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I may have fucked my life up......

MixBotMixBot Posts: 8,656 Automated Account
....well my working life anyway.

Basically it's taken 23 and a bit years for me to decide what I've wanted to do with my life. For the last six months I've known that I want to write. It probably doesn't show on the boards but I am a good writer. It's one of the few things I'm confident about, in regards to myself anyway.

I think I'd probably want to do something involving journalism, probably video game journalism because I know my games and I can write about them. The problem is that I have NO qualifications, save a higher in English, that are useful in this field.

I have an ordinary degree in a idiot mix of subjects (I hated uni) and I have no real writing experience.

I feel royally fucked. It feels like I'm too old to try and break into journalism and I have no real idea of how to do it anyway. There seem to be people who were writing amazing articles since they were in nappies and I can't compete.

Sorry, I just wanted to rant. I do really do that very often.
Beep boop. I'm a bot.
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Comments

  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    so you're 23? in that case it hasn't taken you 23 years to decide what you wanted to do. you won't have been deciding that when you were 5 years old. no point in looking at it like that.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    For a start, you are NEVER too old to enrol at college and gain qualifications.

    Secondly, you're 23, not 63. You're nowhere near retirement age yet, so you've got nowt to worry about!

    And thirdly, just because you're 23, doesn't mean you can't go begging local magazines and papers for unpaid work experience ;) Plus, the fact that it's unpaid will look fab on your CV :naughty:

    Good luck x
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Dude dude dude dude dude dude (Hackers- Joey runs up to... never mind!) Damn I hope 23 isn't too old, or I'm truely outta luck- at least you know now what you want to do. Get writing! Find something that needs an article written by you, write it, submit it. Ask thesite article writers for some tips on breakin in. Network. Schmooze. Get a blog or nice looking homepage, post up your own articles as a CV. And remember- ask :D gets you stuff, init.

    Self publish a mini pamphlet thing, leave it in the games shops as a freebie on the counter. Make sure there's a prominant web address in pamphlet- your webstats or email newsletter subscription is testament to the power of your writing init... + couple of google ads + friendly forum = passive revenue :D
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I don't think 23 is too old to break into videogame journalism. The first step would be to get a portfolio together. If you can get any sort of writing work (even proof-reading) then that'll be a start. In the meantime, make sure you're writing about videogames in your spare time. There are plenty of websites out there nowadays, and if you're good, I'm sure they are willing to take work from outside contributors. You might not have the resources to do things like reviews or previews, but you can always write columns, similar to the type in Edge magazine, or maybe a videogames news column for a kids website. Not any old website would be taken seriously by potential employers, but they could give you an outlet for your work, and anything linked to some sort of professional company would be advantagous. The obvious aim would be some printed/published/paid work, so don't limit yourself to just videogames initially or you might miss out on another potential credit.

    Unfortunately, it's like any other media-based career. No-one will give you a shot until you have something to show them you can do it, and you can't get a portfolio together until someone will give you a shot. But qualifications are definitely overrated in the media. It does tend to be full of people who've had articles in the local newspaper or specialist magazines, and edited the school newspaper, that sort of thing. But that doesn't necessarily make them better writers, it just means that they are more likely to get their work read. Focus on getting enough professional credits so that your CV convinces employers to take a look at your work. If you are an employer, then the first thing you look at is the CV. Then out of the best of them, you would take a look at their work, since there wouldn't be enough time to look at a piece of work from every applicant. The main thing they will be looking for, other than wirting talent, is the ability to tailor your work to different age groups and target audiences, so a variety of credits that show this (even if they aren't related to the exact subject matter you will be writing about in the job) will tell an employer that you can do this.

    I would recommend going onto the Writers Room on the BBC forums. It's for all different type of writing, but it does seem to have people who know what they're talking about.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    my friend's boyfriend is the same age as you and he has just completed a journalism course in london. it only took about 6months or something. you should look into it before deciding you're fucked. also, try to get some work expereince(even unpaid) because its all about who you know.
  • **helen****helen** Mod malarkist Posts: 9,235 Listening Ear
    Infinite wrote:

    I feel royally fucked. It feels like I'm too old to try and break into journalism and I have no real idea of how to do it anyway. There seem to be people who were writing amazing articles since they were in nappies and I can't compete.

    Nah ah! Yeah you're right - there are really young successful journalists, but that doesn't mean you can't be one at 23 - A friend of mine dropped a £28k a year sales job (with bonus and company car) to move back home with her parents to do the NCTJ journalism course. She's now a reporter for a regional paper and freelances for The Sun (hey people knock The Sun but it's one of the most competitive to write for, pays really well and you have to be a good writer to get on it.) And you know how old she was when she did all that? 28 years old!

    Ok so what you really need to do is your research...

    How to start out in journalism

    Training

    Also look through the Media Guardian on Mondays and you'll see what the requirements for journalism jobs are - mainly NCTJ accreditation is what you'll notice.

    Oh and you want some cuttings? Why not submit some ideas to us at TheSite? Check out our Net & Tech section and see if you think there's anything obviously missing.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    And I'm just going to pimp our sister site www.do-it.org.uk - the UK volunteering database. Volunteering can be a good way to get experience that is hard to get elsewhere - worth having a look and seeing if there is anything in journalism/proofreading/media etc on there.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Thanks for the replies everyone.

    The age thing is really just a way for me to give up without trying. I'm bad for that.

    I think I'm just going to have to write my arse off, learn my craft and try and get things published. I think begging letters/emails to editors and fansites may be the way forward.

    I'm not sure about the actual qualifications though. The closest NCTJ accepted centre is Glasgow and they only do post grad stuff. My degree just isn't strong enough. I could go back to Uni but it's another four years and 6 grand......

    Hmmm.

    Guess I'll just have to be a pain in the neck for the editor of the Scotsman.....

    p.s I am also aware of the bitter irony in bragging that I can write then posting the worst written thread in living memory.
    Infinite wrote:
    "There seem to be people who were writing amazing articles since they were in nappies and I can't compete"
    .....oh dear oh dear......
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Geeez mate - sort it out. Come on. Your 23, the same age as me. Your still wet behind the ears. If you went to Uni you`ll know all about mature students, some were 50 on my course and starting a fresh in a new career.

    Dont panic. If you have the desire then you will achieve what you dream of, otherwise you`ll always be a snizzling wreck!

    Like you it took me to finish University to relise that I do not want to spend the rest of my life working in jobs associated with my qualification. I`m off to be a Royal Marines Commando now after 8 months of hard training.

    Good luck ;)
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I have known a few journalists in my time, NONE of them did journalism at Uni.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Christ, I didn't know what I wanted to do until I was in my 30's! You've got plenty of time, chill...
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Miffy wrote:
    I have known a few journalists in my time, NONE of them did journalism at Uni.
    I know, I was well chuffed the other week when I met the first director I've ever heard of who actually did film studies at university.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I know, I was well chuffed the other week when I met the first director I've ever heard of who actually did film studies at university.

    :lol:
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    \
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Infinite wrote:
    I think I'd probably want to do something involving journalism, probably video game journalism because I know my games and I can write about them. The problem is that I have NO qualifications, save a higher in English, that are useful in this field.

    I have an ordinary degree in a idiot mix of subjects (I hated uni) and I have no real writing experience.

    I feel royally fucked. It feels like I'm too old to try and break into journalism and I have no real idea of how to do it anyway. There seem to be people who were writing amazing articles since they were in nappies and I can't compete.

    Sorry, I just wanted to rant. I do really do that very often.

    Want me to put you in touch with a journalist at GamesTM?

    23 isn't old!
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    When I first read the post, I thought you were 40 or something!!!!
    23!!!
    I've got one degree, I worked for 7 years after that, and I am going back to Uni in September to get another degree, in Civil Engineering, coz i wanna change my career...
    Too old....nope

    If you are not sure what to do, go on a Media Course...and then opt for Journalism...
    You can write blogs to perfect your style and explore it...
    And volunteering on do-it.org is a cool idea too!!

    PS I don't think there are many 23 year olds who know what they want to do with their life, so you've actually got an advantage!
    ;)
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Infinite wrote:
    There seem to be people who were writing amazing articles since they were in nappies and I can't compete.

    lol! :hyper:

    what lipsy said about the journalism course in london sounds good. ut thrue i go to college and there are students there in their 50's!! so 23 is definately not too old
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Yeeeaaaah, I think I may have got carried away with the age thing.......

    Thanks for all the replies folks.


    Click to see more: That would be awesome. I don't really have anything to show them though.......
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    So write something, and I'll hook you up. Best be good though - don't go abusing my contacts and goodwill :).
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Oh, I used to read that magazine back in my computer gaming days. Was good.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Did anyone hang out on madgamers.net when it was open a few years back?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I tend to avoid computer game websites. Full of kids arguing which console is best, ignoring of course what actual games are good on the consoles.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Best be good though - don't go abusing my contacts and goodwill :).


    That's why I'm not going to churn out some crap in a rush.

    I have to hone my craft a bit before I have something good enough to submit.


    Oh and Sophia, thanks a lot. That made me blush a bit :blush:
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    \
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    There's a girl from Iraq whose set to recieve a $30,000 bounty for her blog which details the whole iraq war 2.

    you could start on the net, i know people who have really used the internet to good ends to get her DJing promoted. You could start online, try your hand at allpoetry.com myspace.com .

    keep an eye out for local workshops and stuff like that, cos they'll have experts in to help ya out.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Infinite wrote:
    That's why I'm not going to churn out some crap in a rush.

    I have to hone my craft a bit before I have something good enough to submit.


    Oh and Sophia, thanks a lot. That made me blush a bit :blush:

    Take your time mate. Let me know when you've got something you're happy with and I'll make sure someone gets a look at it :).
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Take your time mate. Let me know when you've got something you're happy with and I'll make sure someone gets a look at it :).

    Thanks, it's much appreciated :)
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    You know someone at GamesTM Click? They aren't looking for community managers are they?

    But on the main point - You might want to check out Retro Gamer, Infinite, some of their writing is superb but a lot feels like by the numbers crap - you might want to consider putting something together for them and sending it in to see if you get any response.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Not as far as I know Jim :). You trying to get a rise out of thesite? ;)
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    at 53 i,m on chapter 4 of a book that many people over the last twenty years have been encouraging me to write.
    i have no formal education or qualifications and my grammer and spelling are atrocious.
    that won't stop me.
    laziness might.
    it would be wrong to describe it as my life story ...more correctly my life experiences.
    it won't be a literary masterpiece but ...it should be a cracking read.
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