Thursday, January 24, 2008

Freeing the Lance (Armstrong) in You (Me)

Freelance writing isn't the easiest job in the world is it? To register with the Southern African Freelancers Association (SAFREA) go here.

Meanwhile, here's my power bar (instead of pizza) powered mission statement (an extract from a recent email to BW):

I have been published in Shape, go!, Heartland, Sunday Times, a few paying local and overseas websites. An article will appear in this Sunday’s Sunday Times. My goal is to be recognized as an important voice. Not quite like Barry who is sort of specialized. Sort of like a mix of Noam Chomsky and Jim Kunstler ( who talk variously and meaningfully about important matters in the sense that one is recognized as a bit of an intellectual, a sane and sensible voice in the media maelstrom. I’d be distinctive in that I would add to the dour political comments an occasional artistic view or appreciation of the world. I also believe in altruism and sustainability, and see writing as a vital way of reforming the zeitgeist/world. It’s one way to shift our collective psychology to begin to affect urgently needed lifestyle changes.

I think what I bring to the craft is great visuals, useful analogies, and also a firsthand hands on approach. I don’t like the idea of the survile weakass loser nerdy reporter who goes grubbing for stories. I prefer the idea of the writer as a well established, successful human being in his or her own right who also has experience in other things (in other words, is balanced and doesn’t relie solely on writing for ego satisfaction). That’s why I enjoy interviewing successful swimmers, because I was a good swimmer and sportsman, and I get where they are coming from, and can ‘talk their language’. This provides far more insights than a wannabe going: “I can’t even swim one length. How do you do it?”

I also want to go a lot further, publishing fiction, making films, affecting change. Getting involved, but as an independent, not joining clubs or working through some other voice. I’ve been very frustrated in the area of getting my fiction manuscripts actually read by publishers. Friends have read a manuscript called HOLIDAY, some have read it again and again 2 or 3 times. Yet the publishers turn their noses up at it. As I say, I suspect they don’t even look at it from the generic responses. Even the latest Time magazine writes about Apocalypse New – saying there is so much end of the world stuff coming out – I am Legend, Cloverfield. HOLIDAY was inspired by a similarly post apoc book called The Road.

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