Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Starting the next chapter

A month has passed since I was gainfully employed and I have been resolute in finding ways to give my life the purpose I feel it has been lacking.  My primary challenge has been to investigate how I can earn money doing something meaningful, balanced with having sufficient time to dedicate to my writing.  I am proud to say that despite reaching rock bottom shortly before leaving my job, I have quickly managed to pick myself up and start working towards my path to contentment.

I have applied for a place on the Trinity CertTESOL course to train to teach English as a second language and have been accepted on January's course.  The first step to attaining a salary to fund the writing, which should hopefully simultaneously provide me with a renewed sense of meaning.  I am also starting to volunteer at one of the YWCA kindergarten's one morning each week from next week, where I will read stories in English, to children aged between two to six.  While this fills me with slight trepidation, it will give me my first taste of dealing with very young Cantonese school children.  The Faith Hope Nursery School is on the Lower Wong Tai Sin Estate in Kowloon and should expose me to some of the less affluent inhabitants of Hong Kong - a side of Hong Kong I have been disconnected from since arriving here.

One of the things I love the most about Hong Kong is that if you are passionate about committing to something, there will undoubtedly be a networking group or club you can join to advance your passion.  In the past month I have become a member of WIPS (Women in Publishing) and submitted my first short story which will be published in the next couple of months in Imprint - WIPS' annual anthology of members' work.  This will be the first time a piece of my work has ever been published and I can't wait to finally see my words in print.

I have attended one of the events organised by WIPS about finding a literary agent.  I returned feeling slightly despondent that the path to being published is clearly going to be far harder than I ever hoped.  It has encouraged me to find out more about self-publishing and I am attending a further WIPS event in November about creating eBooks.  Unprompted, my lovely cousin, Patrick Fidgen, also sent me a lengthy email about the ins and outs of self-publishing which is also a useful start point for a complete novice like me.

Finally, tonight, for the first time, I have met up with a group of Hong Kong based writers who get together every Tuesday night in a coffee shop in Central to write.  I have quickly discovered that writing can be a fairly isolating activity.  However, somehow, sitting in a bustling cafe with a small group of people also trying to craft their own short stories, novels or screen-plays, is strangely sociable. Even if you are barely engaging in more than a few minutes of conversation, before returning to your computer screen, it is comforting to be in other people's company.  Tonight's meet-up has opened the door to further creative writing groups and introduced me to 'NaNoWriMo' - National Novel Writing Month - where writers are challenged to write 50,000 words of their novels during November.  A challenge I am considering taking up.

I am really pleased with the progress I have made in the last month and feel excited about what I could achieve over the next year on my new journey, if I can accomplish so much in 30 days.  For the first time in a long time I feel energised, motivated and positive and it feels fantastic.

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