So… what are WE going to do now then?

I work in a magazine company.  This week I had a meeting with one of the editors who kindly offered to sit down with me and give me some feedback on a feature I’d written.

Actually, feature is too grand a word.  Because, let’s be honest here, I don’t know how to write one.  Aside from a degree in English Literature, which was fluffy at best, I have no formal written skills.

She asks me some challenging questions.  What sort of writing do I want to do.  Features? Creative?  I’ll need some sort of training, she says.  To learn how to structure a feature, source information and make contacts.  Or perhaps take a course in creative writing.  UEA run a brilliant one.

Ah yes.  I know the one.  15 years ago I turned down a place on that very course.   I feel a sinking feeling in my stomach.  What an idiot.  Don’t think about where you might be now, if you’d made a different choice, I think.

I’ve spent my life wanting to write.  Yet this past month is the closest I’ve come to doing anything about it.  The book.  The blog.  The tweets.  And I’ve felt happier and more purposeful than ever before.  But suddenly there are decisions to make.  I realise that I don’t know what I want and perhaps that means I don’t want it enough.

And then it hits me.

This is what I do every time I have an opportunity.  I talk myself out of it.  And I could very easily do it again.  I could go through all the reasons this might not work.  The fact that I don’t really know what my goal is.  The reality that there are so many brilliant writers out there, I just won’t make the cut.  The fear that there is no such thing as original thought (that one bothers me a lot).

Or, I could just do what I’m told.  Isn’t that what I ask of Beaver every day?  She never does it either, by the way.

So that is what I do.  For the first time ever I decide to move forward, one step at a time.  I sign up for the news writing course the editor suggests.  And we agree to meet afterwards and talk about what might come next.

I don’t know where any of this is going.  After all, there is only certainty in doing nothing.  But I really don’t want to be sitting here in another 15 years with a sinking feeling in my stomach.  So this time, I’m going to keep going and see where it takes me.

If any of this sounds familiar, I’d love some company.  I know you’ve got it in you.  We just need to stop thinking and start doing.  Deal?

It just might be that straightforward.

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    24 thoughts on “So… what are WE going to do now then?

    1. Mrs Teapot

      Wow. You have just described my feelings in one blog; although more eloquently! I think this is one of the ‘Feel the fear & do it anyway’ moments that I shy away from. I admire you & would love to join you, but just don’t know how to make that final leap of faith. Best of luck. xx

      Reply
      1. Amy RansomAmy Ransom Post author

        Mrs Teapot (love your family names btw). What is it you want to do? Writing also (love your blog)? The final leap of faith is in fact much less final than we all think. It’s just doing that next bit that might get you a little closer to being where you want to be. Come on, if I can do it…

        Reply
    2. Gemma

      DO IT!
      You must. I’m a mature, part-time student. I applied for then started my degree within two impulsive weeks. Crikey it’s hard, so so difficult, but also brilliant. I have no idea what I’ll end up doing at the end of it, not traveling the world grabbing every opportunity like the other (18 year old) students on my course. Nonetheless less I love it, I love what I’m studying, I love participating in my classes and I love being organized and meeting deadlines like I never could as a teen!

      Reply
      1. Amy RansomAmy Ransom Post author

        Thanks Gemma. I did actually (wistfully) look at UEA but then thought Daddy Pig and the piglets might have issue with me taking off for a year’s MA. Although I think they do do part-time. The news writing course is only a half day but hey it’s a start. Congrats to you on going for it.

        Reply
    3. Nell @ the Pigeon Pair and Me

      I’m there with you too! I always wanted to write, but never got round to doing anything about it. Not quite sure what the next steps are for me – but hopefully when an opportunity comes along I’ll be able to grab it (hint hint to anyone reading this!).

      Good on you!

      Reply
    4. Suzanne

      Oh Amy, I could have written this myself (although i don’t actually HAVE a job with a magazine company!). My goal is to write ‘features’ and I did an online journalism course last year but have really done very little with it, apart from writing a few (unpaid) articles for magazines and online websites and of course, setting up my blog. I’m with you girl – let’s do it! Now someone tell me how…..

      Reply
      1. Amy RansomAmy Ransom Post author

        Well you’re a lot further on than me already, brilliant Suzanne. From a point of no experience/knowledge, I’d say keep doing what you’re doing and write as much as you can for as many as you can. The good thing about online is that required content is endless, so from an editor’s point of view, it’s not like there’s a page limit to consider. This gives the likes of you and me more opportunities, for sure. I’ll let you know any tips I get, as I get them…

        Reply
    5. Harrovian Mama

      Oh my word, this is so true. I am just the same. I am a SAHM and have to start deciding on what happens once my youngest starts school. I just cannot make my mind up. I need to make up mind and just DO IT. I’d love to write but realistically, I should look at teacher training courses. Gah. If I don’t pick soon, the husband will pick for me haha.

      Fab blog, found you through #PoCoLo

      http://www.samandasha2.blogspot.com

      Reply
    6. Jaime Oliver

      Fab post Amy, after reading this and applying to myself i have to say i have been a bit of a procrastinator! i have every good intention but never quite finish it all the way x

      Reply
    7. Maria @ Feisty Tapas

      There is no harm in trying, this is how I was brought up. And since then I have grown up to believe that, by giving everything a fair go, you get to live without regrets. Writing? Been there, done that, it wasn’t for me. Or… writing, been there, done that, oh my word look at where I am now because I took that decision that fateful day and I stuck with it. Plus you have the blogging world for support, I find it works wonders at getting you going.

      Reply
      1. Amy RansomAmy Ransom Post author

        Maria, the blogging community are fantastic. I’ve been quite overwhelmed by the support! You’re so right about just giving everything a go. Pursuer of whims…

        Reply
    8. Verily Victoria Vocalises

      Amy, I am EXACTLY the same as you and have some regrets but can’t dwell on those. My life is now full of opportunities and I am trying to grab them all with both hands (which isn’t easy when there are so many). Funnily enough, my Mum said only yesterday that I should be a journalist and it will be something I look into when I move. Go for it! It’s better to regret the things you have done rather than the things you haven’t xx Thanks for linking this up to PoCoLo and for all your support 🙂 xx

      Reply
      1. Amy RansomAmy Ransom Post author

        I agree Vic. It’s lovely to have lots of opportunities even though they come with their own pressures. Love PoCoLo so a pleasure to be involved x

        Reply
    9. Dragonsflypoppy

      What an incredibly honest post. I loved it. I completely agree with Vic in that it is better to regret the things you have done than those you haven’t. Go for it. You have inspired me for sure. And I will be checking back to see how it goes! Well done you xx

      Reply
    10. Charly Dove

      Do it, I think you know you want to already! I did it the hard way I think but in the last 3 months I’ve set up my own business and my blog. It’s not all working as it should quite yet but we’re definitely heading in the right direction. Most importantly I’m doing what I love and seeing my toddler every day 🙂

      Reply
    11. Donna @ Little Lilypad Co

      Someone once said to me that “I would rather regret the things I had done, rather than the things I hadn’t”. (Verily says this above) Sometimes you just have to take a leap of faith in yourself.

      Thanks for sharing #PoCoLo

      Reply
    12. Sara (@mumturnedmom)

      I completely agree that the worst thing is/would be to live a life full of ‘I wish I had…’. After almost 20 years working in construction I have recently become a SAHM while we spend some time in the States – and my goal is to work out what I want to do with the next 20 years by the time we head back to the UK…! Like a lot of us, I hanker after a more creative existence. Good on you for taking the first steps towards yours 🙂

      Reply

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