At the start of March I ambitiously paid for a whole month of kickboxing classes. I used to go in only 3 times a week, and was nearly dead by Friday. Just three times a week and yet, for the last few months, I’d been seriously slacking off, taking too many shortcuts and giving into every slight desire to bunk a class and sleep in. The only way to break out of it was to up the ante, so I went ahead and paid up for a 5-days-a-week set up. Two weeks done. I’ve survived it. Aching and tired, but I made it.
I started the month with a promise to cut back on the daily dessert binging and the alcohol intake. I started off by saying I’d go off it completely, but realised pretty soon that that approach has never worked for me, never will. So I’ve altered it to cutting back, and allowing myself the odd indulgence. No more sugar/chocolate/dessert fixes after every meal. No more drinking 2-3 times a week.
Two weeks in and I’ve eaten a piece of chocolate on two occasions. One rasmalai last weekend, when I also consumed half a bottle of wine. And a few glasses two days ago* but I’ve survived it without going too insane. There was that one day when I had a very, very only too real struggle with demolishing the image of a gooey warm cake fudge from Corner House that suddenly manifested in my mind and just refused to go away. Eventually, it did.
For months now I’ve been pitching a range of international publications to get new story ideas out there and broaden my perspective. I want to go wide as far as publications are concerned, and go deep with the themes I write about. I’ve had varying luck, but it has been an excruciatingly slow and painful learning curve. A couple of days ago, I was nearly done with the day’s work. I was about to shut my laptop down when I saw the little postit I’d stuck at the corner of my desk to remind me that I wasn’t going to end work for the day without pitching that story. I’d been dillydallying over that one for a while because it’s a format of writing I have never done before, I’d have to pitch it to a bigish “popular” publication that I’ve never done before, and writing the story itself will require me to glean form my personal experience. SCARY.
But enough procrastination, I said. Sat down, wrote a brief recalling valuable inputs that S gave me a few days ago, ran it past VC who helped me chisel away at it further and essentially turn it into a sales pitch. This is something I’ve never done before. The most crucial mistake I’ve been making is to make every pitch a little snippet or a preview of the story I have in mind. That day however, I made the pitch sellable, it had a clear hook. And it took a lot of putting myself out there, getting out of the comfort zone I am so used to, and finally after some hemming and hawing, I hit send.
*I plied myself with a couple of glasses of wine before I got to the point of doing it. It has to be said.
But. It paid off, because I received a positive response in under ten minutes.
I was gobsmacked and did a happy (mildly-drunk) dance around the room.
So, I’ve been trying slowly but surely to be brave in areas I didn’t think I was. Push myself a little, get out of the comfort zone, live a little. And scary as it has been, it hasn’t backfired entirely. No post-facto shaky feet either.
On to new challenges, then? The first of which is the very real one of having to write said piece.
Given the no-alcohol promise I’m going to have to find some other poison (or narcotic) to actually get down to writing the story. And try and make a kickass job of it. No pressure, really.