Wednesday, January 9, 2008

100th Blog Post -- New Beginnings, Snow

It’s 7:35 am, and my window is static with snow.

Is it the whim of the gods or the cross-breeze sweeping off the sea that sends snowflakes running errands back and forth through the air, falling up as much as down, blowing left and shuddering right, hanging peacefully in mid-air for a moment before charging away again, a constant ballet of motion?

I am awake and lying in bed, looking at the snow out the window and the fish on my sill, listening to a vague scraping sound from outside, thinking of breakfast.

I am back in Dalian, back in China, ready to begin anew. Snow covers everything like a blanket, today is a fresh footprint in a perfect, silent landscape.

The plan, the plan, what is the plan? I’m beginning to suspect that one’s post-college existence is a constant devising of plans, a never-ending revision, a concentrated hatching of schemes.

My scheme is this: I have three months left on my apartment and my visa. I’m going to use this time to actively pursue freelance journalism, researching and writing articles for Western trade journals, magazines, anything that is hungry for content. The key word there is active; with no classes and no job and no one to tell me what to do, I’m left entirely to my own motivation and focus… if I want to be productive, I’m going to have to put my head down and Get Shit Done. My goal is to sell one article a month, which would hopefully be enough to break even (financially) and give me the confidence to continue into the spring if I’m enjoying it.

When my visa rolls around, I’ll look at where I stand and either decide to continue (and probably just arrange a tourist visa to return here) or RE-plan the plan.

In the meantime, I have 90 days that need to be filled, and I’m going to start by filling them with query letters and preliminary research for articles.

Any comments or suggestions on the plan (or article ideas) would be very very welcome, as always.


Micah Sittig said...

Have you thought about moving? Probably more writing opportunities in Shanghai/Beijing or heaven forbid, Shenzhen/Guangzhou.

赵晨威 said...

I have thought about it. Media jobs-- like, real jobs-- are almost all in the Shang and the Jing.

But I love Dalian, and I have time, comfort, and emotion invested in sticking it out here.

Part of what's attractive about freelancing is the ability to do it anywhere... I can be based here where I'm comfortable, and if I want to report on something going down in Beijing, I can always catch a plane or boat-bus combo.

Micah Sittig said...

That's cool, I can understand that. Freelancing is tough that way, eh? All the "connections" are in the big cities, while the good stories are out in the boonies.

Micah Sittig said...

Hehe, maybe "boonies" wasn't the best word. I'm sure you know what I mean.

赵晨威 said...

haha, yeah, I know you mean. Dalian, this hi-tech city of 6 odd million people... definitely boonie by China standards.