I’m a lucky person. Not only have I enjoyed almost all of my work, I’ve also had wonderful things drop into my lap out of the blue.
It happened in January this year. The circumstances were tragic. But the outcome has been brilliant. I was asked to help out with a magazine while the editor was in hospital. I went to meet the people and, the very day I turned up, the editor died. As I say, tragic circumstances but it meant they needed an editor; quickly. And there I was.
Because it was a quarterly magazine, it meant I could slip the effort in between other work. And thus began an unexpected lifting of my spirits as I settled, once again, into the editor’s chair. (It soon became clear that I’d be slipping my other work in between pauses in the editorial work, but that was okay too.)
I love everything I do – writing for magazines and businesses, training people (mainly in media skills), rummaging around the technical highways and byways of the computer world and the web. But, most of all, I just love putting magazines and minibooks together. To have something concrete in your hands, that you’ve shepherded through, is very satisfying. Dealing with loads of new people – contributors, vendors and PR folk mainly, is good fun. Even giving contributors guidance on rewrites is great when what comes back exceeds expectations. (I only had to do it twice, mind.)
I’ve been lucky to have worked with an excellent publisher – we collaborated amiably, which hasn’t always been the case in the past – and an excellent designer. All of our work was shared through the cloud, which meant we dropped stuff off for each other and picked it up as and when it suited us. It also meant we didn’t silt up each other’s mailboxes or get into those tedious email chains.
As soon as my first issue went to press, I re-started the moribund news blog. Of the hundreds of news items that waft my way each week, it’s actually hard to find more than two that are worth following up. Perhaps I have too many sources. (As ever, I used Yahoo! Pipes to help filter the RSS feeds and consolidate them. I’ve also been using InoReader as my feed reader, which has worked out well.)
My second issue is about to go off to the printers and the whole process has been astonishingly smooth. I’ve worked at least twice as hard as I planned to but – don’t tell the publisher – it doesn’t feel like work. It would make a fantastic hobby, except that I still have to earn a living.
Sometimes, life just delivers an opportunity to do what you love. And, if it happens, almost regardless of the money, seize the chance with both hands. The fulfilment and joy of loving what you do completely outweighs any financial considerations.