Restart: Week Fifteen

Happy New Year!

Yes, New Year’s Eve, and what better a day to reflect on the past year?

You’ve probably read a dozen posts about how this year has been for so many people, and I’m not about to break that.

This year has really been a massive one for me. At the beginning of 2015, I was a writer at the university magazine, with no real idea what I wanted to do with my life. Now I’m on one of the best journalism courses in the country, writing for five websites and senior editor at one of them.

I realised this year that I don’t just want to be a journalist. I am a journalist. And a pretty decent one given my experience.

If I were to give advice to me from this time last year, it would be to take every opportunity and don’t be too scared of the consequences. That’s what’s got me to this position and will hopefully make next year the best year of my life.

Restart: Week Fourteen

Ok, now it really is Christmas!

Nearly.

It’s busy week after busy week for me it seems. Last weekend we had the Punta Del Este ePrix, and I was covering it with e-racing.net. Covering an ePrix means writing previews, race reports, teams reactions and everything else that might be thrown your way. I love working on race weekends. There’s a lot of pressure but I find it really good to work under. The next race won’t be until February so the next couple of months will be spent trying to find stories to fill up the winter break. I have a couple in mind. It’ll be a lot of research, but I’m sure it’ll be fun.

Also this weekend was the launch of Overtake Motorsport. It’s a new website which I’ll be reporting on BTCC for (and other things, when I have the chance). As well as this, I’ve joined Inside Line Media as a BTCC reporter. It’s another few things to put in my portfolio and another reason to sit and watch racing all day…

 

 

Restart: Week Thirteen

What a week!

Since I last spoke to you, I have:

  • Handed in my politics essay
  • Completed my news writing exam
  • Attended a press conference in the Shard
  • Gotten myself a writers role at NUBI magazine

It has been a little bit of a busy week.

Friday was my last day at university in 2015. It has been an amazing first semester and I already can’t wait to get back and get started with everything I have planned for the coming year. But I can’t. I’ve about a month off to revise for my politics exam. Oh, and to relax and enjoy myself…

e-racing.net, the Formula E website I write for, was invited to attend a press conference at the Shard last Tuesday. I jumped at the opportunity, of course. It was pretty well known what it would be about – Jaguar joining Formula E. Really, the conference was a learning experience for me, and I think I learned a lot.

A few weeks ago I applied for a job at website NUBI magazine. It’s a side step from the world of motorsports that I’m currently engulfed in, and a step I’m excited to take. Yesterday, I attended the interview at the website’s office and am very happy to say I’ll be writing with them after Christmas.

After the press conference, there’s been a lot to write about, including my first article for new website Overtake Motorsports, which will be launching this Sunday.

 

Restart: Week Twelve

IT’S CHRISTMAS!

Well, it’s not. It really isn’t. I don’t think I’ve ever been less Christmas-y, to be honest (though I have had Slade stuck in my head for the past two days and I do not know how this happened). But I am still looking forward to fresh starts, good things to come, and the promise of hope in the future, which I have concluded that all winter festivals are about.

Don’t worry, I’m not drunk.

But I have been doing a lot of thinking about the future this week. It’s the end of the semester. All I have left to do for my university course is a news writing exam in a couple of hours and handing in my essay, and then I’m finished! So I’m thinking about next semester, and the opportunities that are open to me.

Let’s start off with the blogs! Both The Ghoul Student and The Eggplant Press have had a redecorate and are getting a revamp next year, with more posts, more content, and (hopefully) more readers. I’ve been coming up with ideas for both blogs and am really looking forward to seeing how that works out as next year goes on. (Check them out and tell me what you think!)

Did I talk last week about jobs?

I did. Well, I submitted my application for the writer’s role that I spoke about last week and, fingers crossed, that takes me somewhere. It would be amazing to have another place to post my work and explore new areas of journalism.

The other day I decided I wanted to be a political journalist. Ok, that’s a lie. I decided being a political journalism wouldn’t be that bad a move, and I’ve been having a huge debate with myself about that since the thought crossed my mind…

What else has happened…?

Not that much, actually. Just lots of planning for the future and looking forward with optimism.

Restart: Week eleven

It’s December! We are so close to the end of a very, very long year (or it’s been a long year for me, anyway). I’ve less than a week and a half of a semester left and that should mean a lot of rushing around getting things finished and preparing for the exams I have next week and handing in the essays and articles I have. But, surprisingly, I’m quite calm.

This week I finished some fiction work. Or, I finished the first draft of some fiction work. The Writers and Artists’ Yearbook runs an annual short story competition which I’ve entered a few times (and was shortlisted for the winner once when I was sixteen). This year’s theme is “aging” and I’ve written the first draft of something for that. Only it’s seven hundred words more than the word limit. It’s going to take a lot of editing…

Most of the week has been spent redrafting articles and essays for my university course. I have three things to hand in in the coming week and a half: a feature article style piece on The Guardian newspaper, a seminar paper about David Hume, and a politics essay. I’ve still got a little to do on all three of them, a few edits I want to make. Nothing’s ever perfect, but I still have the time to make it as perfect as I can.

As always, writing for e-racing.net has also been a priority, and I’m still loving every second of it.

And finally, I inquired about a writing role at a website one of my former teachers writes for and I spent most of yesterday focusing on my application to that. I’m confident in my article topics, but they both need a few more redrafts before I send it off.

Though it’s been a very busy week, it’s been an organised one. I feel on top of everything, and am very much looking forward to a relatively calm winter break.

Restart: Week Ten

This week I actually did some fiction writing!

Fiction writing, as I may have mentioned before, is becoming less and less of a priority in my life. I joined the creative writing society at the beginning of the school year, went to one meeting, and haven’t been since. I went from working on four or five different works of fiction to working on one.

But this week I’ve actually done some work on fiction. I started last week to draw up a time table of what I’ve spent my time doing every day. And yesterday there were two little pink chuncks representing time spent on fiction writing. I haven’t actually done much, but I spent a lot of time doing it.

I’m still having people reading chapters of this new story I’m writing and so far all the feedback I’ve gotten is good. Yay!

But, still, the main focus is on non-fiction. I spent most of Monday working on a feature article on The Guardian newspaper, which I have to write for my course. Later today I’ll redraft that. We’re getting closer and closer to the end of the year, when essays, articles, and seminar papers are due to be handed in, so there’s a bit of a scramble at the moment to get that done.

Restart: Week Nine

Well, it has been quite a busy week for me this week! And a very positive week.

Now, it seems almost imaginable that a little over a year ago I had very little interest in journalism beyond a little writing experience to help me to get my fiction published. I have to laugh a little at how quickly my life goals have changed and how dedicated I am now to achieving that.

I mentioned last week how I saw myself as a journalist for the first time that week, and it’s really not an understatement. I lay in bed after pulling an all-nighter to report on a race for e-racing.net, pretty much exhausted and about to drop dead, with my phone beside me going off every half a minute. That was the exact moment I realised I was a journalist.

This week, I was offered a more senior role at e-racing.net, which I gladly accepted. I’ve worked for the website for a little over a year now (before I even really considered a career in journalism) and I’m very proud of the website. I love writing for it and helping it grow and I love that I’ve grown as a journalist enough for my editor to trust me with a more senior role.

Even in just the couple of months since starting this journalism course at the University of Winchester I can see how much better my writing has become. In news writing lectures I’m collecting tips and tricks that I can see improving my work. Last week, my lecturer stood behind me as I wrote the beginning to a news story for the lecture and asked me how I knew a certain fact. I was able to point to the fact in the press release we’d been given. On Monday, whilst writing for the website, I recalled that moment and avoided an embarrassing error. The course isn’t a total waste of £27000!

No, I really do love the course and I think I made the right choice last winter to move away from geophysical sciences. I feel at home in journalism and I feel like I can get career in the future I would be happy with.

Just this weekend, I applied for and was offered the role of BTCC reporter for a new motorsports website. I accepted it, of course, and am very excited for next year when the series comes back!

With all that going on, I haven’t been able to do much fiction writing this week, but have done a little. It’s a lot easier to come up with ideas than it is to write them down. But now that I’m in control of everything going on in my life, I should be able to get some fiction writing before the end of the year!

 

Restart: Weeks seven and eight

The fact I didn’t even manage to post last week kind of sums up how busy I have been over the past couple of weeks, and no, NaNoWriMo hasn’t really come into that.

I intended to take part in NaNoWriMo this year as I did last year and the year before, writing diary entries as I went. The actual writing of 1667 words per day last two whole days before the real world took over and I had stuff I needed to do. Sometimes writing has to come second. The diary entries never even got looked at, I’ve been so busy.

And what have I been busy on?

Reporting, of course!

There’s been another Formula E race since I last wrote on here and with that comes more reports to be written. I’ve fallen in love with journalism. It’s not only “the only thing I thought I could do”, it’s now the only thing I want to do.

I realised during my news writing lecture today that I am so much happier this year than I was last year, and feel so much more confident in my ability to pass my exams (even after giving away my lucky charm in the summer). I saw myself as a journalist for the first time this weekend (when I was being stopped from going to sleep by messages every 30 seconds or so).

And I actually love it.

Yes, I am sleep deprived. Reporting at the moment requires pulling all nighters and keeping on top of school work requires getting up at five in the morning. Yes, I feel as if I’m going to drop dead 99% of the time. But I don’t think I’ve ever been happier.

Restart Weeks Five and Six

I apologise for the lack of posting last week. It has been a busy couple of weeks.

I think I under estimated how much work university would be this year. With so few hours, I didn’t expect it to be as much work as it was last year, when I had more than double the number of contact hours in a week. I’m not complaining about it. Not at all. I’m working towards a dream and I know I’m doing something constructive to achieve that dream.

This past couple of weeks have been relatively quiet on the writing front. At least in the fiction writing world. I’ve been doing more writing on the fiction piece I’m working on, and I feel a little more confident for the start of NaNoWriMo at the end of the week.

I don’t know if I’m going to be able to achieve the 1667 words a day come the 1st of November. I’ve been improving how much I’ve been writing per day, but I still don’t think it’s anywhere near that. I’ll try and, as last year, will complete a daily NaNoWriMo diary. Hopefully it’ll be more successful than I think it will be.

As far as non-fiction is concerned, it’s been quite a busy weekend with Formula E back. The website I write for has been redesigned and looks amazing. I’ve worked on a number of articles for the site over the past few weeks, and I think this is a better use of my time than fiction writing is, though I still enjoy both.

 

 

Restart: Week Four

I’m worried. November is getting closer and closer and with it comes NaNoWriMo. Am I ready? No.

At the moment I try to aim for 500 words of fiction a day, but I can’t even reach that. Some days I barely write a sentence. It’s progress in the story. A sentence is better than nothing. But it is no where near the 500 words I aim for, and the fact I can’t even reach that and we’re now half way through October worries me. How am I supposed to reach 1667 words next month?

Last year, I wrote in the morning. That required getting up at four in the morning. But now my mornings are filled with listening to news broadcasts for my course, and then the day filled with reading and note taking. Maybe the fact I could write so much last year explains why I didn’t do as well in my course. Maybe it’s not possible for me to both write fiction consistently and do well in my course. Hopefully I’ll get into some kind of routine soon, but I’ve been saying that for weeks now…

Non-fiction is going a little better. I spent the weekend in a support paddock and wrote what I think is my best article on the Eggplant Press on Monday, as well as getting an article written for the Ghoul Student. The Formula E website I write for is going along, preparing for the first race of the season next weekend. This is where I think I should focus now, but that doesn’t stop me getting about a million and one ideas for stories.