I haven’t written a blog post in 8 months. So, this might be a weird one. I wanted to write a post that explains where I have been on a personal level and where Over Saturated has been as well as where it will be going. I am going to start the post by looking at why I haven’t written a post in so long and what the future holds for me. After that we’ll chat about Over Saturated and what is happening here.
Where have you been?
I am not much of an influencer, so no one has asked me that question directly. However, judging by the fact that you are reading this, I guess you asked yourself that question quietly at a point throughout this year.
In March, I started studying a PGCE. It is something that I have thought about doing since my first year of University but put off for various reasons through my life. Over the last few year I discovered that I do not enjoy a typical office job but then due to the pandemic, I realised I don’t like working from home either. I realised it was the work that I was not enjoying rather than the space I was doing it in. I constantly thought, “there has to be more to life than this…”
Turns out there is. For me, I have found that in teaching. I initially wanted to start teaching after the pandemic, because wearing a mask the whole day seemed like a nightmare and COVID is big scary. In May, I started my teaching prac and a few days in, I knew I just wanted to teach. I knew the risks involved but I knew that it was what I needed to do. I was then, fortunately, offered a part-time teaching job, so I took it.
At the same time, my wife and I move to Grabouw to house sit for 6 months. Six months with no rent in the middle of a pandemic while we were both able to work from home – we couldn’t say no. Only problem, the school I was offered a job at is in Somerset West. We had moved before I officially got the offer, so a long drive every day it was to be! I did so much driving that I ended up getting a neck injury.
There is another twist in the tail, I was teaching part-time but I thought I had some spare time so I kept working part-time for the company that I used to work for. I wasn’t wrong but I definitely also wasn’t right about the spare time. Essentially, I ended up working two part-time jobs while studying and driving for just under 2 hours every day.
Naturally, my passion projects (like Over Saturated) fell to the wayside. Fortunately, while I might not have been working that actively, I got a new lease on creative thinking. Which is how I have come up with a new direction for Over Saturated, that I love.
What’s your plan, man?
Before we get into that, let’s look at what is next for me. I was offered a full-time to teaching position for next year, so that is what I will be doing for the next few years. I have spent many nights contemplating what this means for my writing. As you know, I don’t typically shy away from making my feelings known in my writing but I am thinking about how I can do that, while it not affecting how my students interact with me. This could be an egomanaical way of looking at it, but I do worry they will find some of writing and that could affect my relationship with them in one way or another. I genuinely don’t know how to handle that, if you are a high school teacher and have a way dealing with this. Please send me a message or comment – it will be really helpful!
However I end up handling that, I will continue to write next year. I am aiming to actively start working on my creative projects more. This year they dropped somewhat because I just didn’t have the time or the energy. Next year that needs to be different.
I have also started a few other projects that I am really excited about, so I am going to be working on those next year too. The goal for me next year is to be a fantastic teacher and to work a lot more on my passion projects when I am not teaching.
Cool, talk to me about Over Saturated now?
There is no point in mincing words here. 2021 was a rough year for Over Saturated. The last article published on the site was April – and it was written by me.
I think there are a few reasons why we did not see many blogs written this year. I would put it down to three main factors.
- We have not been able to pay writers
- We are all somewhat burnt out after two years of a pandemic
- It’s really difficult to put yourself out there at the moment
Everything feels costly at the moment. A minute I spend working where I am not earning money feels like a waste of time, and it does not feed me. If I have a strong opinion about something it feels like I might stoke up an argument, and I don’t have much energy for those right now because as mentioned a lot of us are burnt out. I may be wrong but I think many people that want to write from the heart have struggled to because we don’t have the capacity to and if there is no incentive of earning it becomes even more difficult.
It could also be that the Over Saturated wesbite is trash and no one wants to write on a platform like this. I don’t believe it’s that though, so I will push on with the project.
So, things are tough, what are you going to do about it?
One day I was on my way to play a round of Golf like the good bourgeoisie boy that I am. I forgot my cap despite my wife’s insistence on me looking after my pale skin. So, I went and bought the cheapest cap I could find. It was a plain navy blue sports cap.
While I was wearing it, I thought, the Over Saturated logo would look great on this. I went and played my round of golf . It was unbelievably refreshing – I have been getting back into some of my favourite sports this year and it has been so good for me. Anyway, after the round I thought; let me see if I can find someone that can print logos onto clothing.
I found a supplier that week. Gave them the navy cap and they embroidered the logo onto it. I loved it. So, with a lot of discussion with my wife, I hatched a plan.
What if we kept the exact spirit of Over Saturated but found a more concrete way to enable us to pay African creators?
The New-ish Over Saturated?
Here is what I decided, let me turn Over Saturated into a brand that sells merch to help fund African creators to tell the stories that they want to tell. Same basic principal as before, except we now have a more concrete way to find funds for creators.
We have started that process by selling caps. We are selling them at a discounted rate because they are the first batch of caps and don’t quite fit the vision I have for the brand.
In future the plan is to have limited runs on speciality Over Saturated branded merch at a reasonable cost.
That is a small update on me as a person and on the platform that I have created and love. Hopefully next year will be a much more fruitful year for the platfom, for you and for the rest of the world.