Over the past few weeks, I haven’t been writing as many blogs as I’ve been super busy. Articles, podcasts, a new job and a pending gig in radio – I’m trying not to jinx. Jinxing opportunities is an unfortunate trick of mine, and it can be really disheartening. However, a lot of exciting things have been going on dare I say the progress is really motivating.
Let’s talk COVID vaccines. I had my first Oxford Astra Zeneca jab coming up three weeks ago, which is amazing! You might think, ‘You’re so young. Why did you get the vaccine?’. After volunteering and then securing a job in a COVID vaccination clinic, it entitled me to the vaccine. Sometimes clinics will have surplus vaccines by default, or because patients don’t attend appointments, so we will offer the remainders to prevent any going in the bin.
It is so important that if you or someone in your household is eligible and contacted for the vaccine, that you attend your appointment. Over 32 million people have had their first dose of the COVID vaccine and over five million, their second. The take up is brilliant and the progress of UK Coronavirus is hopeful, but I urge anyone in question of the testing and vaccines to step forward. You feel nothing, not even a scratch. I’m actually looking forward (if you can look forward to a needle) to my second dose, to give me that extra protection. The groggy feeling is no comparison to the safety and future for everyone.
Pen to Paper
I mentioned at the start of this piece, that I’ve been busy. March was so busy that I didn’t take time to see what I’d achieved; Five articles later, the reality of what hard work means helped me sit at ease. Imposter Syndrome is a genuine thing that many people experience, but I feel like in the journalism/creative industry it’s always creeping behind you.
For me, writing for ‘Empoword Journalism’ a woman led news platform has helped me build confidence and strength in my writing. Sometimes edits made make me feel so ridiculous and stupid, but typos are easily fixable! It’s like finishing a word search and last word is right there in front of you, but because you’ve spent so much time analysing the page, you miss little things and make minor error. Then, someone comes along and picks it up in a matter of seconds. Maybe two pairs of eyes are better than one, even if you feel you’ve lost face.
I spend much of my time trying to better what I’ve just done, or picking apart what I cannot change and forcing myself to believe it is never enough. I don’t think I’ve ever written five consecutive articles through an editorial system. I couldn’t ever believe I’d be writing for external publications. Progress?
Using my Voice
Everyone has a voice and I want to use mine more. Not the ‘sharing my thoughts’ kind, but the actual sound of my voice. People hear my voice every-day, face-to-face, over the phone or via my ‘want to be vlogger’ story times; If you want to engage with this, follow me over on my Journo Instagram account @heathermariewrites. The voice I want to progress with is my broadcast voice in tone and in confidence. Radio is something I’ve always been interested in, but my lack of confidence has prevented me from really going for it and sending out radio demos.
In September I will be in Salford studying Broadcast Journalism, where hope to learn all the professional tricks of reporting, but also be in a place where I will have more opportunities. Radio is ultimately where I want to be! I have a mic and knowledge of editing, which I’ve experimented with putting draft bulletins together. Let’s just say it is an active work in progress and there might be something behind the scenes!
Progress over Perfection
‘Perfection isn’t attainable’, my therapist recently told me. It is true, but when you want something so specifically, it is hard to settle for anything less.
Learning to accept ‘enough’ is something most of us could adapt. Strive and push for better, but not for something ‘ultimate’.