Quite often, a lot of my writing work goes unnoticed or uncredited. It can be a result of client confidentiality, or being a ghost writer, or simply because people don’t know I’m the author behind the piece.
So, it’s always a nice feeling when someone does notice my work, and especially when it is the person who is the focus of the piece and not only have they taken the time to read the article, but let me know that they appreciate it; and then, they go on to actively encourage others to read the article too, which is just amazing.
However, part of the reason why my writing can often go unnoticed is my fault as I don’t always (i.e. rarely) push my own work. It makes me uncomfortable, almost embarrassed, because I feel a little like it’s a “look at me!” complex, even though that is not, and would never be, my intention.
My family are my very enthusiastic and vocal supporters, for which I am grateful, but that only goes so far when you don’t believe in yourself. Yet, thanks to lockdown, I’ve had an opportunity to learn a few things about myself and I am now starting to change how I view my writing because it is something I’m good at, and something I should be proud to admit, rather than ashamed.
I’ve had a lot of conversations with my mum about this issue over the past few months when I’ve had a crisis of confidence in my abilities, but then (quite possibly out of frustration at my own doubts) she started to list the things I have achieved over the past decade because of my writing and when I pulled out my portfolio I realised that my mum was right.
The binder was full of articles I’d written – from my very first to the most recent – and all for different publications and genres and styles. There was also a stack of emails I had printed out from clients and other individuals I’d worked with over the years. Some were messages of thanks for my work and features I’d written; others were about important milestones I had achieved in a job, or something I’d successfully handled (like going to Singapore and leading an entire editorial team to produce three magazines, in three days, for a huge exhibition).
It was quite weird, but interesting, to read back through what I have been fortunate enough to experience.
To give a quick snapshot…
In 2007: I undertook work experience at the sports desk of a local newspaper. I hadn’t been there long when the editor decided to run one of my interviews as the lead feature in the Friday evening edition of the paper. (It’s prime location and it’s a huge deal).
In 2010: I secured a junior journalist job (writing for digital platforms, mostly) and within a few months was promoted to editor and oversaw a small team of journalists.
In 2011: I interviewed a number of celebrities including Twist & Pulse (Britain’s Got Talent) and Shaun Williamson (EastEnders). I was also the only member of the press – and the general public – to get inside the old DeLorean factory and test track as part of the DeLorean’s 30th anniversary celebrations. I even got to take part in a track race.
In 2012: I was back to the newspaper’s sports desk, this time as a full-time contributing journalist, covering rugby, football, athletics, archery, and cricket. Stephen Ferris and Ruan Pienaar are two of my favourite interviewees to date.
In 2013: I started a new job as a journalist and covered everything from business to local news, entertainment to construction, as well as the film and broadcast industry.
In 2015: I was still writing for the film and broadcast sector, but I also became the editor for an industry-specific broadcast magazine. For the first time, travel throughout the UK, Europe and the USA became a key element of my job. Las Vegas is still a highlight.
In 2017: The publication I worked for was selected to be the official publisher for the UK’s largest broadcast production and media technology event. I was the editor for the project and the team created three daily newspapers (one for each day of the show) which was distributed to over 15,000 visitors each day.
In 2018: New job, new start, still travelling; only this time Dubai, Singapore and NY were also on the cards. One highlight was being sent to Singapore for a project as lead editor and journalist, delivering a series of show guides, magazines, and visitor guides for the leading audio, broadcast and film event in the Asia-Pacific region. Separately, I was also responsible for writing submissions and pitches for Emmy Award-winning organisations.
In 2019: Alongside work, I returned to writing in my spare time and for fun. A favourite moment was the ‘Finding Fandom‘ series of articles I wrote for GateWorld.
In 2020: I won my first writing award and I am currently writing my first book. I also have a super exciting interview on the way (and which I can’t reveal any more details about just yet)!
All of the above memories sparked the enthusiasm I had unwittingly lost over the past few months, but now I feel refreshed and in a better frame of mind. It’s left me feeling excited, ready to write, and determined to achieve even more.
Watch this space!