Writing is fun, I enjoy it. The power of persuasion inherent in a well researched, well organized and well written piece can be powerful. It can also help us, personally, to organize our thoughts. My background as a Technical Writer has developed by communication skills in ways that I couldn’t have possibly imagined. By the time I was fifty, I had naturally started to apply those skills to the rest of my life.
At the same time, I also started to make a conscious effort to grow my personal interests. As I was earning more and found that I had some free time, I decided that life was about far more than work. I’ve had a lot of hobbies throughout my life, many focused around adventure or adrenaline. But many also served as a secondary income. These blog posts will be about my hobbies du jour. I will try to track and record my experiences, more for my benefit than for yours. If you are reading this, turn off the device that you are reading on and go outside. Most of the fun in life comes from chasing your dreams, not reading someone else’s.
This page discusses my current hobbies. Since those hobbies are what I will be posting photographs and blog entries about, it’s only fair to list them out for you. For each hobby listed here, you will a category of articles under the Blog heading in the menus above. But also bear in mind, this site is really just about posting an online resume to become a part-time, contract writer or a part-time photographer. While I’m electing to start by selling stock photography, I may try to transition to contract photography too.
Travel Photography: In 2016, a solo trip to Bangkok, Thailand and Angkor Wat in Cambodia elevated travel to the highest personal priority that I have. In 2014, I received a Canon Rebel T4i as a gift. That gift turned my idle interest in photography into a full obsession. These two events conspired to change from priority from generating income, to experiencing different cultures. I now plan to travel as much and as often as I can. I’m lucky enough to have an income that will support travel and a job that provides me a lot of paid vacation time.
My Rebel T4i and my passion for travel started this site and my interest in selling stock photography.
Some hobbies from my distant past; Ontario, Canada (1987 – 2007)
Real Estate: In 2016, I had recovered enough (financially) from my divorce to consider buying a condo. I bought the condo in View Royal, see the blog post about it. I had decided before I bought it that I would, at some point, flip it for profit and buy another. It took me just over a year to do that successfully. I learned a lot during those transactions. But other market forces cooled the hot Victoria real estate market. While real estate continues to be a hobby for me, a slower approach is smart it the current market. See my real estate blog posts (coming soon) for more on that.
Some hobbies from my recent past; British Columbia, Canada (2008 – Present)
Meet-Up Group: In the summer of 2011 I was new to Victoria and I didn’t know too many people. Through a conversation with one of the few people I did know, we decided to join a social group to expand our social circle. Some quick research found that the largest social group in the city was called Victoria Friends Meet Up Group. We joined the group and immediately signed up for the Tuesday Night Pool event. By the end of 2011 I had organized a New Year’s party for the group. It was going to be the party of the year and a fund raiser for the local food bank. In the picture, I’m the man on the right. The party was a smash hit. In early 2012, the former owner of the group moved away and left the group to me and two friends, as a Leadership Group. Within months one of us quit. Not too long after that, the other person was diagnosed with cancer and quit. That left the group entirely to me. While I had made some good friends among the hundreds of people that I had met, I took on the challenge of running the group alone. I had no idea how much of my time it would take. But, I rarely back away from a challenge. And so, with complete autonomy, I set out to grow and develop the largest social group in the city.
I began to work on the group on two separate fronts. The first was posting fun events to get people involved and get them out of the house for some socializing. The second was to drive efficiencies to minimize the effort of running the group while maximizing the $15 annual fees that paid to be in the group. Little Meet Up groups like this never make money, they are always volunteer endeavors, right? It turns out that they do not have to be volunteer. I wrote software that cycles through the membership lists and send out reminder for people to pay their membership dues. The moment that I started running my app weekly, the money started to come in consistently. For about five years the group provided a part-time income and an endless supply of friends and social engagements.