My own story of success in writing

By SiliconIndia   |   Friday, 26 October 2018, 11:37 Hrs
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My own story of success in writing

Taking up writing as a career in a society when people, including my parents, do not believe in owning a job, is perhaps one of the toughest challenges I have had to contend with in my life thus far. Nevertheless, I am not about to change my mind. Never, ever! Despite people keep asking how I earn a living writing, pay taxes, bills, rent, save a little money every week, and with money to spare for leisure activities like traveling, I know it didn’t just start yesterday to move from content milling sites to pitching directly to well-paying clients.

After graduating with a Bachelor’s degree in Graphics Design and Advertisement, the next phase of my life was to start. I had hoped one day my dream of becoming one of the most successful eBook  authors would come to pass. Stories of people making it big in the mainstream media industry had long been soothing enough. So, after interning with a leading Private media for about four months, an assurance that I had my place reserved upon graduation was something over which I kept reminiscing.

In my country(Kenya), internship opportunities are hard to come by, unless there is someone to connect you with the big names in the industry. I counted myself lucky because attachment placement at Citizen Television, a branch of Royal Media Services, a station that is very successful is never easy. I loved the competition and the fact that projects that would come my way were fairly challenging made me work harder. After all, of what good is it to work in such a reputed station if one cannot take on challenging projects? I thought to myself.

The Turning Point

However, I was first coming to dislike what I was doing. Not because my role of creating ads and television graphics was demanding, but a talent I had long tried to suppress, even after winning Vice Chancellor’s Essay Contest at the University a few months ago, was beginning to sneak its way back to my subconscious. I always loved writing. And now I was hooked to re-thinking about my role at the station.

Now, I wanted to join the newsroom and do wonderful news stories, news features and possibly get a platform for publishing my book. My ambition of becoming an eBook millionaire hit me harder than ever because working in such a place would give me a platform to market my skill, and possibly find someone who can sponsor my first publication shortly.

It took longer than necessary

I kept telling my departmental head about my rekindled talent and a desire to work in the newsroom. He was very supportive of the idea. I remember doing a short write-up before this day on a feature, and he liked it a lot. I had also helped a friend do a script for a local program for the Television because he had long known me as a skilled writer.

One morning the departmental head notified me about a meeting he had arranged between me and the head of the newsroom. That must have been the best moment in my life at the time. But not so fast though, I comforted myself. Even though her words were reassuring that since the newsroom was already full, waiting on feedback about future placement, yet knowing the way people bribe their way to such opportunities, sounded like an eternity.

Meeting with a freelancer friend

Meeting with a freelancer friend

It was one during one of my evenings walks after a tiring day at the station when I met an old friend. Dave had come to the city to look for a job, and even though he was earning peanuts at the time, he had landed a writing opportunity. In short, he was now a writer! I asked him about it, and he suggested we talk about in a nearby coffee lounge. Dave and I used to be the best essayists in high school, and we always swore no one would overtake us. His mastery of the art of literary composition is something I remember vividly.

Fate had it that he is now way ahead of me having learned a lot in the writing enterprise, including how to self publish a book. He was already doing a story for his client who happened to run a publishing house (Flamingo Publishing). ‘You are a lucky man!’ I quipped. He also owned a website, through which he could reach out to side-clients, some of whom were paying better than his boss.

From that day, and with the help of the supportive Television productions departmental head, I started interning from 8 to 12.00. He encouraged me on.

The Breakthrough

After a few weeks, Dave organized a meeting between me and his boss, one Mr. Kabui. After doing a short write-up, he offered me a part-time writing opportunity because I was working at the media house. I had requested for an extension of my internship in the hope that I would hear from the newsroom department, something that never came to be.

The pay, Mr. Kabui offered me was exploitative, as I later learned, but I appreciated his openness about getting writing opportunities, and short lessons on how to Amazon self publishing. A few months of earning a living writing and learning how do you self publish a book on Amazon saw me create an own blog to market my services. I also take a look at these services to find your custom essay help. I am now writing my book; ‘Sabotage by Blackmail,’ why I will publish by January, next year.

The Challenge

From the day my strategy of finding well-paying freelance writing clients started working, I fell in love with the Gig economy. Today, over 54 million Americans work from the comfort of their homes, and freelance is not the free movement is now taking shape to protect writers and other skills from exploitation from deadbeat clients. However, in Kenya, if you tell anyone you are a freelance Journalist/writer, you can with certainty predict their response, ‘What the hell is that?’

The Kenyan government is, however, trying to change that perception through a recently launched Ajira (work) online platform. The good news is that after training ten thousand jobless youths about online opportunities as a flag off, a society whose culture never accommodated freelance writing is now opening up.

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