The Road to Chiang Mai

It has been a month and a half since I went part-time, and things have been progressing rather nicely.

I’ve been receiving weekly subtitles assignments which I’ve enjoyed doing. I also got my first movie to translate, which is a big thing given that seeing my name on the end credits in the cinema is the reason why I got into subtitles translation in the first place. I’m also now translating my first Korean series, which is heaps of fun and everything I ever dreamt of. So all has been well on that front.

In terms of teaching, I’m now down to one student. My IELTS student is taking her test tomorrow. We crammed in as many lessons as we could over the past week, and I really hope she gets a 6.5 or a 7. The one conversation student I have is a gem as always, so hard-working, so consistent. So the private tutor in me is happy.

The areas that have been lacking are writing and learning languages. I’ve more or less neglected my German, and since I uninstalled Memrise I haven’t learnt a word of Korean. I’m translating subtitles for Korean shows though so my excuse is that I’ve been practising listening skills. As for German…

Where I stand with languages is no different from where I was with my writing until two weeks ago. This is my first blog post in a while, and I haven’t gone back to revise the short story I was so excited to finish. But then…

In one of those rare strokes of luck, opportunity knocked on my door. I had recently joined a closed Facebook group for students and alumni of Thammasat University’s Faculty of Humanities courtesy of a former colleague who graduated from there, and one day a post caught my eye. A lady was looking to form a team of freelance writers to write articles on psychology – personality types, disorders, and the like.

So, I revamped my CV to hi-light my writing experiences and emailed her. Some Facebook messages and two sample paragraphs later, I got the job. My very first writing gig.

And, believe it or not, the organisation she is working with is a foundation based in – guess where – Chiang Mai! Suddenly I find myself with a work contact, access to a network of people who share my interest in psychology, and free accommodation in a leafy retreat for as long as I wish.

The foundation is called Dhammadrops. It’s not big, and it works with a lot of different networks educating and helping people. They seem like a group of people who’re using their academic interests to help others, which is pretty legit.

A few days ago I submitted my first article, “An Introverted Kind of Happiness”. The first draft needed some adjustments: my tone was a little too heavy-handed and negative. But she was happy with my second draft and the article has now been published on the website. My very first article as a freelance writer.

My second article is on the way – the Archetypal Images of the Divine Child and the Hermit, and their Impact on Personality Growth. A bit of a mouthful and not a topic I’m familiar with, which is exactly why I chose it. I’m hoping this will turn into a regular gig (which to be honest is quite likely), so I will have something to build on. Maybe I can join up with the foundation when I’m in Chiang Mai. One more possibility to think about.

So yes, it appears I have taken my first steps on the road to Chiang Mai. There’ll likely be a few bumps on the way, but I’m in no hurry. May it be a safe and rewarding journey.

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