I receive quite a few emails each week, and some of them are a little bit ego-stroking. However, the general theme seems to be: “Why are you not a journalist, and getting paid to write?”
I worked as a journalist for about three months when I was 16, during year 11 at my local newspaper. The dissolution of that job was not of my doing (and even Mum concedes that point so I know it’s true!) but it’s one that I did love. There was always a little thrill when I saw my name in the By-line, or when people told me that they enjoyed what I had written.
I’d thought of doing a professional writing course at TAFE or the like to hone my skills, maybe even get into Uni for a Journalism course – but, realistically, I didn’t realise how much I loved writing until I started this blog and was getting right into it. I have mentioned before that Ramblings has re-awakened some old ambitions that I pushed aside when I started my child care course (that I also loved, and I worked in the field of) but I won’t lie and say that I don’t cherish hope that one day someone from a magazine or something will see this blog and go “Hey! We should give this chickadee a job!”
My experience in Journalism itself wasn’t bad – yes, writing articles about things that bored the shit out of me wasn’t a highlight, but it did teach me to write in a positive light, even on things I disagreed with. People see journalism as a job which takes you all over the world, into countries that you may not get to other wise. However, there is a dark or boring side to it: for example, writing about something that interests you about as much as paint drying.
Sure, I would some times go through the press releases and grab at a piece, to churn it out within a 15-20 minute block; then I would find ones that just plain old sucked rocks but had to be done. Sitting at a desk that you shared, trying to regurgitate a press
release into something completely different but exactly the same isn’t always an easy feat, especially on the days where there wasn’t anything to write about and you had to go searching, only to know that you live in a small town and sometimes, things just don’t happen.
My favorite pieces to write were human interest pieces – they always intrigued me, grabbed my attention and left me wanting to engage the reader more. I liked writing about things that impacted peoples lives more than the local political agenda. I hated having to make a million and one phone calls to people to ask for their input on a story and having them tell me “Sorry, I don’t want my opinion aired.”
Having said all of that, any magazines or newspapers out there looking for a blogger, hit me up!!!