Two years of blogging

Akshat Jiwan Sharma, Wed Dec 31 2014

A very close friend of mine, we go way back, got married this year. We hadn't seen each other in months and one night he comes to my place and says "Akshat come outside I've got something to tell you". With him it's always like this, he likes to leave conversations on a dramatic pause. You know it's the same trick that agatha christie employs in her novels. When the dialogue tends to get exciting and the reader is about to discover some critical clue that may lead him to the murderer she will leave the sentence hanging with a "....". While I quite enjoy these breaks in conversation in her books I don't really like it when any one else does it. Take for example what my friend said to me when he came to my place on that night: --- "Akshat come outside I've got something to tell you". What am I supposed to make of this? He wants me outside, okay but it was quite chilly I was all warm inside so didn't quite feel like going out. But before I could ask him what the matter was all about he hangs up. So I put on my jacket and proceed to go out quite determined to tell him that this would not do.

I go outside we shake hands and I say to him "What's up?" you know small talk before I tell him that I don't quite appreciate him hanging upon me before telling me whole thing and I don't really like going outside when it's warm inside to know the whole thing. And he says to me " Bhai Akshat I'm getting married". So I laugh and he says "No really!". By the earnest expression on his face I believed him. But I didn't quite know what to say to him. Congratulations were in order so I congratulated him and he said "get in we've got to give a few invitations."

"When?"

"on 29th"

"okay so really?"

"Yeah what do you think?"

Well I can confirm now that he was indeed serious. He really got married on 29th and has disappeared again. But I expected it. I even think it's kind of beautiful like you know a "movie with a happy ending". Maybe they are "riding into the sunset together" or err... maybe I am looking for this song.

So anyway it's been two years since I started blogging. I have always been a big fan of Anne Frank. I loved reading the diary of a young girl and I was very impressed with her optimistic "always seeing the bright side of life" nature. Of course the end is a bit sad but I always feel good whenever I re-read her dairy. She was my inspiration when I started this blog. Quite a few entries in this blog were personal in nature where I tried to write in her style. Just an account what happened in the day, or what I was doing in my life etc. But as interesting as Anne's life was mine is kind of boring.... which is why for a while I was unsure of what to write about. Until I discovered Harry Stephen keeler. Harry is my wiring hero. He wrote for the sole purpose of writing. The only objective was to string words together. Even or should I especially when it did not make any sense. This approach to writing, I have observed, frees me from any inhibitions. While I am still not as brave as Mr keeler to write anything that comes to my mind I do let my self loose from time to time :)

This has to be the best quote in any book ever

“For it must be remembered that at the time I knew quite nothing, naturally, concerning Milo Payne, the mysterious Cockney-talking Englishman with the checkered long-beaked Sherlockholmsian cap; nor of the latter’s ‘Barr-Bag,’ which was as like my own bag as one Milwaukee wienerwurst is like another; nor of Legga, the Human Spider, with her four legs and her six arms; nor of Ichabod Chang, ex-convict, and son of Dong Chang; nor of the elusive poetess, Abigail Sprigge; nor of the Great Simon, with his 2,163 pearl buttons; nor of — in short, I then knew quite nothing about anything or anybody involved in the affair of which I had now become a part, unless perchance it were my Nemesis, Sophie Kratzenschneiderwümpel — or Suing Sophie!” - Harry stephen keeler.

Personally 2014 has been a good year. I saw the sea for the first time. We were in a bus, I was sitting ,on the window seat of course :), and there it was behind the huts. Wide, blue.... infinite. To be honest I was a bit scared to go near at first but after a while I was at home. Well not really because let me tell you that the sea is a poor host. I step into it with utmost respect and I dip in with great reverence and the salt in the water burn my eyes and I gasp a bit and the water enters in my mouth and then my tongue starts to burn so I head off to solid ground quite content at looking and letting the waters wash my feet. But I guess it warmed up to me after a few days cause we played for 6 hours from morning to noon first in the sea and then outside. I think if you can get to know the sea first then it is quite gentle. When we played cricket on the beach the ball would go into the water and he would ask his waves to give it right back to us. What do you think a river or a lake would have done?Innocent sea.

Professionally 2014 has been a mixed year. It started pretty well. By 2013 I had established myself on odesk. I had a good reviews under my name and I got most of the projects I bid on. odesk also started a "Money back guarantee scheme" where they selected a few freelancers for whom they would refund the money if they were unable to give satisfactory results. I was a chosen under this scheme (automatically I guess cause they never really asked me) which further improved my chances of winning a bid. Anyway after reading the advice of few people I decided to quit odesk so that I could take on better projects from better clients. The idea was good. I was feeling myself that after a certain stage it is pretty hard to go any higher on odesk. But it didn't really work out as I had expected. While on odesk I was "verified" and "endorsed" in the real world I was just another guy who was looking for work. It wasn't all bad cause I did get a few projects from clients in the "real world" just that I could have managed the transition better. A bird in hand is worth two in the bush and all that.

The side effect of all this has been that I have finally discovered the best people to work for. I think that as a solo worker you should also we working as close to the principals as possible. A principal is someone who is making money. You want to working directly for him. The amount of money you make is inversely proportional to the distance from the principal your are working with. As a writer for example you could be working for an insurance company or an agency which is working for the insurance company. Where do you think you will make more money? Of course it is difficult to land these clients in the first place but if you can get them they can be the best clients you will have. Mr. Walt Kania has been in this business for decades and he shares some good tips for some one who is still new to this whole freelancing thing.

What else? Oh this and that. I won't ever run out of things to say :) but hey today being new year's eve I suppose you have to leave? Happy 2015 to you. Thank you for reading and do come around from time to time.

An year of blogging


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