Blog no: 3
Cups of tea: 2
No. of spots: 3 (left from hangover)
I write this blog now as a more experienced and now published writer (sort of) after a successful week of work experience at my local newspaper. After a bit of a slow start due to being severely understaffed and only having 6 people to write three local newspapers, the editor had me writing property descriptions to ease myself into writing in the journalistic style they prefer.
I loved it. Property is so up my street (pun intended) and I love pretending to be the next Kirsty Allsop complete with elaborate adjectives and nonsense descriptions about gorgeous homes I had never seen nor would ever be able to afford. One particular home which I referred to as ‘A substantial family home’ had six bedrooms, three out buildings and was a cool £1.3 m. An intimidating price and in reality no family could afford it, but it made for good pictures! I have now considered looking for jobs in estate agents as there appears to be more estate agents offices in my town than there are houses.
Although I am probably under experienced.
After the property descriptions came the nitty gritty and I was trusted to write 100 to 300 word nibs which are short stories at the sides of the main articles. This was exciting. I was trusted to read press releases and create a (albeit short) story including all relevant information. FAB! After I had got to grips with the system I was typing so quickly and editing and re-editing I really felt like I was working within their news team, it was all very professional.
Although this was all for free and sometimes the hours overran, I stayed behind til 6pm one evening, skipping an hours lunch for eating sandwiches in front of a computer, waiting for the next press release to land on my temporary desk. The experience has been invaluable and I thrived, compliments from a reporter in the office, on writing stories within deadlines and having a satisfying story which filled the space.
After nib writing came the phone interviews, which they were reluctant to give me in case I didn’t want to speak to people on the phone. However they quickly learnt I was no ordinary work experience, and despite some of the reporters asking me what GCSE’s I was taking (seriously) I was more than happy to sit and phone complete strangers asking them question about their experiences or views to build better stories. Then came the sports commentary (rather boring) and I copy-wrote a running commentary on a local rugby match, which had been very meticulously recorded by an enthusiastic older gentleman who’s handwriting took hours to decipher.
After my hard working week and being told how useless the previous work experience kids had been (One had written an entire article in caps), to my surprise, the newspaper published all the stories and nibs I had written, including the property pages that I had thought were a test of my writing skill. I have of course bought all three copies of the local paper under three titles as I had contributed to all of the papers from one office. And my mum and granny have requested having a copy to read and show to various people.
Now I sort of feel deflated after such a busy week, although I didn’t get a job at the end or even a sniff of a possible job due to shortage of money I am definitely sure I want to write for a living. I just hope some employer is impressed with my articles and gives me a job (here’s hoping). A rant about big corporate companies insisting graduates work for free to gain ‘experience’ within their very popular and prestigiouscompany could ensue but shan’t today as it won’t change my luck, or the luck of any of my hard working yet unemployed friends who all need ‘experience’ before they start work. Madness
On to more happier stuff like there being five VIP’s in my life having their birthday’s in the first two weeks of oct, one in particular has his big 3-0 (sorry bub I meant 28 🙂 and a fab weekend spent in canterbury town re-living the student life for ellie’s birthday, I have a theatre trip and a dinner date to look forward to next weekend.
Phew- penny pinching is necessary.
Next stop- job hunting in estate agencies