Self doubting

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Now I’m into journalism, I’m feeling conflicted. I know it’s the right choice, it’s what I want to do and there’s nothing else I’m interested in, in terms of major.

It’s way easier to move into PR and marketing than vice versa, and I wouldn’t mind trying my hand at publicity at some point.

But in terms of journalism, well I’m having major self doubts. How am I going to find stories every week? I mean, I know it’s possible – thousands of past students have done it. But without press releases landing on your desk, without a huge social network or connections, without involvement in tons of groups and the community, it’s really daunting. Let alone breaking important news…

And in terms of actually working post grad, then what? I’m definitely into beauty, but by no means am I any sort of authority. I’ve come to enjoy hard news more, but I don’t think it’s where I want to stay. Especially since I’ve noticed a pattern: something happens, something bad, kneejerk reaction, go to authoritative sources to comment and report on subsequent ‘calls for action’ whether it’s tougher laws, smoke alarms, more lifeguards, more police, cracking down on drink driving, whatever. And it seems kinda of repetitive and lame to me. One negative event doesn’t warrant a full on banning of whatever is at fault, especially when it happens over and over.

Being a columnist certainly looks fun, though I don’t know what on earth I’d ramble on about. Then again, look at stuff like the Listener (a mag I do enjoy!) and Bill Ralston’s Life column, the Inbox column, the Internaut…. My opinions aren’t strong enough on REAL issues, as yet, and I definitely couldn’t defend any of my views very well at all. And frankly, I hate conflict. Which is no good, and I’ll have to develop a much thicker skin, I know.

I think I’d really like to get into features, especially music writing. Ever since I stopped playing guitar my love of music has waned. I used to religiously have the radio on, and listen to music on my computer 24/7. I haven’t had the radio on in months, and because I only just figured out how to make the new Windows Media Player sync with my music folder, I wasn’t listening to my songs. I’m hoping to get back into playing guitar later on, now that I’ve realised it really is okay to just putter around and play for the hell of it. I was getting too worked up, too focused on GETTING GOOD and it simply wasn’t fun or relaxing anymore. I wasn’t improving and I just couldn’t play standing up. Now I really don’t care whether I can play upright or not, or whether I can play Astronomy perfectly, I’d just like to get back in the zone of playing for hours, just because. And I think tying that in with writing would be amazing. I love being at gigs, I like the buzz of events. I would be keen as to do reviews and interviews and be part of the scene that way.

I’ve almost convinced myself! But anyway, that’s still a far far distant dream; there’s lots to get through before that point. As time goes on though, I’ve realised it’s okay to not actually know what you want. So many people don’t. even ones much, much older than me. They don’t have all their shit together, and so I’m not gonna panic. Careers today are so much more dynamic, and it’s not that hard (at least in the media field, from what I can see) to move laterally, sideways, or even transition from sales to editorial. And with the web growing by the day, hopefully there will be lots of online opportunities come next year.

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