Reading the prospectus from the Morris Journalism Academy, it was easy to understand what I was going to learn and gain from the Professional Freelance Journalism Course, and also, what would be expected of me. Studying by correspondence and working at my own pace also suited my timetable and lifestyle. This journalism course delivered great advice on getting started in freelance journalism and having a tutor and the Academy staff available to answer any enquiries was a big advantage.
To be honest, it was a bit difficult starting out and finding my area of specialisation. Getting a few of my pitches knocked back from editors was to be expected. But it was a little discouraging to have more ideas rejected and to have emails and calls to editorial staff go unanswered. However, this journalism course helped to instill qualities of persistence and this encouraged me to keep an open mind which is necessary to keep coming up with new ideas.
I originally earmarked travel as my main area of specialisation. This journalism course however, encourages you to think outside of the square. I had a background in martial arts/self-defence and so I spoke with my self-defence instructor to find out if an article based on such training would help to promote his school.
My pitch to Blitz martial arts magazine was a break away from my pitches to travel publications and it turned out to be my breakthrough. Within a year, I had three articles published with the magazine. This success was important in building confidence in my ability to pitch ideas and write articles worthy of publication. I’m aiming to build on these achievements and continue writing in this field as well as expanding my focus to other areas. I’ve also established a travel blog to share my travel experiences and have contributed a piece towards my soccer club’s annual report.
Motivation a key to success
Success hasn’t come easily. In fact, there was a point when I had thought of shelving my freelance journalism plans. But it’s been helpful to go back over the tutorial notes in the difficult times. I feel this journalism course has not only given me the tools to get started, but also helped me to stay motivated and persevere with my goals.