What counts as success?

There was a time, when I was very young, when I believed that one day I would be a part of the Oscars, one way of another. Well, I have! I watch The Oscars on telly every year, but that wasn’t what this very young version of me had in mind. Strangely, even at that young age, I never limited my dream of being a part of the Oscars. It didn’t matter to this younger me if my contribution would be behind a TV-camera in the production team, or if I would get a nomination for something I had written or been a part of producing. All I knew was that it would have nothing to do with acting, because that was not one of my interests.

“Strangely, even at that young age,

I never limited my dream”

Looking back at this belief more than four decades on, I must congratulate myself for being so astute, so early on in life, when it came to my interests and what I would work with. My first “proper” job after finishing my studies back in Finland where I was born, was as a newspaper journalist on the local paper. I didn’t apply for the job. It was offered to me based on a few years of freelancing whilst still studying. I wish the 23-year-old version of myself would have realised what a big success story it is to be offered a permanent job as a journalist at such a young age. Sadly, I didn’t, because it somehow came too easy and I hadn’t even asked for it.

It took a few years in the job before I had to admit to myself that sniffing out news wasn’t a talent of mine. Writing feature stories and painting a person’s portrait through words was something I had a bit of a talent for, but could I ever find a news worthy thread to spin on?  The short answer is no. I could not!

“I wish the 23-year-old version of myself would

have realised what a big success story it is…”

Whilst studying and freelancing on the newspaper, I also spent a lot of time learning and working with another passion of mine; filming and editing. I became a part of the towns local TV station. I started out as a gofer, and a few years later I was able to, all by myself, build up a studio with cameras, lights and sound before a 3-camera live production. A year after that I oversaw the technical team and the “behind the camera” production of the live Sunday entertainment productions. This may sound very grand, but it was a very, very, very  tiny TV-company, with a very small audience. Still, what I had learned was applicable in bigger situations too.

After four years on the newspaper I was able to apply for a job at the Finnish National TV FST/YLE. That job was in front of the camera as a journalist and presenter for a factual weekly programme. To my amazement, I got the job and this time I could smell the sweet smell of success, because a journalist job within the national TV had been my main goal in life since I was fourteen. At twenty-seven I got it.

My TV-experience became bitter sweet and short-lived, because I wasn’t very comfortable working in front of the camera. My big passion was always the editing room. After a year in my “dream-job” I moved to England.

Four years later I was offered another job back in Finland. The newspaper in my hometown was starting a free weekly magazine containing only positive news. The purpose of the magazine was to boost the moral of the area. I was asked to come over to work as Editor in Chief starting up this magazine. It was a one-year contract. I am certain they had asked every other living and breathing journalist inside Finland before they, as a last resort, rang me in England, but after four years in England, working far away from anything I saw as my identity, I felt I needed to prove I could manage a job like that, so I took on the challenge.

During this time there were a lot of personal challenges in my life, but the job was a success. It was my kind of “journalism” with feature stories and positive news. I was involved with everything from editorial, the design of the pages and holding the strings between all the departments from advertising to printing. I loved it! I was actually good at it! Due to personal reasons, I moved back to England after the contracted year came to an end, but I came back with proof that I actually know what I’m doing inside the newspaper world.

After that I kept my writing going with columns to various papers and magazines in Finland, and I have so far written three e-books. One under my real name. It is called The Storyteller and can be found here; https://www.amazon.co.uk/Storyteller-Åsa-Sandberg-ebook/dp/B006Z0KXTM/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1521199206&sr=1-1&keywords=the+storyteller+Sandberg

I suppose I should thank the five-year-old me that had the courage to reach for the stars when planning her future, because thanks to that there have been moments of success in my life within my chosen area but on a smaller scale. It is so easy to forget these little sparkles and only see what went wrong in each situation, when sitting in a highly mortgaged house and with nothing to show for decades of work. I feel it is important to sometimes look for those highlights and remember that it hasn’t all been a waste of time.

“It is so easy to forget these little sparkles

and only see what went wrong”

This long and winding road of writing finally took me to song-lyrics in 2013. I’m sure the five-year-old in me would aim for the 137,190,870 plays on Spotify, that Elton John’s “Rocket man” has at the time I’m writing this and would want to emulate that. The more mature me is much more modest and has way too much respect for Sir Elton’s long and glorious career to go anywhere near that in my dreams. But yes, I do dream of getting signed because if that’s not my goal, what is the point in writing?

One way to copy the young me and her way of dreaming, is to not have any boundaries when it comes to music styles and projects. This has already paid off in a little way. A couple of years back Fredrik Holm, (http://2b-intune.com/ my co-writer for many years) and I, wrote a Peace Anthem for a choir. This was one of the times when I wrote the lyrics to the finished melody. The Anthem for Peace is called “It’s Time”. Mäster Olofskören, a Swedish Choir, put our peace anthem in their repertoire and performed it for the first time ever on the 17th of April 2016 in The Royal Palace Church in Stockholm, Sweden. Knowing that a choir was singing my words in the beautiful Royal Palace Church in Stockholm felt pretty amazing. Since then our Anthem of Peace has been picked up by many other choirs around the world and is spreading ripples of peace all over the globe. That, I feel is a success story that I can be proud of.

I will leave you with the lyrics to “It’s time” and a YouTube clip with the recording from The Royal Palace Church and Mäster Olofskören.

Take care until next time and happy writing!

Åsa

It’s Time (An Anthem for Peace)

It’s

Time to make a change, it’s

Time to look inside, it’s

Time to be the best we can

and Time to be at peace.

It’s

Time to seek forgiveness and

Time that we forgive, it’s

Time to turn away from hate, and

Time to welcome joy!

It’s

Time to welcome laughter and

Time to leave our fears. It’s

Time to meet as souls and

Time to live as one!

It’s

Time to meet as souls and

Time to live as one! It’s

Time to meet as souls and

Time to live as one! It’s

Time to find the best inside…

us all…

It’s

Time to make a change, it’s

Time to look inside, it’s

Time to be the best we can and

Time to be at peace.

It’s Time…….

It’s Time……

It is Time to seek forgiveness.

It is Time that we forgive.

It is Time to turn away from hate

and it is Time to welcome

it is Time to welcome JOY!!

It is Time to welcome JOY!! (Time)

It is Time to welcome JOY!! (Time)

It is Time to welcome JOY!! (Time)

It is Time to welcome JOY!! (Time)

It’s Time!

It’s Time!

It is Time to welcome JOY!! (Time)

It is Time to welcome JOY!! (Time)

It’s

Time to make a change, it’s

Time to look inside, it’s

Time to be the best we can and

Time to be at peace.

©Åsa Sandberg 2015

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xd6PiycULA8

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5 thoughts on “What counts as success?

  1. Jag är så glad över att jag fick uppleva Mäster Olofskörens uppförande av It’s Time. Tack för den upplevelsen, Åsa!

    Liked by 1 person

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