As an avid reader of just about everything, I came to realize over time, that many writers had a lifestyle that seemed desirable. All a writer needs is a laptop, a phone, a camera and the right skills. Mix it in with a bit of sheer grit and the opportunity to live the way you want starts to look like a real possibility.
Since finishing the course with Morris Journalism Academy (MJA) my motto has become “live life and write about it”. Although I still have a long way to go until I build up my writing career, I am starting to see this become a reality.
Writing can give a person the opportunity to spend time engaged in the things they love. Perhaps travel, politics or even a hobby. In my short time as a writer I have been able to interview people about their great passions and relay their ideas and energy to my readers. I love this and feel that I am contributing something to the world and our and great democracy instead of just living in them.
My goal when I started the course was to make back the fees by the time I finished the study. To me it was a way of putting myself under a little pressure, I think that this approach made it harder but at the same time gave me some real world application as a journalist; not to mention paying for the course. I am happy to say that I was able to reach my goal and made back the fees by the time I finished.
I was working full time during the course and had other commitments my so time was at a premium. I did most of the course on my phone in spare moments and used Google Drive to sync the results to my home computer where I gave them a polish-up before sending them in. At the same time I was chasing up story ideas and doing my first interviews.
So far I have had about half a dozen stories published. One in a local newspaper, one on a prominent news website and three features in national magazines with two more features going to print soon. I also contribute to a website called Weekend Notes.
MJA gave me an experienced tutor for the duration of the course so I had a real sense of one to one teaching giving me some great feedback on the exercises. The tutor wasn’t shy about letting me know when my work wasn’t up to scratch either, which was good for me and helped me get to a standard that would be good enough for publication.
The problem I faced before the course was that I didn’t have the necessary skills to realise my dream of becoming a writer. That’s where MJA came in…
All in all the skills you learn in the course are enough to get started as a writer. If you can come up with the grit and stay focused on success; the opportunity is there to learn and get started in a new adventure.
To see some of Ryan’s work please visit www.weekendnotes.com.