Sunday, November 6

Nobody but me

(Giving the mental cupboard a much-needed airing)

Due to certain happenings over the last month, I have been giving serious thought to doing that typical quarter life thing - writing freelance. Yes, I'm quite a way past the quarter century mark. No, I did not have an epiphany of titanic proportions as I sat, frustrated and disillusioned at my desk. Yes, I have mostly sat frustrated and disillusioned at my desk, but as a vendor, can readily assign blame on the psycho Indian client mentality factor.

I will not lie and say that the timing feels right to do this. If anything, whenever I think about quitting and going freelance for a while, I feel a peculiar crushing sensation in my chest and oodles of panic thrashing around the noggin. I obsess about whether it would be the right professional move. Whether it is a good move, personally. Of course I have no way to answer either correctly or in a way that would appease the frightened figurative chicken doing a vigorous rumba in my tummy (no, this is not a reference to indigestion). I ask if is this the right time in life to give up the comfort of a safe, corporate job & a steady pay cheque to jump into the unknown, uncertain, 'no holds barred' jungle of the freelance writer?

And there are the two questions I dread most of all but have absolutely no way of answering.

1. Am I a good enough writer?
2. Will I succeed?

No, these are not fully correlated, although it would help if the answer to the first one was 'Yes'.

They call it risk, because you stand to lose something. Eventually, you understand that every decision carries risk, but some risks are higher than others. For a guy brought up immersed in a culture of 'tried, tested, trusted' and taking the road more travelled, doing this is crazy and irresponsible. Thankfully I don't have any financial commitments (read, the family have worked and invested wisely and stolidly) and no personal ones either (read socially void). Doing what feels crazy and irresponsible brings its own load of guilt, an emotion I'm intimately familiar with. Ideally, this should be an individual decision, with costs and consequences being borne by me alone.Unfortunately, this one will bring its share of angst, stress and various other unsavoury parcels of baggage that are familiar in our Indian family settings.

Lord help us! The baggage.

Look, I'm not one of those impulsive blokes who spews pseudo-inspirational gyaan about just one life to live, packs bags and heads off for the hills without considering the result of my actions. Maybe one should be, but old habits die hard and some traits never let go. So, any grey hairs the folks have are strictly due to age.

My professor at UAB told me to trust my gut when making decisions. That paid off in spades before. I've tried to channel the same philosophy when considering the present situation and am drawing a solid blank, which scares me even more.

So, where are we right now? I have a few job offers, but they are of the corporate communication variety... very little creativity or communication, very mucho corporate shenanigans, events, networking and such. Not my cup of tea. Which is why the freelance idea has cleared its throat and tentatively put up its hand.

I have to make a decision sometime soon. When the time comes, I know there is no way I will be ready to but don't know whether things will work out for the best.

Uncertainty is a bitch.   

Song for the moment: Twisted Nerve - Bernard Hermann

P.S: Anyone looking to hire a decentish writer? Please to be letting me know.     

4 comments:

Gobri said...

1. I believe you are better than good enough.
2. Only time will tell.

Uncertainty is the refuge of hope.

G said...

@ Gobri - :) Thank you for the more than generous vote on the first one; I know and agree about the 2nd. Just have to build up enough gumption about it.

Hope shall not be discussed without a mug of beer to fortify, at least.

Gaizabonts said...

Uncertainty is bitch, but she is damn sexy! :)

G said...

@ Gaizabonts - Well, I'm getting no kind of sexy anyway, so I may actually settle for this one :)