I started working as a journalist when I was 17. And I was a journalist for 13 years. At 30 I had almost half my life doing the same thing (in various places, a few TV stations, local and regional, a good few newspapers, and one Radio. I couldn’t see myself doing anything else. That was my life.
Actually, while I changed multiple other jobs, I kept my roots with the same radio station for around 8-9 years (I think). But that’s another story…
All this time I use to write around 10,000 words a day – may be less in some days, more in others. From the top of my head, I said that I probably wrote over 1 million words. And a few minutes ago, while preparing to write something, just to break the ice on this blog, I said, let me do quick math – there are 52 weeks in a year, and that’s for 13 years. Each week I was working six days – on Sunday we had to get the newspaper ready for Monday – so times six, times 10,000 words. And I was surprised that instead of one million, actually, I wrote in those years around 40 million words.
Of course, you might say that how many words I wrote is irrelevant, what’s relevant is how many stories. And how many of those stories were meaningful. Unfortunately, it wouldn’t be that easy for me to do the math for stories. But a lot sounds like an adequate answer.
Back in Romania, in my curriculum vitae, I had “Excellent” in English. And I wasn’t lying – I really thought that my English was excellent. Fortunately, I never had to lie in my resume. Actually, in most newsrooms I worked I had the better English, so I was the one conducting all the interviews in this language.
Anyway, when I decided to change countries, and I had to change the main language as well. And in Malta, I had a shock when I realized that my English was very poor. I had the digital knowledge, I became the manager of the Digital Department of JP Advertising, but no one could understand my frustration to only be able to communicate half of my thoughts. It was when I was forced to stop writing content.
Yes, I had copywriters in my team, content creators, I was still the one reviewing the SEO side of the content, but I had to stop doing the only thing that I knew best – writing. In Malta, my English improved a lot, and I was certain that I’m getting there, that I’m going to be able to come back to writing sooner than later.
I actually wrote my first book that was published on Amazon – “Forget about SEO. Optimize your website for people”. I was so proud of this achievement. And I was pleasantly surprised to see that I also sold a few books. And with good reviews as well.
But then I moved to Ireland. And that was another shocker – I realized (again) that my improved English was still poor. I took my book and read it again. I was ashamed that I published a book with such poor English. And I’m still surprised that no one actually wrote a review about this particular issue. The first thing I did was to take the book off and make sure it will only be available again when its English is reviewed (by me or by someone else).
And the book still waits to be reviewed 🙂 Funny enough, what I wrote at that time is still valid, and I guess it’s even truer now. But still, the book is nowhere to be published again soon.
And I guess all this first post was kind of an explanation of why this blog. I have big plans for it. I want to share here a lot of things that I know, that I’ve learned. But first, I need to get back on track and start writing again. And this is just the first step.