Making it up as I go along


Making it up as I go along
Sydney, Australia

Sydney, Australia

I’ve been procrastinating or perhaps I’ve had a little stage fright now that I’ve put the idea out there of going to see the Northern Lights and it’s already starting to gain some traction.

Sending out that first blog felt a little like stepping over a ledge without assurance that there was ground beneath my feet to meet my next step. There was. The immediate response has been both inspiring and humbling in terms of the love and support I have received through this blog, Facebook, Twitter and my favourite addiction, Instagram.

Thank you all so much and please keep it coming because I suspect that this is where the magic truly happens – whether it’s borrowed confidence, bravado, fear of public failure or something else entirely – I feel both compelled and propelled by your participation in this journey.

So far, I’ve received some fantastic suggestions on how I might raise funds, some of which I will elaborate on below but before I do, I want to make a commitment to you to follow up every idea I’m given no matter how big or small and report back to you on my progress.

So here they are:

Several of you have suggested that I write and sell my story and I am truly humbled by the kind and enthusiastic feedback that accompanied each of these suggestions. To this end, I have sought advice from a dear friend who’s an editor with a major publisher in the UK. She too was very encouraging. In the end however, having a book published – through self publication or otherwise – is a long road not likely to yield the short term funding I need. Advances are generally reserved for established writers or figures of notoriety far beyond mine!

Still… it couldn’t hurt to drum up a bit of hype, get this ball rolling a little faster and get word out about my mission. If I’m going to be asking people to publish me or even give me a meal, tour or place to stay around the way – I really need the numbers to show I’m worth their while. So how do I do that? All you social media wizards, strategists and tech-heads out there – I need you!

The other suggestion around writing was to approach travel publications more specifically about this adventure. This one actually came from someone who, until recently, I knew only as @bananaowl on Instagram. We have been following each others photos and somewhere along the way, she read my blog and has now very generously shared with me course materials from a travel writing class she did. I’m overwhelmed and thrilled to have made this connection.

Again, I feel like I need to get a bit more momentum going or do I? Is 13,500 hits on my last blog compelling enough to start approaching people and pitching my idea? Does anyone have any contacts or suggestions for who I should approach?

And now for something completely different…MAKE UP

This suggestion comes from the lovely Kristen who seems to have read my mind. Somehow, however, hearing it from someone else gives the idea greater validity.

One of the chapters in my very episodic career is ‘Makeup Artist’ – back in my uni days I trained to paint faces with Napoleon Perdis in the basement of his, then one and only, store on Oxford St, Paddington. It helped me make ends meet back then and perhaps it will again.

A few years back, I had the idea of offering my services to people who have makeup but lack the confidence to know what to do with it. The idea is that they’d come to me and I’d teach them how to apply it to best suit them (as opposed to the model on the packaging) and make suggestions for colours, tools and techniques that would make the whole ordeal a lot less complicated. I’d even go shopping with them to de-mystify the sometimes intimidating cosmetic buying experience. I’ve been doing this for years for friends anyway (and loving it) and thought at the time that it might be an opportunity to raise funds for charity. I got as far as learning how difficult it was to register as a charity!

Now that I need funds myself, I’m going to give it a go! In honour of my original intent, I’ll still donate 20% to charity and once I’ve reached my goal, I’ll continue to do it on an ad hoc basis entirely for charity.

So, let’s say $60 for an hour lesson (so cheap!!) and another $50 if you want me to come shopping with you. Better yet, why not get a few friends together and make an event of it?! The Patches McGee Parlour (so named this very instant) can accommodate groups of up to about four or five I reckon and a group discount can be negotiated. Alternatively, if you don’t care how it’s done and you just want your face painted, that can be arranged too! I can even knock up a voucher if you wanted to give it as a Christmas gift! Now there’s an idea! (Kristen, you get it for FREE for the suggestion!)

If you’re interested, let me know. Please also spread the word and if you have any suggestions for how I can better tout this than through a travel blog… I’m all ears!

Anyway, there’s much more I could say but I’ll leave it here for now. I’m not at all sure I’m doing any of this properly but at this stage I figure it’s better to do something with flaws than to do nothing perfectly. Besides, I’m just making it up as I go along! Aren’t we all!

Please keep the suggestions coming and I’ll be back soon with a progress report on the actual trip planning!

Naomi Doyle, aka Patches McGee is a writer, traveller and phone-ographer in desperate need of your help to make her next trip to see the Northern Lights a reality. Join the journey here by subscribing to this blog, on Facebook at Patches McGee, Twitter @patches_mcgee and Instagram @patches_mcgee



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