So, there I was, redundant in London – so true, on so many levels. . . – and, I had decided, ready to embark on the journey that would really change my life. Really. This time it would be the right thing. The right fit. The right career. My calling.
I researched and researched. I found the school that looked like the best fit and that had the best reputation. I applied. I was accepted. This was it!
Hmmmmm. . . .
MA Journalism degrees (certainly at that time) were few and far between. In our first few days of the course, we were even told that ‘real journalists’ would never bother with a course like this. Real journalists just ‘do it’.
Hmmmmm. . . .
We were also told that journalism isn’t about writing. Real journalism is about a quest for the truth. Real journalism is a public service. And, you know, I really believe all those things.
We were then sent out for ‘experience’, which taught me that real journalism is very hard to find. I did a stint with a tabloid magazine, and I did a stint with one of the UK’s most respected left-wing political magazines. You know what I learned? I learned that really what they were both focused on was – drum roll, please – marketing. Selling. Money. Income.
I’m not completely naïve. Everybody – individual or company – has bills to pay. But, when you sit in an editorial meeting for a well-respected left-wing political publication and the conversation is about maybe getting some champagne socialist to pen a column to make it all more palatable, you start to question the public service aspect of the craft. . . .
So there, it seemed, I was.
Back at square one.
Back to marketing.
Well, I reasoned, if, no matter what option I choose, I’m going to be the ‘master of the myth’ as some guy in an airport so accurately described it, I might as well get paid for it. At least that was honest.
And back to corporate it was.
So, you see, I have done some ‘writing’. I have even been ‘awarded a graduate level degree’ in a subject largely associated with ‘writing’.
But, in my heart of hearts, I know that nothing I have done is really, truly writing. . . .