As Easter approaches I am coming to the end of my sabbatical. I took a year off to properly understand the opportunity I had to change my life and what I want to do with it. I have sorted my ideas out and it is full steam ahead.
As the title suggest I am actually returning to an old career, something that I have always enjoyed: journalism — writing and photography in particular. I left it behind when I had the chance to go into computing for which I had shown a flair. I had a successful career which fed and clothed our family but times change and it was time to go back to something I love doing. I may have my state pension but I most certainly do not regard myself as retired, indeed my close family have often said "Martin won't retire, he will just do something different". Exactly what I am about to do; this is just yet another phase of my life.
As I no longer need to pay a mortgage or feed and clothe children I can pursue my new, old, career properly and on my terms. I do not want to be tied to going into an office every day or indeed being sat at a desk all day. I will be working full time on my writing and journalism but at times and places that suits me, and Alison. I will spending a lot of time on the road travelling, by motorhome mostly, and using that as a basis for much of my work. As well as being "work" writing and photography is passion, an enthusiasm that I would pursue anyway.
However, it must be stressed that I am aim to be professional at whatever I do. I will not be doing this for pin money, simply to top up my modest pension. I believe if a person is worth their hire then they should be paid properly. I will not be undercutting my colleagues because I don't need the money; I do need it. Even if I had a large pension I would not sell myself cheap, I believe I owe it to the rest of the profession to require a proper rate for the job.
I have used this last year to get myself ready, both practically and psychologically for a fresh start. I have closed down my old consultancy and started to position myself as a journalist. This website was hacked during my sabbatical year so I have had to rebuild it. Due to other pressures I have not quite completed the rebuild of this site. In particular I need to restore the photolibrary so that it properly represents my new direction. That is the next back office task I have to get on with if I am going to be fully operational by the start of the new tax year at the beginning of April. It looks as though we are in for a wet week or so which should provide an opportunity to get on with the remaining web site development.
In a low key way I have started to pitch myself to editors and other potential clients but the main thrust will start after Easter. I do not feel entirely ready but I must get started and fill the gaps as I go. I know what I want to do (more in future blog post), broadly how I should do it. I have a broad plan and as I implement it I will monitor and adjust according to the results.
The most important thing now is to get started and "Just do it". The gun has gone, flag has dropped, a new race has begun; I am excited by the opportunities that I see before me.