Let’s give blogging a try…

So many people have expressed interest in what I am doing in Liberia and asked me to write more about it. I have been pondering this suggestion, but I am so obsessed with establishing a freelance writing career that I have been more focused on publishing comprehensive research articles than just blogging about what happened on this day or that day. I know there has been some interesting experiences that are worth mentioning, but they get placed on the back burner.

Why blogging has not made center stage yet, is that starting a writing career in war-torn nation is not an easy thing to do, and especially when “free” is the operative word of the day–meaning the amount I get paid. Prior to jumping into such an ambitious endeavor, I really took my time on understanding what needed to be done to become an online freelance writer and to know what were the various parts to make it successful. One part was getting articles published–check. Second part was finding your niche–check. Another part was marketing yourself–half a check. And the last major part was bidding and applying for jobs–no check. I receive job listings in my email, but the ones that interest me or fit my style of writing require you to be based in the U.S. or Europe. So, I’m thinking I may have to go independent and find publications that are interested in my work and will compensate for it.

Writing was not something I had ever considered as a career. But after reading Thomas Friedman’s The World is Flat early this year, it gave me the inspiration. Within this book, he gives both sides of the Globalization equation, and like anything it has it good and bad sides. Yet, when he showed how the internet had really leveled the playing field for people in developing nations, I thought hey let’s give it a try.

Another thing that gave me encouragement to take this leap, was having the opportunity to design my own degree and many of my independent studies. It was through this process that I developed my writing style, but I have to give some credit to my mom since she guided me along the way. She is someone that loves to write and is quite eloquent at it. But unlike her I never really got into writing in a journal or diary, except when it was required in school. And blogging is very much the same as writing in a journal, so it is something I have to get use to.

Additionally, as a self-directed student who was interested in law and culture, I discovered that I really love research. By taking ownership of my education and focusing on what I was interested in, some of this research allowed me to realize that my education was not about the piece paper or what job I wanted, but it was about discovering me and expanding my knowledge of the greater world. This love for research is probably due the fact I am a Curious George in a way. I remember reading the stories of this little monkey as kid and all the mischief he got into, because he was led by curiosity of the unknown, strange, and interesting. In fact, as a kid he was one of my favorite stuffed animals and I remember that I had him say one word and that was “yeaaaah!” He probably said this, because I have trouble with the word “no” because I find it too limiting when it comes to curiosity.

So, in the same vein as this cartoon character from my childhood, my curious spirit has brought me to a part of the world that most people may never explore. With that being said, I will actually try do some blogging in addition to my research articles so that I can share with my friends and family some of my day-to-day experiences in Liberia to hopefully give some insight of the struggles and triumphs that people face in war-torn developing nations.