There is no easy way to become a journalist. I know. And I don’t want easy. Well, actually I don’t care how hard or how easy, I just want to be a journalist. That is not something you become overnight. Or in a fortnight. Or in a year. Technically I get a master degree in journalism come September 2013. But even that wont make me a journalist. Well, it will on paper. I have to develop my very own tone of voice and obtain journalistic experience (internship here I come!).
I am really stubborn; when I set my sight on something I will get it no matter what. In september 2010 I started writing for a student magazine at Aarhus University. Last May I got this feedback from my editor:
“You are far from untalented. You can easily become a great journalist, but it takes hard work. Lots of hard work. There are many ways to become a good writer. But the surest way is to write and write a lot. Get others (friends or strangers) to read what you write – and get some honest feedback. Read and write, then you will do well.”
About one-and-a-half year ago (maybe a bit more) I realized that to become a journalist was my dream, not just some funny business on the side. I have always been interested in linguistic communication and in the tools and mental processes involved in (efficient) linguistic interaction. And meaning making in written media – I have studied comparative literature and cognitive semiotics. I believe that I know about the way our brain works around words.
A year ago I was writing an application for a journalism master. Now I’m 7 months in on that very master programme. I chose a master programme that is more theoretical than practical. I believe that if you want to succeed at something, take the path less travelled. Do not follow the (main)stream. You won’t succeed if you do precisely as everyone else. Believe in yourself and be passionate about it. I believe that it will be beneficial to have a theoretic perspective on journalism – to study a research oriented journalism programme, that is looking at journalism cultures and media systems globally, not only nationally. Studying this, I will know more about how it all works when I’m done – just like I know how linguistic information is processed in the brain. I have the theory on my side. But I need to write more – to combine theory with practical experience. Practice my language, my tone. Set my language free. So how do I do this? Blog more, write more articles, write more in my journal. Get more inspired. I want to be a great journalist some day – remember that every day. To quote the brilliant Swedish blogger Blondinbella: “Passion is the most important thing. What you are passionate about you will become good at and if you become good at something you will often get successful at it as well – if you dare!”