Taking some time out

After spending five years working for parenting websites, I’ve parted ways with the genre.

And I can’t decide what to do next.

It’s a curly one.

I love, love, love writing, but I’m wondering if it’s time for a career change … tricky for someone who doesn’t have a degree and has worked as (nothing but) a journalist since she was 17.

I commented to a colleague recently that I worried about being “too old for digital” at the age of 48. He countered with “but are you too young for print?”

He was referring to the potential demise of newspapers and magazines.

We’ve lost a lot of magazine titles recently, including two biggies: Cleo and Famous. And newspapers are shedding journalists like flies – Fairfax, for example, will retrench 120 reporters soon.

It’s getting pretty tough on the newsstands, yet few consumers are prepared to pay for digital offerings.

Everyone grumbles about the slipping standards, but we all carry part of the blame.

As Stuff Journalists Like posted on Facebook recently …

 

journalists

 

I’ll miss journalism terribly if I leave it. I love writing. I’m obsessed with the immediacy of social media. It makes me giddy to watch the clicks climb on a story I’ve written.

I’ve learned so much about what grabs a reader’s attention during my five years working in the digital sphere.

When you edit a magazine, you gauge your success by your cover. A great main coverline and image will make or break you on the stands. But you have absolutely no idea which stories readers loved on the inside pages.

With a website you can see, moment by moment, what’s captivating your audience.

I understand the mass market so much better now than I ever did when I was a print journalist.

Sure, outrageous headlines pull them in, but so do the articles that get to the emotional heart of the issue or incident they’re discussing.

It seems a bit crazy to give up on all that knowledge … but … I just don’t know.

Maybe I write that book, maybe I look at careers further afield …

While I ponder the big stuff, I’m taking some time to stop and smell the roses.

Yesterday was gorgeous one. It started with a walk with friends and finished with a few drinks – and my first Irish curry and chips – with an old mate.

Here are some happy snaps …

Song of the day: Split Enz “Time for a change” (bless their wacky cotton socks)

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4 thoughts on “Taking some time out

  1. Yours is a tough industry to be in for sure. It’s changed so much and so quickly. My son’s girlfriend has recently graduated with a journalism degree and she’s finding it hard to get a job in her field – she’s selling diamonds at Tiffany’s. Not a bad job but not the job she trained for.

    • That’s rough for your son’s girlfriend. I will be strenuously advising my kids against being in the media. At the moment one wants to be a vet and the other a hotel manager so hopefully I’m safe.

  2. Wow, I would say it is exciting to have the possibility to make a big change but too be honest I find even the thought of change anxiety prone.
    Take the time you need to work out your next step. FWIW I think you are pretty awesome at what you do! Love your writing!

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