There’s a shrine in the corner of my room, a collection of passes from all the newspapers I’ve ever done work experience in. I used to flick through them, trying to remember what I learned from each placement: how they’ve moulded me into a better reporter, the silly mistakes, the small triumphs. I used to be proud of them: they were trophies which marked the weeks of unpaid toil. Used to.
I’ve been trying to be a journalist since I was 17. I’m now 22. That’s five years of friends tolerating my idiosyncratic habit of reading five different national newspapers every day, and spending my summers and holidays in newsrooms (invariably without windows, why is that?).
But guess what? Trying hurts. I’m not going to stop, but it hurts. Work experience hurts. “Internships” hurt.
Rejections hurt. You will get rejected – knocked back, even for free work, as well as graduate schemes and jobs. Heartfelt emails will go unanswered, submissions ignored or outright declined (It took me a week to get over the first “No. Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless device”). If you’re trying to be a journalist, chances are at some point you’ll have your heart broken by a newspaper.
Continue reading ‘Just say thank you’