This has been the longest Iíve gone on a blogging sabbatical. Well, with the proliferation of Twitter (my newest vice) Iíve been allowed an outlet to air all my random and unimportant whims as they strike me. And unabashedly too. Also when youíve been busy trying to juggle deadlines and whip up 10 pages of content at one go, the last thing you want to do is to encapsulate your day and write about everything thatís transpired.
I also have a tendency to incessantly trumpet my achievements, and that Iíve learnt, infuriates many people. People donít like to be happy for other people even though they say that they do. Myself included, unless that person is someone I really like. Like p!nk.
My life has been awesome these few months. Surreal would best describe it. Circa July, I quitted my job and only had one ghostwriting project on my hands. It was one tough decision for I was offered the position of Content Writer/ Runner and I traded job security for the illusion of a free life. It was a decision I struggled with for about a couple of days Ė thatís saying a lot for Iím someone whoís usually very impulsive and stubborn.
But you know what they say Ė When you have to go, you have to go.
And Iím glad I did. Boy, these few months have been a whirlwind, and Iíve become very obnoxious. Itís hard not to be when you have American clients who praise your work and shower you with compliments like ďYouíre one of the most talented ghostwriters Iíve worked with.Ē Now, who says Asians are inferior?
In retrospect, I cannot believe the opportunities Iíve been bestowed. Though there are days I feel that Iíve exhausted my good luck, but hey at least Iíve achieved what Iíve always wanted: carve a niche in the Western world. I earned my own merits, from winning over the client and producing quality work Ė itís all me.
I know, I know. I cannot help but extol myself, but to quote myself, ďI know I self praise a lot, but hey, at least I donít put other people down.Ē I worked my derriŤre off to get to where I am today. I do believe my obnoxiousness emanates from my alter ego; the inherent writer. I mean, whenever my friends probe about my earnings, I always downplay the number. If thatís not humility, I donít know what is.
Of course, year 2009 hasnít always been about moments of personal triumphs. There is a plethora of moments when I felt like an incompetent idiot, and there are moments when I second guessed myself. All of which I wonít be documenting. Yes, yes, I know, successful moguls (not by any chance referring to myself) make blunders too. Although, I should say most lauded personalities only come forth and talk about their past mistakes AFTER they become successful. You know, when the mistakes are only a morsel bit compared to the magnitude of their success.
Alright, so in true XY fashion, let me do a year in review and celebrate all my joyous moments.
Meeting p!nk in person. All travel expenses and (both) concert tickets paid for by me, by the way. Sadly, everything that transpired both nights is kind of a blur now. That means Iíll have to create new memories. Did I mention that she grabbed my right thumb and thanked me? The said thumb is now enshrined and ensconced in a sanctuary.
Winning over my first American client, and my second, then my third and ... Then my first UK client. Then my first Aussie client. These are not expatriates in my home country by the way; they are CEOs, public speakers in their respective countries. It is truly a feat that makes all the repressed years of being passed over, being vetoed okay. Many people have previously asked me to snap out of my grandiose dreams. Thankfully, I didnít.
Iím currently sidelining as a personal tutor, and I revel in my new found responsibility of grooming the next generation of writers Ėat a fee of course. I delight in moments when my students and I would engage in conversations centering on their hopes and aspirations. To be able to deal out advice to youngsters is gratifying, albeit it makes me feel old. I prefer the word ďwiseĒ.
My Korean student, who is continuing his education at a local school, asked me the other day: ďMy (also Korean) friend said that my classmates would taunt me because I canít speak English well.Ē I told him to use that as motivation to do better. Hey, I didnít and donít lead a charmed life. Most people donít naturally hold me in high regards. Sure I was a popular kid, but I wasnít without my share of detractors. I always believe one thing: If not for all the criticisms I received, I wouldnít have accomplished half the milestones in my life.
Wow, my studentís parents are lucky to have found me. On top of my tutor's responsibilities, I double up as an uncertified counselor. Theyíre getting their moneyís worth.
Jumping off a 50m high platform was a real thrill. As I stood on the brink of death, my entire life flashed before me. Okay, I exaggerate. Dangling upside down in midair and having no control over your body Ė itís an out of this world feeling. I also thought the reason why I did it was kind of poetic. Life is all about taking risks and 2009 for me was all about that. And it was the first thing I did on the day I turned 23 Ė I didnít even have breakfast. Sweet.
My entrepreneurial moment:
If you donít already know, Iím currently penning the firsts in the series of books that I plan to release in 2010. Under my own name. In 2009, I did my part to rev the economy; I paid a team of designers to help bring my eBook covers to life. They were not cheap, and money came out of my own funds. I wish I could stretch out my palms and ask for money, but whereís the fun in that, right? And then I realized thereís more to just book designs that I have to concern myself with. I have to set up a website, and I need to pay designers and programmers for that. My books had better sell.
So 2009 marked the year I crossed over to the evil side: becoming a client with unreasonable demands. I hope my good karma doesnít dwindle because of this transition. It is fun though, being on the other side of the fence. People are constantly fawning over you, trying to win your affection. Money does make the world go round.
So these are the moments that I would like to remember of 2009. Of course there are more, but you know, the writer in me should exercise humility more often. I feel that I have been riding a professional high and Iíve sort of sequestered myself in my own room in order to fulfill my job obligations. My life became vapid as a result and my popularity had ebbed. I used to have hordes of well wishers who send me greetings on my birthday and festive occasions. Now I can do a head count with just one hand. So Iíve decided 2010 will be a year of personal development and improvements. There are so many things that I want to learn, so many new territories to tread and so many awesome people I want to meet.
But this year Iím going to defy traditions Ė instead of coming up with a wish list, I will come up with a ďTo-doĒ list. I have so many things on my list that it seems implausible to accomplish, but if anyone can do it, itís me. Doing new things also means the need for money, so thankfully Iíve bagged 3 ghostwriting projects for January and am currently in talks for a fourth one.
Alright, I will make one wish, because it won't soon be a reality. I wish to land one project and have the client agree to pay me US$5000 willingly. I will be a very happy boy then.
I also aim to make $300,000 this year. By the looks of it ... it's a long road ahead. But never doubt XY; incidentally, that's my new slogan.
Alright, Iíve maundered enough. Hope you have an awesome 2010 too. Remember: You make your choices and you seal your own destiny.
nothing can touch me