If you intend to read this to be informed of a get rich scheme. Please don’t. This is not what this story is about, far from it. I suggest you change the channel.
You need to know me a little to get the gist.
The first thing you need is context. I am in my fifties, and I live and work in China. China is a fascinating place, and I recommend everyone to visit and see for themselves. If you did that, you would see so far beyond the western propaganda machine that you will feel like Neo in the opening scenes in the Matrix.
But that is not what this is about.
I have been caught up in the covid travel restrictions. I have not been able to get back to the UK to see the family, which is mightily depressing and frustrating. More frustrating because I can see the world comparisons of how to properly manage a pandemic outbreak. In my honest opinion, some places have some learning to do.
But that is not what this is about.
So what the feck is this about?
This is about throwing caution to the wind. This is about swallowing pride and ego and exposing yourself to the worldwide web. Warts and all. This is about chasing dreams which have lived in your head for so long that they read like a Dickensian novel. This is about starting something and being determined to keep it going, not stopping, and this is about looking ahead in life and thinking…
What am I going to do when I get older?
And taking that question and reframing it as…
What do I want to do?
In answer to that question, I decided that I wanted to semi-retire and travel and work online in some form or other. Admittedly I do not own too many skills that would allow that dream to be easily realised. I had to get busy upskilling to reinvent myself into that person I envisioned as me away in the future.
The luxury I do have is that I have a fantastic job. Although it soaks up a lot of my time, it allows me the financial safety net to explore further learning and development outside of work. I am fortunate, but equally, and this is frigging important, you do need to have the discipline to want to get things done because I am physically and mentally exhausted by the job every night.
The struggle is the struggle, no matter the form it takes. So my advice would be, force yourself to move away from making excuses and start something. Start something small, and don’t stop. Just keep going using small gains every day. Build habits and systems to bring your dreams alive…
Wait, this is not what this story is about. Building habits is another story of mine. I digress. Sorry.
So, back to making money online on medium as a writer.
To plan for the future, I asked myself where my passions lived, which was in creating content and writing.
I started to write a blog on WordPress and to shoot and edit videos for youtube. I began to teach myself using online courses and learn from others doing what I want to do. I also started to research equipment and work on themes of interest and ideas for content. I had no idea what I was doing, but I was learning.
At this time, as I gingerly started to share things openly, I began to panic and worry. It is hard work to squeeze this creative stuff in alongside the day job and life commitments. It is also scary to put yourself out there. It was particularly panic-inducing because not many of the content and themes matched up. I was scared people would criticise and laugh.
I got over myself and stopped worrying, and just focused on keeping going. The small wins would be enough to pick me up. People liking with a thumbs up or passing a positive comment meant a lot. If you were one of the encouragers that did that, thank you. It helped immensely.
Slowly, I can feel myself improving. I have time on my side as my retirement is a bit off in the distance, but I can see more of the future picture unfold. Today was a massive step towards that model.
Today I found out I will be paid for my writing. I will receive a total of 21 cents. I am so pumped about that.
If you are still with me and reading this after that picture insert, thank you because you understand the point of my story. If you are disappointed with the amount I will get paid for writing, don’t be. Be reassured, I am delighted with this ‘check-in’ the post notification…
The point is that I got paid for my writing.
To clarify, I am not hoping to pay the rent with that 21 cents, and I am not suggesting for one minute that I would be able to sustain life on that vast sum.
The fact is I got paid.
The last time I got paid for my writing was when I submitted a letter to the football magazine, The Scoop, and received ten quid for my troubles. I feel like that twelve-year-old kid again. I am alive with excitement.
The money was not a factor back then, the self-pride gained from achieving something was enough. This is the feeling I have now. This is a start. This is another slight boost to keep me going and keep the vision alive.
21 cents ain’t much to many people, but I will take it because it speaks volumes to me.
Can I call myself a writer? Possibly, because I do write. But will I ever be able to call myself a writer without feeling a tad embarrassed?
Nope, no chance, says the old guy with the red cheeks.
Opening my dreams to others is still part of my transformation, and I guess I will have to go through something to feel comfortable with the writer’s name tag.
My closing point
At this moment in time, I write and produce content for myself.
It is what I enjoy.
I am not a content creator nor a writer.
I am a confidence builder, and I am working on building my own confidence.
Who knows what I will call myself in the future.
But, I know one thing. I will always speak with pride on how I will always refer to myself – as a lifelong learner.
That I recognise.