One of the many blog posts I have promised, is the story of how I became a journalist. It’s not a particularly interesting one, I assure you. But I did promise. At the risk of sounding cliché, I’ve wanted to be a writer my whole life. Not a journalist, a writer, an author to be more specific. I wasn’t even one of those people who wanted to be a fairy princess when I was younger, or at least if I was, my selective memory has decided that I shouldn’t know that.
I always wanted to write books, ever since I was old enough to read proper novels by myself. When I was seven I wrote my first ever book, entitled, “The Demon Fish.” Needless to say it was pretty cringe-worthy stuff, I folded A4 pages in half and put a coloured page around them as a cover and then stapled it together to look like a book. I even wrote my own blurb on the back and stuck a picture on the front. Then I wrote the story. I don’t want to relay the whole story, (though I do remember it perfectly) but I will say there was magic, and detective work and even a tragic death… I know, pretty morbid for a seven-year-old. I remember when I was a few years older, I decided to actually attempt to turn it into a full novel. Based on the short few pages for each chapter, I tried to elaborate on them and type up a proper book. I even sent them to publishers, obviously without success, or else you’d be reading “How I became a famous author.” Eventually, I abandoned it, deciding it could not be done.
This was around the same time my sister (another media bug sufferer) gently convinced me that I would need a ‘backup’ just in case I didn’t walk out of secondary school with a book deal at 18. So, she informed me of the news and had the likes of Vincent Browne on in the background steering me towards a form of writing that I had never before considered. The media bug is contagious and thankfully she passed it on to me. Now I look, with a confused expression, at those people who have no knowledge or interest whatsoever in the news or the world around them. My deadly sister saved me from that epidemic by introducing me to the world of media.
In addition, that teacher I mentioned in a previous post helped too, encouraging me to enter journalism competitions and the like. So by the age of 15/16, I was convinced the world of journalism was the one I wanted to be a part of. My first published article (excluding the school magazine we created for charity) was in my sixth year in school. I interviewed a young entrepreneur in first year and it was published in my local paper, Community Voice. Nothing compares to seeing your name in print.
After that, came college and obviously I had selected my career by then. Despite my career guidance counsellors best efforts, I only put down four choices on my CAO form and they were all journalism and media based. She told me it was too specific and that I should fill out all ten options on both sides and I should definitely have a few Arts degrees down. Instead, I put down Journalism in DCU, Journalism in DIT, Media Studies in Maynooth and Communications in DCU. I also applied for the Print Journalism Diploma in Ballyfermot outside the CAO. But, luckily I got my first choice and I still remember the words uttered to us on our first day by the Head of Journalism: “From now on, you are all journalists.”
On a separate note, some of my new year’s resolutions are going better than others (check the full list out here):
I’m on track to finish my February book, Alice in Wonderland. I’ve never read it and it’s nice and short.
I have written a few paragraphs of what I intend to turn into a book. I have to make sure I keep it up.
I have practiced shorthand four/five days a week but definitely not six, although I am getting better.
Drinking a glass of water every morning and evening has gone out the window completely, as has going for a walk. Although I have run for a significant amount of trains if that counts at all.
I have yet to start The Artist’s Way.