Pardon me while I vent on the state of the publishing industry…

I graduated from college with a journalism degree over a decade ago. (Wow, I just made myself feel old.) Admittedly, I ended up with a journalism degree because I couldn’t do an English degree and graduate in 4-years with a double major in International Relations. Now, years later, I realize that the English degree would have been better suited for me. But at the time, I was more focused on having a writing background in general, and having loved writing for my high school newspaper I thought a journalism degree would be a good fit. About a year before graduation, I realized I didn’t want a career in journalism, but I still completed my journalism degree. I chose to let my International Relations degree lead me down a different path, and for a while that path worked.

In recent years, I’ve found myself relying more on my Journalism degree to carve out a life and career that I enjoy. It turns out it was the better fit for me than the IR degree ever was. Now, I am incredibly thankful that I have it because I know it gave me a great foundation, even if it is a little rusty, for the work I am pursuing.

One of the realities of career in journalism, or writing in general, is that it is incredibly difficult field to break into or to even stay in these days. Yes, freelance gigs can be found, but a full-time staff position at a newspaper is a much bleaker prospect. Today, Gawker.com posted an AP article on a recent survey of newspaper editors which only served to reiterate the grim picture in the newspaper industry these days: (more…)

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Wow, didn’t realize how long it had been since I last posted.

So, that big interview I had was last week & it went great. I didn’t run out of questions. He didn’t stop talking. It was perfect. The only thing that seriously could have made it better was more time. The amazing thing was that leading up to it, I was fine. No nerves. During it, I was perfectly calm. Although, actually doing interviews has never been my problem. It was always the run-up that got me worked-up. Whoever this new calmer me is, I like her. It was so nice to not be obsessing about how it could go wrong. I was just in the moment and I was ok.

How very Zen of me. (more…)

Had a bit of a revelation this morning.

In college I double majored in International Relations and Journalism. IR was my primary major. I did the journalism major to have the writing background. While I loved to write, I always hating interviewing–a big part of journalism & any future career in the field. I wrote for my high school & college papers, & suffered through the interviews for those stories. I always got great feedback on those stories, but once I was done with college, I made the decision that I would pursue work that focused on the IR degree. The journalism background would just show that I knew how to write.

Fast-forward 12-years. As I started reformulating my career plans, writing became the focus. I realized it was what I loved to do more than anything else. While I want my focus to be creative writing, the reality is, I need to make some kind of living. Thus, the journalism degree has suddenly become useful. I have talked about the fact that I need to be working on freelance articles. I have had writing instructor’s tell me I should be doing it. I’ve gotten nothing but encouragement. I know I have the writing skills. But still, the interview phobia has held me back. (more…)