I feel a bit reflective this evening. It seems that my beloved desk top is truly kaput unless I can find a specialist now to do something with it. We had a spell a couple of years ago when things started to not work like this and it proved to be a difficult rut to escape from. As if to confirm this we lost out on a great new apartment overnight and I’m sure the fact I’m self-employed isn’t helping to make us an attractive prospect as tenants. The sponsorship business is tough and my medical situation isn’t going to help much either. On top of that we need to resolve what’s to be done with our Italian home. Some big issues are staring to mount up. I need to re-appraise what I’m to do with my life.
I’d like to write. Hang on, I already write a lot – on this blog for one thing. I produce a 1000 words every couple of days and must have put down close to 750,000 of them since starting the Pasta Paulie blog. It’s something I’ve enjoyed doing enormously but the thing is are any of them any good because what I’d really like is to make a living from writing which is easier said than done. I tried with a digital publisher recently who seems to like my stuff a bit, to see if he’d consider me for a role as a regular columnist. I got a fairly swift rejection response. I also tried a local magazine who liked my approach and asked me to suggest some angles, I gave them half a dozen of what I thought were stonking ideas. Three months later I’m still waiting for a response (and I’ve chased them up). Umm.
Then I read a feature in the paper over the week-end about people who actually make a living from writing things online. One of the people is a woman who writes a regular blog about the things she observes around her, on the tv and in the news etc. It’s not a million miles from what I do but she’s making a career from it, regularly appearing on tv and radio for her opinions and insight. So she’s doing something right. I’ve checked out her site. I think she writes nicely but I can’t honestly say I find her inspirational or profound or funny or cutting. Her thing seems to be to air opinions and thoughts which are mild and gentle and I can’t help thinking what’s the appeal? And I’m not trying to write this whilst chewing on some sour grapes.
I had another look at my recent postings. I thought last night’s which was meant to be lightly amusing wasn’t very good. It was more sad than funny. The turkey one was bleak. Some of the other recent ones have been OK. But occasionally when I put my mind to it I think I can write stuff which is actually worth a 5 minute read. I get a bit of a reaction when I do some of the memorable moments stuff, particularly when I found myself in an embarrassing situation. My neighbour in Italy and good friend Fred seems to enjoy a story I’ve told him about the day an old work contact and I flew home from Dundee airport after a business trip. He’s suggested I should do a posting on it and I’ve been meaning to. I’ve written one or two of these embarrassing moments for the blog and it was the theme I suggested for the publisher. I started to tot up how many of these red-faced moments I can recall – I quickly got to over 50 and most of them I haven’t written about as yet. Unbelievable. It’s a lot of humiliation. But rather than blush, I’ve decided to get them written not for the blog but to create an e-book. If a publisher doesn’t want them, I’ll bloody self-publish. I’m going to have a bit of time on my hands so why not? Some of my family may fancy a copy. If it’s successful I’ll try it with other general themes from the blog.
I’ll keep Pasta Paulie going of course because it’s so much a part of me but It might have to evolve into a more focused set of pieces rather than its very random rants and musings as at present. I’ve also started a personal diary of stuff regarding my medical condition, hopefully to look back on at some point. And I intend to keep pestering publishers of all sorts especially the digital ones and magazines and print media for any opportunity to write for them, for a reasonable fee of course.
So watch out dear readers for:
a) a new approach to PP shortly with sharper writing I hope;
b) in the future, plenty of heart-tugging appeals to upload onto your Kindle or IPad your very own copy of my life’s many and most humiliating and often, funny, experiences.
c) similar appeals to follow about the memories of a marketing man, tv watcher, sports fan, family man, and a man who went in search of la dolce vita. He still hopes to find it one day.