Thursday, 5 July 2018

Refocusing the energy

Sorry, sorry. I know the, um, legions of Wrong Way readers have been wondering where I've got to the last while.

The recent presidential election and Colombia's World Cup exploits, nay the tournament in general, have been distractions for sure. "Yet", I hear you ask, "haven't they also been great things to write about?" Of course.

More pertinently and personally, ongoing visa complications have been occupying my mind. A right saga indeed. Akin to an existential crisis really — well in terms of my permanence in Colombia anyway. A visa-run to Ecuador is now firmly back on the cards.

Time to refocus ... (Photo from the mountains around Bogotá, Colombia)
Focusing on a new path ...
Again, a good blog topic that, you might say. However, sitting down to upload new posts hasn't seemed the most important of exercises of late. (Having my laptop stolen has also played its part; you can just never switch off in these parts.)

No more Mr Blog guy?
Now, truth be told, this lack of enthusiasm to write isn't just because of the aforementioned.
No. The thing is, there's been a slight refocusing of energies.

Basically, the blog posting has always been a labour of love. Well, the Google blog initially had a small chance of becoming profitable, but, as detailed at the time, that 'lucrative' avenue was closed off years back.

This blog, launched back in late 2011, and the El Tiempo space which began at the beginning of 2014, were started with a view to being springboards to something greater. For the record, there has never been any hope of getting financial reward for the El Tiempo blog.

In some ways, they have served this 'route to reward' purpose. They've maintained my hand in journalism of sorts as well as, so I like to think anyway, developing my writing skills (I class myself a broadcaster first and foremost, the only full-time, professional job I've had in my life to date). It's unlikely I would have been used for reports from here for Ireland's national broadcaster RTÉ if I hadn't the blogs to 'prove' my credentials.

The El Tiempo blog also played an important part in getting an independent visa as a journalist, something I've had for the last four years and hoping to get again if and when I get the new paperwork requirement sorted out. Let's just say La Cancillería hasn't made the visa process any easier.

Pet projects
These blog benefits now, however, appear to be on the wane. Other things have become more worthy of devotion, at least for the time being.

In a previous post this year I alluded to writing a book on my experiences here in Colombia. That's still a work in progress, slow progress. Indeed, while I will finish it, it may never see the light of day in terms of getting it published, be that self-published or otherwise. Whatever the case, trying to put it together is proving to be an interesting, worthwhile experience.

On top of this, the prospect of working on a long-yearned-for project with other Colombian media groups is back on the table. Or at least it seems that way. More meat should be put on the bones of that in the next few weeks and months.

If not, it will more than likely signal the time to hit for the exit door — I can't keep ignoring these signs. It would have been nice to try this project with El Tiempo considering I've been writing on this website the last four-and-a-half years, but that hasn't been possible. It's been a closed shop.

Thus, while I don't intend to scrap the blog writing completely — it can be a bit of an addiction — the frequency of posts will drop considerably.

The barrio panadería lifestyle isn't that excessive, but one still needs to earn a bit to put that bread on the table.
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