Whether you’re a media student or some branch of – creative writing (hands up), journalism, television etc., you will know that there are some people on your course who seem to have their life
Whether you’re a media student or some branch of – creative writing (hands up), journalism, television etc., you will know that there are some people on your course who seem to have their life planned out, and than plan involves being completely committed to their degree in every way.
For example, as a creative writing student, I spend a lot of time with people who are determined to become poets, and nothing else but a poet. Now, I’m not saying that that’s not admirable or interesting, but it just seems quite a lonely fate to me.
I’m much more of a people person, in the sense that I need people around me to motivate me and give me inspiration to work. For that reason I’ve always seen myself as someone who’s destined to wind up in media, rather than English.
It’s partly because I live for the thought of dashing through London in pencil skirts and scanning my ID badge in the foyer of a tall glass building with potted ferns next to the coffee machine, but mostly because I strongly believe that learning to write well is a transferable skill and a valid degree.
I chose a joint honours because I love to read and analyse as much as I love to create, which is why I don’t believe that I’m destined just to write prose without any other kind of involvement in media. I could have taken journalism, but I get a particular joy out of fictionalising that isn’t always applicable in the news.
After a while you start to think you’ve spread yourself too thin, and that someone’s going to need to create a job specifically for you, but then I stumbled onto the idea of becoming a features writer.
There’s a nice feeling that comes with finally knowing what you want to do with your life. It’s sort of warm and quite cosy and eases that particular knot of dread you didn’t even realise you were carrying around with you for so long. If you had a pound for every time someone asked you what you want to be when you’re older, depending on how many inquistive members of your family there are, you’d probably be able to buy yourself around half an iPad, or maybe even more.
Sadly, you won’t be receiving money for answering that question anymore, but no longer falling flat on your face at that question is infinitely more comforting.
My interest in features writing developed relatively slowly. I always thought I’d wind up being a secretary as my skills in post-it noting are renowned – but cemented the interest I’d always had in writing articles and other short pieces for papers, blogs and online journals.
For me there was always more joy in picking up on a trending theme or hot news story and writing something based around that, as it offers the chance to explore reflection and opinion on the subject. Features writing also offers a variety of choices, from current affairs to lifestyle to fashion to food.
A period of growth
Although naturally broken up into categories, there is no great sense of restriction. If anything, it encourages you to cooperate with other writers, and learn more about their particular fields of interest.
Possibly the greatest appeal of features writing is knowing you’ve written something that people find easy, stimulating and enjoyable to read. You’re not forcing anyone to make a choice or decision about the topic you’re presenting, neither are you being so passive that you’re being boring.
It’s the kind of work that eases the mind of many a troubled writer or budding journalist – the ability to share your work with others just because it’s good, not because it has to be ground breaking.
That’s not to say as a features writer I don’t hope to strive to do something different in the future, or write something that interests someone so much they want to reply to it, even if it is a briefly worded email from an accountant in Billericay.
But it seems to me the kind of work that offers opportunity, interest, research and allows plenty of time for self-exploration and growth. Fingers crossed, at any rate.
What do you think? If you’re studying to get into the media industry, what is your dream job in the media? Have your say in the comments section below.