You know those annoyingly chipper people who bandy about fear-conquering philosophy like it’s going out of fashion? Like being afraid, and doing it anyway? The only thing we have to fear is fear itself? Embrace failure, and all that jazz? Yup, that’s me. Guilty. Pop it on a fridge magnet and I’ll buy it. And I’ve always prided myself on walking the talk, so to speak. Skydiving, starting a radio show, laser hair removal. Solo travel, scuba diving, online dating, eating grilled scorpions on a stick. Trapeze classes last year to overcome a fear of heights (after a minor tantrum and bar throw at 30 feet I got there in the end). Nuding up with 5000 others on the Opera House steps in March to cure my gymnophobia (adequately named, as I was so birthday suit-shy I avoided the gym altogether).
But my greatest fear has nothing to do with hair or heights or a shrivelled phallus on a cold Sydney morning. It’s waking up at 65 and realising I’ve spent a lifetime in a job that doesn’t press my hot buttons – that is: fun, meaningful, makes a difference, or uses my strengths. Spending the majority of my waking hours doing something my heart’s just not in. Sunday night dread and Monday morning apathy. Not being true to myself and following the one path I’ve dreamed about since I was old enough to hold a Ten Pen: that is, becoming a writer. A dream forged under blankets and by torchlight as a kid, transported off to magical worlds through the power of words. I made a little pact with myself a while ago that this would be achieved before the tender age of 30, which as of Monday 19th July is exactly 100 short days away.
And thus, Fever Pitch. The idea? To pitch like a madwoman, 100 story ideas to a whole host of publications over the course of 100 days, and see what comes of it. And why, I hear you ask? Are you some kind of modern masochist? At times. Stark raving mad? Quite possibly. Especially when you consider this will be on top of a full time marketing job. And that the sum of my illustrious published writing career thus far has been:
- One 25 word anecdote about my 3 year old cousin in the 1992 edition of Readers Digest
- Some co-written academic papers on affect and ecstasy in the Schizophrenia journal and an honours thesis that I can no longer understand the title of
- A family rag I produced in 1987 (The Boundy Union Monthly. Oh what joy there was to be found in acronyms before we discovered booze).
But I figure with this sheer volume of feverish pitching, my usual internal dialogue (you know the one – too old, no experience, too competitive out there…) barely has time to clear its proverbial throat before the next pitch is due. Rejection anxiety, performance angst, confidence wavers, attachment apprehension, ability unease – all will be doing a bloody good job if they can be heard over the sheer frenzy and furious tapping of keyboard letters.
In this blog, I’ll capture the ideas and where they come from, the pitches and how they go, and the rollercoaster of emotion that comes with the process. And hopefully, just maybe… a commissioned article.
Let the fever begin…..!