I didn’t actually learn how to put pen to paper until I was 8 years old.
So, you can imagine how awesome and funny I find the fact that I now live as a 'writer'.
For those not in the know, in late May, Kiera Tsenti, Sarah Potter and I went public with Hire Write Talent.
Our intention? Creating content, copy and marketing that we and our clients could be proud of.
So far, so good. All of our sales leads have been inbound, our LinkedIn page has grown massively and in August, I went full time.
This weekend, I moved to Gloucestershire as part of this huge change because London is very expensive.
Goodbye offices, goodbye companies I’m not 100% invested in.
Hello to my dreams.
I have learnt a hell of a lot in my short time, and I was due a blog so enjoy your skinny dip into my thoughts.
It gets weird.
Chaotic by nature, much to the chagrin at times of people who have worked alongside me. I get super excited by ideas and concepts.
I run away to get them done as quickly as possible, because I want the satisfaction of a job well done.
Chilling out, is definitely something I need to keep working on.
But without a game plan, I’ll choke.
Taking the time to structure my day (thanks Sarah and Kiera for your ongoing help with that) has helped with this. Knowing that I need to be up at a certain time, to focus on particular aspects of my job and enforce deadlines, means I have a set direction in which to channel my creativity and energy. This helps me get stuff done.
By learning to plan for my personal pitfalls, I can hope to keep getting better at this.
Former managers: please take a moment to look at the ceiling and say “fucking finally”.
It gets lonely
I’m an unapologetic extrovert. I love people, I get more energetic the more I interact with them to the point that sometimes, I go a bit intense with it. To me, someone I’ve met four times is a best friend.
My best ideas are often inspired from bouncing around a conversation with someone intelligent who sparks an idea or vestige of thought.
So, the impact of leaving an office environment completely took me by surprise. It didn’t occur to me that I would be putting podcasts on in the background I don’t listen to, just to simulate the soundscape of an office.
When all your friends work nine to five jobs, it’s very easy to isolate yourself. Which is exactly what I did for the first few weeks.
I was tired, super sad all the time, and found eye contact agonising to make.
That’s not how I like to roll.
So I realised it’s important to go and do something social in the week, combined with occasional coffee shop working.
No longer do I laugh at the hipsters in Costa. I get it now.
Even sat on your own, headphones in, tapping away at your laptop with a soya latte can do wonders for your mental health because you get to see people walking around, going about their day.
And yes, I’ve made a few friends at my café.
Discipline is my frenemy. I often feel like a yo-yo, constantly between hyper disciplined or lazy git, with no in-between.
My system works for me currently. I have a business that needs me to pull my weight, and a family who are putting a lot of very important things on the line to support MY dreams.
So yeah, I may struggle being disciplined, for me.
But the way I keep myself moving, getting through the things I find hard to move on to the fun stuff, is remembering the endgame and the impact that my actions have on the people I give a shit about.
The only thing stopping me being disciplined, is me. When I realised that, it got easier.
Freedom of choice
The best thing about “being your own boss?” I can do whatever the hell I want. In theory.
I mean, I could sit in my pants watching ‘It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia’ so Sarah’s #OneSunnyADay series doesn’t spoil me.
But choosing to do ‘the hard graft’, getting through my troubles to keep on keeping on, is a lesson in willpower, every day. Plus if I don’t, you know, it won’t get done.
No one’s holding a gun to my head to do this, so pull your finger out, Tim.
If you’d told me in February of this year, I’d have started a business with two people I’d only met online via memes and deep chats about the human mind, I wouldn’t have believed you.
In fact, I’d probably have said ‘fuck off, I’m getting married to the most incredible, supportive and beautiful woman in November. So I need the money and security that comes with a full time job.’
Now, we’re moving house to reduce my outgoings and give this a real go.
The other two hire writers make light hearted fun of me when I get intense about us being incredible.
I’ve actually been banned from ‘intense eye’ selfies, but I think it’s actually a way of them both trying to stop me devaluing my image for our upcoming “Hire Write Action Figure” line, coming out in 2020 for the very reasonable recommended retail price of £420.69 and complementary meme.
But I genuinely believe we’re worth the risk. We put all of our energy and creativity into the business, and I knew I’d never forgive myself if I didn’t give this a real go.
So, I choose to work hard for the business I am SO fortunate to be a part of. And I give myself the satisfaction of knowing I’m finally capitalising on my creativity.
I choose us. And I choose myself.
Everything I have feels tangible now. It feels earnt. It’s indescribable.
One of my favourite secondary characters in fantasy fiction is ‘King Taravangian’ from the Stormlight Archive series. I won’t spoil any of this amazing series for you, because you need to buy every book by Brandon Sanderson and read them yourself, so we can chat. Then, I’ll send you some really niche memes.
I like Taravangian because he suffers from a rare affliction. Every morning he wakes up and he can be anywhere on the scale of complete fuckwit to super genius level. It’s randomised and changed each day, so he has to take ‘IQ’ tests in the mornings. If his minders see him as too clever or too stupid, he isn’t allowed to make certain decisions (probably a better basis for government than ours right now).
I like this character, because the whole not knowing if you’re clever or stupid has been a big chip on my shoulder for years. It’s one of the reasons I threw myself into fencing and martial arts. So I had something I was amazing at to fall back on. (Did you catch the humble brag?)
But here’s the thing. By convincing myself that some days I’m a total idiot, and on others, I’m “onto” something, I’m feeding the imposter on my back and fuelling my subconscious desire for self-sabotage.
I’m nowhere near my destination, but I know I eventually need to get to the point where I’m not just confident in who I am and what I do. I also need to be confident in my own creative and intellectual abilities.
Haters gon’ hate.
Can you believe that when I undertook this huge change in my life and getting started doing my own thing, I encountered some hate and trolling for it?
· Horrid comments. – You should see what my best mate writes about me.
· False accusations. – No one accuses me of ghost-writing EPIC shit.
· Bitching. – At least pull my hair or something.
This tends to be a shotgun attack, followed by a block. Which is fine for me, I don’t have to think about them.
If anything, it’s a bit sad, if I’m the most interesting thing going on for them.
It’s probably how Skyrim NPC’s feel when the Dragonborn arrives.
What they don’t realise, is:
- I’m a middle-class white male who didn’t want for anything. I can BURY you in superficial, ill thought out angst.
- Being a child of the information age, I’ve been called horrid things since I first found FPS games.
- I’m a bit too busy for all of that unpleasantness, to be honest. I’m a guy who ghosts his (frustrated yet patient) friends on the regular, whenever life gets too much. Ignoring some internet hardman with a keyboard isn’t difficult.
I got a bit upset about one situation and ran and told mum (CuhLassic Tim move). She said “be concerned about your character, not your reputation*”.
And she’s right, so I’m going to do as I’m told.
*Although in DND 5e you need to be more concerned about your alignment rather than your ‘bAcKStOrY’ imo.
My most important takeaway from the last few months is, it feels like I haven’t been working at all.
I’m doing something I truly love, every day. With like minded people who happen to be pretty dope, and the coolest clients and collaborators in the world.
I’m following my dreams, taking a risk and being a little bit brave.
So colour me fulfilled.
The way things are going, I’ll probably learn to write soon, too.