I bet you’re waiting for the Legally Blonde of the Journo movie category but there wasn’t one for me (however 13 Going On 30 and Confessions Of A Shopaholic did give the VIBES) and I still ended up wanting to become a journalist.
It wasn’t my dream job in school though, I actually hated the idea of being a journalist. We get a bad rep, and the idea of chasing people for stories was not for me, understandably. But what we weren’t told, is that *good* journalists don’t actually do that.
Growing up, I wanted to be the next Jacqueline Wilson. She was my idol. I loved all her books and wished I could spread awareness for hard hitting topics when I was a big girl too. I loved Enid Blyton for her imagination, I adored Anne Franks diary and put her high on the pedistol from a young age. All I wanted was to make a difference, and born was my love for writing.
I used to spend so much of my time writing short stories, idea’s for books and diaries. Used too? I still do.
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I found blogging at 16, and I found it for all the wrong reasons. I was in a really bad place mentally and I found blogs that promoted harmful behaviour (I thought they just understood what it was like to have depression, but I fell down a whole other hole – but that’s a topic for another day). So, I tried to find other ways to be creative. I found Zoella and Louise Pentland, and I was hooked on blogging. I started my own, and I talked about ‘what was in my handbag’ and Taylor’s latest song, I talked about clothes (even had a few *sorta* collabs – turns out giving you a discount in return for photos and blog post, IS NOT A COLLAB) and I talked about my mental health.
I fell in love, I was getting a lot of views and recognition (for me anyway) but I never believed I could make it on my own, and at 17 the idea of journalism came to me. I found an old note on my laptop where I vented my idea of becoming a journalist, then I shut my laptop and decided I’d never make it.
I tried Travel and Tourism, Photography, I worked in a bank, a call centre, a restaurant, a shop. I went to college and got my English qualification, ignored it for two years once I had been rejected from one writing course and floated between jobs, always miserable. (It was almost a Rory Gilmore moment – minus the yacht theft, falling out with my parents and getting a job with my grandmother while living in her pool house).
Then I decided I couldn’t take a life of jumping between jobs, being unhappy and applied to college. I got into a course I didn’t even have the qualifications for, and found Journalism.
Don’t get me wrong, I have my doubts – as we all do from time to time – but overall, it’s the most settled I’ve felt in a career.
And in five years time? Well, I’ll have finished university. Which means hopefully I’ll have had some experience on their newspaper, and other freelance work.
Maybe I’ll be on Vogue or Cosmopolitan, or writing for the Guardian. Maybe I’ll be a travel writer, maybe I’ll keep the blog going.
Do I have it all worked out now? Not in the slightest.
Did I have a hero I followed religiously to get me here today? No, not unless Taylor Swift suddenly counts as a journalist.
I knew I loved writing, it was as simple as that. I wanted to make a difference and be able to express myself. I realised I could do that thorugh writing. Here I am, almost a journalist.
Well, I am a journalist. Actually.