I'm so excited about my new life as a journalist. Metaphorically speaking, I'm learning something new every day. Today's harsh lesson in the realities of life as a humble scribe came in the form of a wake up and smell the coffee call regarding remuneration.
I'm drawn to life as a journalist because I'm inquisitive, I have a keen sense of what's right and what's wrong and I feel that everyone has a civic and spiritual duty to do unto others as you would have done unto you.
As a practicing Buddhist I understand about karma. You only have to look at what has happened to deviant pop star Boy George to realise that you cannot mess with karma.
But you can't pay the gas bill with karmic credits either!!!
My redundancy package will only last so long, I need to start earning some money from my journalism. I am swiftly coming to the conclusion that while journalism is rich in the rewards of life, it is not rich in the rewards of high finance. Money, it seems, is a dirty word among the hack fraternity. Still, that's the price for choosing the path of enlightenment. No one said it would be easy.
I billed the Metro £11.46 for the two hours I spent researching and writing my piece about the general public's views on the great public transport versus atheism debate.
I admit now I was naive.
Journalists, it seems, do not charge by the hour at all. They charge by the word. And quite right too, the pen is mightier than the sword after all. Man cannot survive on paltry sums like £11.46. My piece on sexual harassment is 237 words long, so I will send an invoice valued at £1 per word to selected editors.
I know that £237 is not a fortune, it pails into insignificance by comparison with the sort of figures I used to bring home as a salesman, but it should help to keep the wolf from the door for a while longer at least.