Let’s be honest; let’s not pretend. Let’s not pretend we are professionals; let’s not pretend that we are confident because you know deep down we are just amateurs and we are just human.
Every day I wake up, excited about the fact that I am a (trainee) journalist. But more importantly, I am thankful that I love writing and that I can write.
I do not have a specialism – I am learning to write about European affairs but I am hardly even close to anything professional. But I love telling stories and especially telling other people’s stories. My English is not perfect – there are so many flaws in my grammar and in my writing. But I love it when someone comes to me and says “I love what you write because I never knew about ‘it’/because it is exactly how I feel.”
“It” can be anything. It can be my perspective that refreshes your view or it can be a piece of news you don’t know. But what touches me the most, is when “it” is something that you know you have or experience, but never dare to say it or share it. It is the connection between normal human beings that makes me want to write. Just a voice to say what is already there, a voice to reassure that you are not alone.
This is why I am writing this highly unprofessional blog post – since we are always advised that this blog is actually NOT a personal blog nor is it a garage for you to dump your feelings in. But I know it is important to share, to point out what you are afraid to put into words – that sometimes we are not what we want to be. I am far away from the journalist I want to become. And that is okay.
Being a TRAINEE journalist is fun, but there are dark times. Half of the time you are clueless about what is happening; professionals keep repeating that the industry is dooming; you are constantly asked to stand out of the crowd (seriously what is this obsession? I want to be in the crowd, I want to feel what others feel and see the way others see); you have to go to five different events a day and you must network. You must stand out. You must be ahead of yourself, ahead of what and who you are and become a journalist you want to be.
While these are all true, sometimes, you need to stand back and not to be ashamed to JUST be who you are.
I play Bejeweled Blitz for at least half an hour a day when I am supposed to be reading more newspapers. But it clears my head and I am addicted to the game.
So many times I find myself reading a trivial novel, instead of picking up the Economist.
I know I should be concentrating on developing a portfolio in one or a few topics, but I write as I like.
I constantly want to find a different angle , but always being distracted by it that the structure of my article is falling apart. But in the end, I find the experience of failure much more valuable than getting a good grade by writing it the way that everyone does. Because then I know I have tried to be different and I walked into a wall. It doesn’t mean I shouldn’t be different, it just means I have to be different in a different way. And I am so proud of my trial and my failure because the last thing I want to be is a boring, conventional and predictable writer/journalist/reporter/HUMAN BEING.
So there you go. I am human. Even though it is good to listen to advice from people who are in the field, to try to keep your professionalism and to push yourself more into the mode of being a journalist, I refuse to put on a stern face, or write like a 55-year-old or be too frightened to make mistakes. Because that is not me. And maybe in the end, I will never get to work for Reuters, or the Economist, or anything similarly established, but I will be grateful to have lived my life the way I want it and to be the exact kind of journalist I want to be.
With my current qualification and my writing skills, I am not going to write the front page for the Guardian tomorrow. But one thing I am certain is that, I deserve to be myself and be proud of it.