By Annette Stevens.
It’s been nearly a year since I began to write for Jump for Journalism (nine months to be exact) and I thought I would share some of the things I have learnt along the way:
- It’s okay to ask questions… in moderation! Ultimately, it will further your understanding and experience, and above all, adds to your creativity.
- Contacts are key! If applying for a job in journalism, if you already know someone with an ‘in’, mention it on your application form or ask them to give you a reference.
- Before going for a job interview, make sure you understand the product. It really is too easy to say ‘I love fashion, and Vogue seemed a great outlet for me’. If you give depth to your description, such as your favourite section/columnist/writer/photographer/interview/piece, you will look more suited to the job.
- Keep in contact with the people you contact. If you can forget the essential details, write in a table the following: name, occupation, address, Twitter handle, email, phone number.
- Social media is a great tool to help with your career. Use the resources, that are at your fingertips wisely. It can add momentum to your career. Want to get an interview with someone from that TV show? Tweet them!
And from the professionals, I have some last tips also:
“But if you’re a writer, I’d try to take a writing workshop class so you learn to give and get criticism and to write on demand. It’s a great way to figure out if you’re cut out for the business! And read — a ton. It will improve your writing and help you figure out where your writing fits into the greater literary canon.” Jodi Picoult, novelist
“Read. A lot. Write. Never throw any writing away, but on the other hand, don’t think everything you write will be published. Write because you want to do it. Keep a notebook for random thoughts, ideas and observations. Don’t think in terms of writing whole books – short practice pieces are more valuable.” Celia Rees, author and teacher
“Just write. Relentlessly. And don’t worry about what anyone else is writing. If you have an idea and someone does it, you can still do it but put your spin on it. When I did Super Slim Me where I dieted down to a Size Zero, two other programs were made doing exactly the same thing, but I just did mine my way, and that’s all that matters. Also be determined but don’t be annoying. Desperation and hassling busy people isn’t the right way to do it. Presenting busy people with something they can’t turn down is the way to go. Work hard, it will pay off.” Dawn O’Porter, journalist, columnist, novelist and presenter
Until I write again!