Monday, July 9, 2007

Complete New Beginning

I'm sitting in front of my computer this morning, thinking I should probably get some work done. Except, I'm not in the office. I'm at home in my living room. Yes I finally did it. I left my job and career in accounting to become a writer. I had handed in my notice a few weeks ago, but the enormity of what I was getting myself into didn't sink in at the time. Now I have been without the secure structure of a 9 - 5 job for a week, and it's finally beginning to sink in! It's exciting but very scary. I realise that success in my career depends completely on me now, so I had better deliver. It's scary also because the security of the monthly paycheck is gone. I'm so blessed to have hubby and my family there to support me while I find my feet. Otherwise it would have been a much bigger risk to take.
I was going to put up this post last weekend, but I came down with a flu. Perfect timing, I didn't have to go to the office anymore so I could stay at home for five days fighting the flu virus - a parting present from the City of London. I had made plans to launch into my new career with so much vigour, instead I was coughing and sneezing and feeling sorry for myself. So last week didn't exactly go as planned. On Thursday, I started feeling much better so I finally ventured out of my house. And I realised that I was now free. Free from the straight-jacket of the corporate world. Free from working myself hard to meet another person's targets. Free from the monotony of the j-o-b. Free from office politics and power struggles. I came up with a list of things I won't miss about my former career path, and some thing I would miss.

What I now miss:
1) The regular paycheck, knowing I would get paid as long as I was in the office that month
2) The funny banter of my colleagues, their jokes and grumbling.
3) My former boss, she's a really lovely person, so warm and kind.
4) Meeting up with my friend in St Pauls for lunch. On nice days we used to go to the cathedral gardens and sit on the benches gisting our lunch hour away.
5) Exchanging emails with my friend, planning our weekends and meetings after work
6) My morning newspaper - free Metro!
7) My evening newspapers - free London Lite and thelondonpaper
8) The Krispy Kreme shop just outside the station where I used to work
9) The whole London vibe, you just feel like you are in touch with what's happening

What I most def don't miss:
1) Waking up in the morning to the annoying ringing alarm at 6.00am
2) Running to the train station in uncomfortable "office" shoes
3) Getting the train and having to stand all the way into Central London - just awful
4) Sharing a carriage with people coughing sneezing and spreading their germs
5) Getting to work already tired before the day has even begun
6) Having a limited lunch time break
7) Getting back home in the evening absolutely tired
8) Paying one-third of my salary to the railway company for the dodgy service
9) Tied down to spending that rigid block of my time in the office
10) Spending most of my Saturday cleaning and cooking because I haven't had time during the week.
(There's more but I'll leave it as that for now)

In the light of this new path I'm now on, I've been looking for networking opportunities and events. Yesterday afternoon, I attended the London Literature Festival at the South Bank Centre. It's a series of literary events spread out over two weeks but yesterday's event was dedicated to African writers. The first part was specifically about three Nigerian writers: Biyi Bandele, Helen Oyeyemi and Helon Habila. All three of them read from their books and discussed their work. They were interviewed and we were able to ask questions and stuff like that. It was cool. The second event was the Caine Prize 2007 Readings, where the African writers shortlisted for the Caine Prize came up to read their works and were interviewed by Zena Saro-Wiwa. Some of the works read were so inspiring and intriguing. I have three books on my mind that I'm definitely going to buy. The Caine Prize winner will be announced later today.
I met two Nigerian girls there and after the first session, we talked and went off to have a chat over drinks. One of them is a fashion journalist, and they are both writers so it was good talking to them. We had fun talking about works we had read, analysing different styles of writing, Nollywood movies and so on. After the events, we swapped details and I intend to keep in touch with them. I told them I was a blogger and gave them my other blog address so they might read this (hi girls!) In the meantime, it felt so good to be among like-minded people. That just inspired me. I've got ideas for my book now so I feel more confident about becoming a writer.
I still have one or two things to work out though. The options and opportunities are so vast, it is a bit overwhelming. I'm thinking I might take up some freelance work because I want to build up a portfolio of written published work. I want to look into writing articles for magazines and stuff like that. I could do also some short stories before attempting a full-length novel, and I might look into writing for children. In any case, there are so many opportunities, and at the moment I'm taking one step at a time and seeing where each step will take me to in future.

For now I'm off to start my day. I'm going to register for a creative writing course to help me brush up my skills and develop my ideas further. And then I'm meeting up with my friend that I haven't seen in the flesh since 1998 or is it 1997. Thank God for hi5 and Facebook that helped us to keep in touch again.

I'll be back...

25 comments:

  1. U go girl

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  2. Good luck. It feels exciting when you are venturing into something new and a bit scared to when you are leaving your comfort zone. I can see you are determined and i believe things will definitely work out for you. Good luck babe!

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  3. All the best miss lady.

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  4. Your determination and faith in God will surely see you through. Tho it may be kinda rough for starters.

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  5. wow!it must be scary leaving what u know for d unknown!but surely God will guide you!with parayer and hardwork and DETERMINATION you will make it!keep trying d sky is ur limit!i will surely be taking that step in d nearest future!i have a passion for something,i do it well ,pple commend me all d time..but i am so scared of diving into it full time!but now i know i can do it!i am going to start planning now!good luck girl...hope u will remeberber pink-satin when i am in line at one of ur book signing!!

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  6. Even though I dont know u physcially I am proud of you :)

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  7. Damn, that is a big risk. Girl, am proud of you. I hope you acheive your goal in writing. But girl, you might have to find a small job to help hubby. One person in yankee, london caring for you is hard. I feel you should have kept one job in hand and write part-time. God has a purpose for everything. l wish you best of luck in your new endevour. Anything is possible if you believe. Follow you heart. It is well.

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  8. wow... I may follow in your footsteps soon... so i will be watching this space!!!

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  9. You know Him. He doesnt lie. So, wait and trust. There is a path across.

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  10. ok, wow, i'm inspired and like aloted said, though i don't know you personally, i am proud of you. I read your blog and i am kinda reminded of me, you have made the decision to leave your job, i'm in the process of doing that and also facing my writing, scared, a bit yes because it is waters i have not entered before, anyway if you don't mind would like to make your acquaintance...

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  11. Now, that's the Spirit, YOU can do all things with God by your side. Also it takes a whole lot of determination, courage, openness of mind and a very strong will.

    There'll definitely be times you'll think you've made the BIGGEST mistake of your life by quitting your job. But, those will be fleeting considering the enormous opportunities that now stare right at you. The trick is in your ability to recognize the leap the jump.

    I should know cos I DID SAME and today i'm happier for it, and definitely making MORE money and peace of mind.

    All the best!

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  12. @didi: Thank you so much.

    @Londonnaijachic: Thank you! Like you said, it's very scary! But I'm ready for it.

    @Rinsola: Thank you v much.

    @Temmytayo: Thank you. I'm relying on God's strength to see me through - amen!

    @Pink-Satin: You said it- the only thing that was stopping me before was the fear of the unknown. It takes courage, but I know that with hard work and God on my side, I can't fail. Same goes for you girl- let go of the fear and follow your passion! And you will definitely succeed. LOL @ book signing. I hope you'll be there for real!

    @Mimi: Thanks girl, there's some *coded gist* I'll talk to you later!

    @Aloted: Awww thanks girl! Much love...

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  13. @Yankeenaijachic: I know it's a big risk, but I had to take that chance or I'll never know if it was possible! I tried the part-time route and it didn'y work for me, so I decided to take this option for now. Hubby is more than happy to support me, so it's fine.

    @Diamondhawk: LOL! I'll be happy to help. But I would say, girl don't wait, start as soon as you can.

    @Babsbeta: Thanks. It's been a long time coming, almost a year. I'm taking it one step at a time. And trusting God all the way.

    @Writefreak: Thanks girl, you remind me of me too! I feel the same way about going into uncharted waters. I certainly don't mind having a like-minded friend at the same stage as I am now. I'll send you an email.

    @Ugo Daniels: Thank you. that's so encouraging!

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  14. I read your blog a lot but rarely comment however I just had to do so this time.........you are freaking amazing! I wish you all the best with your writing and with your dreams. It really shouldn't be difficult to follow your dreams but the reality of it is that so many things get in the way and it becomes difficult to do so. Your taking the plunge is most certainly an inspiration to me and obviously to many others. God bless you and your very supportive husband!

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  15. Congratulations to you.

    You have taken the step and God will do the rest. He will continue to orchestrate your steps as He acccomplishes what He has ordained for your life.

    A great thing about this is that you have a husband that supports your dreams. That is priceless. God will bless him.

    I pray for strength, fortitude and assurance during the hard times. God will see you through. He is in control. To us humans, it might look like taking a risk; but to a sovereign God, it is all under control and providence.

    All the best to you and have a great week.

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  16. Good luck on ur new career and pray everything works out for u.

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  17. Glad u are betta now...sometimes we get scared about the decisions we make...if we made the right one but don't worry it will only get betta. You have taken that leap of faith and God will be there to see you through it all.

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  18. ...........just sending some love.

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  19. Hello FG. I say go for it. You will have days when you wished you had all the time in the world to write all that is in your heart and there will be days when you wished you hadn't announced to the world that you quit your job to be a 'writer.'

    Writing is not easy. I speak as a published writer. It's a lot like sweating blood and a lot of the time, it's intuitive but at the end of the day, you can't do anything but write because that is all you can - and want - to do.

    Go for it and God bless. I'll be watching and cheering you on from you on from the sidelines.

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  20. WOW... what a decision to take! I hope you are a helluva success girl...I wish you all the best! Have a nice weekend!

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  21. oh wow! i am still waiting to take the plunge. kudos for your courage and best of luck on your new journey into becoming a best-selling author!

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  22. LondonBuki1:40 PM

    I wish you all the best... keep us updated ok?

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  23. WOW...thats awesome I wish you al the best. I am going into a career in Accounting but I already know I dont like it...but I am good at it though. how does that work? I have 'other' dreams..but one step at a time, right?

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  24. I'm only just reading this ... this is an extremely brave move and I'm sure it will work out perfectly for you. It's great that you're doing something that a lot of people simply talk about.

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