I’ve been enjoying watching Wimbledon for the last few days but it took a Facebook message from an ex-colleague a LAMB school for me to realise I’ve been a full-time writer now for a year!
Although I’ve been part-time writing for several years (almost as long as I lived in Bangladesh, in fact) it was when I finished my final day at LAMB school last year that I ‘officially’ went full-time as a freelance writer. Since then I’ve published Sonali and been inundated with writing work – so much so that other books have had to go on the back burner for a while. I’ve almost had to consider out-sourcing some of my work but just about kept on top of it all. It was only when a LAMB teacher posted that school had just finished for the year that I realised I’ve been building my clients for a whole twelve months.
Watching the Wimbledon tournament is really a dream come true. Last year was just the worst – not only not able to watch any of it while living in Bangladesh but then missing the historic British win for Andy Murray. My family and I effectively ‘watched’ the match through Facebook messages from friends in real time! It was like listening to the radio only in slow motion.
This year, for the first time ever, I’ve been able to watch all the tennis I want. I’ve moved out of the study and brought my ‘office’ (read laptop) downstairs so I can write and watch at the same time. I’ve never been able to do this before. Even before working I was always having exams around this time so I’ve caught some of the matches but far from all of them. Despite this, Wimbledon remains my very favourite sports tournament of all. Nothing replaces it.
I’ve been self-employed before but that was as a music tutor and that meant teaching throughout the day and early evening. I could have taken time out but that would then mean losing income and you don’t do that lightly when you’re making your way in the world! As a writer, I can really set when I work and even where. I might not get quite as much writing completed while Murry et al are playing but I can then choose to write more later on or (as seems my preference increasingly these days) earlier in the morning.
In a way, the tennis (which begins on the TV around 11:30 am) is helping me meet deadlines. Once the family have gone to school/work by 8 am, I know I have just 2 1/2 hours to complete the kind of work I would have done in 5. I don’t quite manage it, of course, and have to keep writing while the matches take place, but it does drive me to concentrate well and do all the hard work before the TV goes on. I think I may even miss the tennis when it finishes in just over a week’s time. Time management, as Wifey will tell you, is not one of my strong points.
What a difference to a year ago, sat in my house either writing, researching or (as often happened) screaming at the internet completely failing while battling the hot and humid Bangladesh weather. Only the laptop and the need for copious quantities of tea remain the same here as there.
If that makes you think I don’t miss Bangladesh though, you’d be wrong. No matter how much I love Wimbledon, I’d still give it up to be back there. For now though, this will do just fine.