almost like I cannot identify this blog as mine. Did I really write all those past posts?

I hope you are well, dear Reader. I shall do my best to write to you more often. This is a resolve I usually break the moment I finish writing a blog post, so I will not promise you anything further than this. I only hope to return soonest with more tales to regale you with.

I don’t lead that brilliant a life, I’m sorry to inform you. But I do have lots of thoughts floating about, and imagination and wistfulness, so hopefully it’s sufficient to keep you around.

I’ll see you again soon.

Words

I think I was born into the wrong era.

Society today prefers visuals over words. But for me, it has always been the other way around.

Perhaps if I lived back when letters, chariots and chivalry were the order of the day, I would have thrived more than I have in this lifetime.

Rather than merely garnering likes or comments on the webpages or social media accounts of my clients, maybe my words could have been used to persuade kings, to romance dark and mysterious strangers, or to convey the knowledge of mystical arts to hungry minds in remote corners of the unknown world.

Instead of being drowned in a sea of mindlessly shared videos out in the World Wide Web, perhaps my words could have sailed the seven seas and reached readers who would lap up every word in genuine eagerness. And there would be a chance they would even write me back, begging for more prosaic morsels.

But alas, I must concede to the ways of this generation.

Without an image to accompany this post, I will diminish the chances of anyone even bothering to read beyond the first sentence I have crafted.

Yet you might be that very slim exception, dear Reader. Here you are, after all.

Thank you for still reading.

Out

It’s April and I’m out of work.

Or at least that’s how it seems right now as I was more or less dismissed with an “I’ll get back to you later, I’m working on something” response from the client.

My guess is nobody would want to pay a freelancer like me at this time since finances may be tightening and the prospects for future business income may seem pretty bleak at this point.

Ah well. It’s not the first time that I have been without work since I began this full time freelance venture. It’s just that I can’t recall when this last happened, or how long it lasted (usually not long).

Anyway, it’s not good to leave my writing muscles unflexed throughout this period of work inactivity, so I guess the best way to stay in shape (mentally, I mean, mostly) is to find outlets where I can continue to write in some form or another.

I’ve been contemplating starting a social media mini series. I haven’t completely decided what it will be about yet, but I’m thinking something with positive vibes or a theme of hope would be good since there is so much fear and rumour mongering and depressing news going around lately with Covid-19 still in circulation.

Another thing I’ve sort of halfheartedly done (because in the past I usually fail at it) is sign up for the April Camp Nano. I couldn’t decide what to write about there, so tentatively I’m designating it as a collection of short stories, which I will write at random. Unless of course, some sort of direction or theme emerges along the way.

Meanwhile, life at home carries on in its usual fashion.

Today is just slightly out of the norm only in the sense that both hubs and I are already awake at 6+ in the morning (it’s usually only me) and there is activity in the kitchen already. Oh, and the Eldest One was awake out of the blue too (but hopefully, drifting back to sleep soon).

A grocery run may be imminent, and I do not look forward to finding out what is left or what dire straits we may actually be in soon. Sigh.

I’ve told myself I should write something here other than always journalling about real life. But I can’t seem to grasp any useful topic at the moment. I shall try next round, my dear Reader.

May your day today be brighter than the former, and may rays of hope shine amidst the darkness of your little corner.