It’s been a busy week for me. I’ve just had my last second-year exam, meaning that my degree is tied up until October. It’s a great feeling knowing that I don’t have to write any more essays on Chaucer or learn any more syntactic structures. Now I’ve got four months to fill, so thought I’d tell you how I’m filling my time, and perhaps give you some ideas for how to make the most of the summer months.
1) Start/run with something and don’t be afraid of competition
My main focus for the next 4 months is to carry on building the liveblog software company that I’ve founded. I’ll try not to harp on about it too much, but if you’re interested, you can check out www.ocqur.com.
The last week has been an interesting for liveblogs, with Cover it Live moving to a paid only service. There are two takes on this for us bringing a new product to the table: on the upside, there are now lots of non-paying customers without a tool, but on the down side, it would appear that Cover it Live didn’t see any value in offering a free service. Furthermore, there was the announcement of an open-source liveblog service called GEN Live Desk.
One thing I’ve learnt from these changes is that, as a wannabe with an idea, you shouldn’t be afraid of competition. Competition is what brings out the best in you, and allows you to learn from multiple people. It’s also exciting so don’t worry too much about what’s already being done or what is being built elsewhere – just do it and see where you end up in a few months.
2) Interning (obviously)
I’ve never really been great at the whole networking thing, but it’s paid off this time. I’ve managed to secure an internship with ITV News after a couple of meetings, and I’m really excited about it. I’ve never done more than a two-week stint anywhere, but this is going to be for two months. I’ve always found that by the time I’ve properly settled in at a placement anywhere else, it’s frustratingly time to leave. It’s also shaping up to be a good placement as I’m going to be able to move around, and I plan to spend time in the news room, as well as in digital product and social media.
Some bits of advice: follow-up after networking events, refresh your CV, don’t be afraid to hassle people if you’re being forgotten, and always push for a longer stay if you’re offered something!
(Cheeky request: I’m still looking for places to stay still, if you’re in London and have a free sofa, tweet me @Frost_J!)
3) Write and learn outside of your comfort zone
I’d like to try my hand at travel writing over the break. It’s something I’ve never really tried before, and I think trying new styles of journalism is important.
Hannah recently suggested that we trade roles, and I should go vox-popping pregnant women about their cravings. I’m not sure I’ll be pushing things that far, but you shouldn’t turn your nose up at experimenting in new fields.
3) Take a break and read for pleasure
I fully believe that the worst thing you can do as a wannabe is to burn out. Things can get pretty hectic, and if you’re like me, then you’re juggling a degree, and a million other things. Don’t be afraid to take a week to just go offline. Read some quality books, and turn your phone off.
If you’re struggling for good reads, I’d recommend Disgrace, by J.M. Coetzee. I love it so much I’m planning to write a dissertation on it. Reading fiction will fill your head with good stuff, and you’ll be learning more about quality storytelling that you realise, and find yourself able to apply what you’ve learnt to your own writing without thinking about it.
Let us know how you’re filling your summer by commenting or tweeting @wannabehacks.
Image courtesy of byronv2.
- How to make interning for free possible With the current debate raging over whether interning for free...
- Entrepreneurial journalism: how I tried (and failed) to make Wannabe Hacks my full-time job Entrepreneurial journalism (for want of a better name) is all...
- How to make the most out of the Wannabe Hacks birthday meetup As you may not know, Wannabe Hacks had its first...
- Is it a waste of time to do part-time work that isn’t journalism related? | DEBATE The Student: Yes Part-time work, whether it’s bar work, temping,...
- Richard Doherty: Young journalists just get dumped for the next free person, says former NUJ General Secretary Richard studied philosophy from Glasgow University before going onto do...
After finishing my stint in student media, I couldn’t help but look