I realised pretty late in my life that I could write. As a matter of fact, I realised it just this year, when I started this blog to pen down whatever came to my mind. I had been an English-enthusiast all along, having excelled at English in school, whenever the teacher could comprehend what I had scribbled in my ‘calligraphic’ handwriting. But those flashes of brilliance had only been limited to academics, given my pedantic nature.
Earlier, I did not even have an inclination to pen down my thoughts, but when a friend introduced me to the world of blogging, I took to it immediately. Before long, I was writing about a host of topics that I cared about. Initially, I worried that I might not be good enough for the blogging community, but as I kept on reading and writing, I realised that the community does not care whether you are good or bad. The community is not judgemental and does not treat blogging as a competition for survival. Most people enjoy writing and write only for the purpose of writing, with a tinge of reverence to the writing community. It felt wonderful to connect with them.
I started writing about a lot of stuff: a Flash game called FarmVille, which inaugurated my blog; my days at office; lessons from English football; change of perception of football in India; love and so on. As I kept writing and publishing, people read me and gave their invaluable honest comments. That propelled me further to look for avenues to grow.
My interactions with the blogging community and my peers and seers led me to the world of freelancing. It felt like I had just entered the fascinating world of Narnia. Everything felt so surreal and out of this world. I thought to myself – How am I going to learn everything there is to learn in the world of freelancing? How am I going to acquire the skills needed to be a successful freelancer? How should I determine what I want to do and what I don’t? How should I learn the skills of the trade? It all felt dizzying and insanely beyond my reach.
But I kept at it. I struggled and persevered. I registered on several freelancing websites to get a start in the world of freelancing. I applied for several projects, wrote to numerous employers and created innumerable ‘cover letters’ to make me stand out from the crowd. Of course, as you can imagine, a beginner’s life in any trade is always difficult. I had to endure and keep going.
Fortuitously, my prayers were eventually answered. One employer contacted me for an editing assignment that needed to be completed in a day. I had time at hand and I volunteered for it for the lowest price possible. I got the assignment; I began work on it immediately and finished it well on time. Though I had ample time to submit it, I worked on it again, and again, and again, till I was convinced for myself that I had done the best I could. I submitted the assignment on time and the employer gave me a decent rating on the site and paid me. In retrospect, it was just a tiny editing assignment worth a couple of hours but, eager and anxious that I was to make my mark on the freelancing world, I spent hours finding out ways to improvise.
At the end of the day, I felt happy with the task I had accomplished. The task was easy, the payment was meagre and the impact was infinitesimal, but I felt a sense of accomplishment as if I had just gotten a cheque for being the author of a bestseller.
From there began the journey of writing. From there began the journey of using words to express what my mouth did not and, at times, could not. From there began the odyssey of camaraderie…