The Problem With Writing

May 8, 2012
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When exploring on YouTube for journalism videos that give out tips on how to be a successful journalist, I’ve found out that they more or less have one common trait: write. Write every day. It seems blatantly obvious, I mean, the role of a journalist is to tell stories, whether they be reporting issues and events or reviews. Their job is to inform people on the news or to entertain them with their opinions on a certain subject matter. Even in broadcast journalism, where the format is television and radio, writing is essential as they require the ability to write a script that spreads the message across what they want listeners to hear.

If journalists weren’t good writers, how on Earth would we know what is going on or how would we know whether or not we should buy the latest product? Writing isn’t just a pretty little skill that is nice to have, it is something they need. They need it in order to do a good job. Bad writing equals bad reporting and bad reporting will eventually equal no job.

I enjoy writing. It is one of the reasons why I want to be a journalist. I would love to spend my time writing and to get my work read by loads of people, but there is one thing I just have difficulty doing. I don’t know what to write about. It’s like having constant writers block, and no writer enjoys having to go through that experience, especially if it’s for a long time.

The subject area of journalism which I would love to write for is the arts. Art journalism isn’t just art itself though; it includes literature, film, television, theatre and music. These are subjects in whom I immensely appreciate and gain great happiness from taking part of reading and listening to. Being able to not only just take part in these, but to review and give my opinion would be a dream come true. The problem I face, which I mentioned earlier on, is actually writing about them. I have tried numerous times to write about them but unfortunately it hasn’t gone down to well. I have either made a mess of it or I just can’t think of what to write and so end up staring at the blank document on Microsoft Word in hopes that it will somehow give me magical strength to actually write a review or an article.

Another trait I have picked up when watching these videos is reading. Like writing, I love to read. Although reading, in terms of my problem with writing, isn’t as troublesome as I don’t have to actually write anything, is still a struggle. I have exams coming up and having recently handed in a piece of coursework, I’m starting to get stressed and so I just can’t be bothered to read. The only thing I read at the moment are notes and books that have the things I need to learn in order to pass my exams and get into university. After I’ve done homework or revision, the idea of doing more reading is just something I really don’t fancy. When I was younger, I loved to read. It was something I would do nearly all the time. I was a bookworm and proud of it. Now though, with college work, I just tend to find that I can’t be bothered. Readers are known to be better writers and I aspire to be a better writing, but how can I be a better writer when I don’t have the feeling of wanting to read? Linking back to the writing theme, I’m spending most of my time writing essays and when I come home, I just don’t want to write unless I have to.

So, how do I stand face to face with the dilemma of not being able to write? If you, your family, your friends or even your neighbours know how, please feel free to tell me. Referring back to videos, a common trait I have picked up is experience. Perhaps in order to be a better writer I just need to write, simple as that. Maybe it doesn’t matter if I’m not good at first. Practice makes perfect, that’s what people say when you think you’re not good at something. Just keep trying. The experience they talk about includes published writing, so perhaps I should get myself out there. If I apply to work for my local newspaper or the new online television website in my area for free, chances are that I could actually be published, or at least know what happens ‘behind the scenes’ when reporting news. It may not be the subject area of my choosing, but it is still experience and I could get the possibility of improving my writing.

For now, my main focus is to revise for my exams and to get the required grades I need in order to get into university and study a degree in Journalism, if I get in my first choice that is. If not, a degree in Creative Writing and English Literature. Worse comes to worse and I don’t get the grades for any of my choices, who knows what will happen. Let’s just hope it doesn’t turn to that though. If I get into my chosen university and complete my degree, I feel it will be one step closer in achieving my dream of being an arts journalist. That though is going to take a few years, so right now I’m just going to continue revising, attempt to do more writing when I can, regardless of the condition being good or bad and do more reading that isn’t my notes. Wish me luck!

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