I’ve always enjoyed writing but never considered myself a “writer”. It was a visit to a careers centre and an aptitude test that first threw up the idea of freelance writing. I was working as a waitress and certainly never believed, even in my wildest dreams, that I could make money from anything I put on paper apart from food orders. The careers adviser agreed, advising me that the media industry was almost impossible to break into and I should perhaps look to something more “achievable”.
I was, however, still curious about writing for a living and, after seeing the Morris Journalism Academy Course on the internet, had a copy of the prospectus sent to me just for fun. With the career’s adviser’s words still ringing in my ears, I carried the MJA prospectus around with me for at least a month before I worked up the courage to enrol.
I’m embarrassed to admit that even after my first MJA tutorial arrived in the mailbox I put it aside unopened and stared at it with trepidation for another fortnight. The next tutorial turned up on my doorstep and I figured it was time to nervously bite the proverbial bullet.
Imagine my excitement when leading Australian men’s magazine RALPH bought my first travel article on spec before I’d even finished the course! Not only was I well paid for the account of my adventures in India but the incredible thrill and satisfaction of seeing my first words in print will be something I won’t forget in a hurry. I was still basking in this initial success when I was commissioned for another travel story a week later by travellers’ magazine, Way2Go.
Now I’m brimming with ideas and prospective stories that I can’t wait to get out to editors. Morris Journalism Academy has not only given me the inspiration and knowledge to develop my ideas into saleable stories but also the confidence to believe in myself and to approach editors on their own turf with a professional attitude.
The course itself is stimulating from the first tutorial and refreshingly hands-on with real life tips and advice from editors and experienced journalists. The assignments were challenging but always interesting and I could actually feel myself making progress from tutorial to tutorial. I can honestly say that a three-year degree at university didn’t teach me as much as the MJA course taught me in six months. I also loved the freedom of studying at my own pace from the comfort of home and the knowledge that prompt and personal feedback from my tutor was only an email or phone call away.
Anyone who has ever toyed with the idea of writing for a living but dismissed it as out of their reach should DEFINITELY enrol with the Morris Journalism Academy. I never thought I could get paid for doing something I love but now I really am living the dream. I don’t know where my travel writing will take me but I can’t wait to find out!