Blog Angst Warning! (BAW): My name is Sonal and I’m a full time writer.

I’m trying to look at this job situation from another angle and this is it. Technically I should have all this time to get some real work done on my plays right? Well, no. As many of you will know from your own job hunting struggles, trying to find a job eats up a lot of your time and a huge vault of your creative energy (how many ways can you say “pick me, I rock!”).

I’m going to be incredibly self indulgent now, you have been warned …

This sucks. In the last couple of weeks I have reached the complete end of my tether. I have no idea what the hell I’m doing here. Way back in December I said that this journey was about giving my life over to fate for a bit – obviously this comes with a few caveats, I wasn’t about to just turn up at Birmingham, pull out a pair of dice and decide that way -I’m a writer and event manager by trade and hence a bit of a control freak, leaving a good, secure job in Wellington and arriving in the UK was plenty of fate throwing for me. The last week has been particularly awful in this regard – my consultant from one agency left and didn’t tell me, another agency’s computers upped and died for a week, yet another consultant won’t return my phone and email messages and another agency that had a job so promising that it was within my grasps … their client hired someone directly and told them later and finally I received a phone call last week asking about my visa status and if I had done any work time on it … but alas, no, yesterday I get the call saying, we like you but we want someone who can stay more than a year (which is all my visa allows) – fair enough, they’re looking for someone permanent, I’ve used that attitude too when recruiting so I don’t blame them. But in all, it feels like Fate is telling me to pack up my bags and haul arse out of here.

But Sonal, you’ve only been there for 2 1/2 months. Aye, I know. However this the second time I’ve made a stab at living in the UK for a long time and last time it felt like shit too (although that may be because I was studying astrophysics at the time …). I know, I can temp and write, pay the bills, feed the soul, but the temping stuff has dried out a bit too (so I’ve been told by the consultants) or maybe, just maybe, it’s me that sucks. Yes, me with a CV that few (other than the arts sorts who want someone permanent) understand – most event managers come from conferences and agencies, I come from local government, live, community events. I’m pretty sure a conference would be a doddle after handling an event where I had to beg and borrow constantly, but I’m not sure anyone believes me. So here I am in a bit of a rut (I’d go as far to say that I think I’m wasting my time) and unable to just leave because I’m tied into a lease on my flat (I’ve tried all sort of angles on getting out of it, but none of them work).

I’ve had great support from my friends both online and off – thank you, all of you. I know it gets better in the end, I know I should hang in there, but at the moment I really just don’t feel like it. I’m better here as a tourist, than as a resident, I’m interested in the shows, I like to travel but there’s not a lot going for me as far as work is concerned. I’d rather be workshopping a new play of mine (being inspired while working with other writers who have grown with me and collaborating on shows) and finishing Honours or playing with babies than lying here on my couch looking out at the factory and wondering where did I go wrong.

I want to be a writer, so I’m doing that. I want to be paid, well I could do the gig that doesn’t require a lot of thought but I need stimulus otherwise the writing doesn’t happen. Yes I’m a precious, queenie writer. It’s true, but then you have no idea how hard it was to write when I was a postie, a checkout chick or a cinema attendant – the inspiration just wouldn’t come.

So having now written a negative post, lets think of some good things:
1. I’ve made a break from my last job, which was very hard to do because I loved my work and I felt that people were relying on me.
2. I’ve seen some brilliant shows that I wouldn’t have the opportunity to if I was still in NZ.
3. I don’t miss my home town (although I do miss the stability of my former life).
4. I love London. I really do.
5. I can write, really I can, the quality of Daily Cereal is not a reflection of my actual ability.
6. I’m ready to start working on my theatre (I don’t feel like I did a few months ago, when I didn’t want to be tied down).
7. I have 3 new plays I know will make it to production in the next year.

Onwards, upwards, I hope.


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