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I've written stories ever since I could write, but somewhere along the way I seem to have lost the joy and natural desire to write for me. Churning out stories every other week for my degree course, and forcing non-existent brilliance out of myself has drained my natural spirit. So, I have created myself a blog in an attempt to find a way back to what made me fall in love with writing in the first place. Only you and I will discover if I fail or succeed...

Saturday, 23 July 2011

In Which I Start Work Experience

I dedicated last summer to finding work experience in London. I designated two months to staying in my flat in Kingston and looking for work experience in publishing. I thought it would be great. I’d spend two weeks at one house, then onto the next and the next. What really happened was I sat around moaning about the heat and finally got around to apply to one publishing house, which I never heard from again.

Then I spent the last five weeks of summer at my parents’ house fulfilling maid of honour duties for a friend and I forgot all about it. When my masters’ degree began the discussion of work placements arose. I took the information they gave us, but decided I should be concentrating on my studies and needn’t worry.[1] I would be too busy working and concentrating on getting a good grade was more important.[2] The fact I picked up a charity admin volunteer role one day a week didn’t seem to come into the same category.

Midway through the term I thought I’d have another bash and apply for experience in January.[3] I believe I actually managed two applications, one in London and one where my parents live. I heard nothing from the larger house and a kind rejection from the local press in Devon. I naturally assumed it was extremely difficult to find experience and I oughtn’t to even try.[4]

On rolled Christmas, out rolled the volunteering role and in rolled a paid role.[5] Another, more powerful, excuse to ignore the absent placement students at the beginning of the second semester. The summer, I told myself. There’ll be tons of free time in the summer.

Then came summer. And the dissertation. Another excuse. May trudged by. Then, as I looked towards my imminent trip to Australia[6] a future plagued with job rejection letters loomed. If I had no experience, I would be jobless forever! Out came the netbook and in went the cover letters. I worked hard at my letters, drawing out any tit-bits of advice I’d stored in my memories. I applied regularly, ignoring my secret fears that no one would take on a work experience applicant asking for one day a week.[7]

Then a friend recommended me to a website as a proof-reader. I nervously awaited a phone call and suddenly I was an editor. A from-home role using a few hours a week, but editor nonetheless. The next day, still high from my success I received a phone call from an unknown number. I tentatively answered.[8] My application had arrived on my caller’s desk just as his colleague had said she could really do with an extra hand in the rights department.

So now I have two lots of experience on the go. I persevered even though I thought it was futile. And then there was sheer luck. I guess the moral of this story is don’t give up.

Until next time. Ttfn xx

[1] The fact I was studying Publishing in joint honours with Creative Writing meant a work placement wasn’t a requirement of the course. Something I still feel ought to be altered.
[2] The ever striving school child inside me still wins out.
[3] Inter-semester breaks are the bomb.
[4] Yes, you are right to be shocked. But, alas, these are the thoughts of the lazy student.
[5] Roly poly roly poly, up up up soon to become roly poly roly poly crash bang whallop...
[6] My defining metaphorical line between student-hood and adulthood.
[7] Give or take; I was still writing a dissertation and working one day a week.
[8] I had also just moved and was still getting phone calls from various estate agents.

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