I have many, many career-crushes (you can find Gemma Crisp, Erica Bartle, Millie Chandler and Sarah Tarca among my current ones) and always have. Ever since I was in primary school and realised that magazines were exactly what I wanted to do with my life, I’ve been masthead (and in more recent years, blog) stalking all of my favourite journalists. The one’s whose career’s I would kill to have. The one’s who have everything I could ever dream of having and still manage to be all super duper nice. The one’s who’s seats I want to be sitting in in five years (me, ambitious? Never.) I idolise these journos so much that when they actually acknowledge my existance I have minor freakouts. I almost fell off my chair in geography when I got the email from Erica asking me to be her teen reviewer (I mean, what? I’d never check my emails at school, especially in your beloved geography, mum!), when I went to work experience at GF and Sarah Tarca talked to me I doubt anything I said was coherent, and who could ever forget the time I shared a lift with Gemma Crisp?
At the end of the day though, my original career crush is Mia Freedman. She was the first journalist that I actually paid attention to, the one that made me realise that I wanted nothing more than to work in mags. I think I was about eleven when I first heard about her, and today, five years later, I’m forever grateful for the fact she posts her columns on her blog – it’s just not a Sunday morning without dibsing them from the paper! While I don’t always agree with everything she says, if I was ever given the chance to meet her, well, let’s just say it’d make my previous embarrassing journalist encounters look positively normal.
I was having a bit of a magland withdrawal last week so when I needed my mum to send me my calculator, I requested she also include Mia’s Memoir. I first read it last year while recovering from my operation, but I was more than looking forward to a re-read. A few nights ago I went to use the computer (my mac is still broken. Well, it is at the repair shop, but whatever. It’s not in my possession.) and the mouse wouldn’t work. I had a major freakout. I NEEDED MY INTERNET DAMMIT. To calm myself, I picked up Mamamia: A Memoir of Mistakes, Magazines and Motherhood and began to read. I had forgotten just how amazing it was. By the time dinner was called I was so into it I didn’t want to put it down, and as dinner is pretty much my favourite part of the day, that’s saying something.
(Side note, as you’ve probably worked out, I got the mouse working again. Who knew wireless mice needed batteries?!)
The first half of the book is my favourite as it focuses more on her life in magland and less on things like detailed descriptions of the births of her children.
One particular passage in this section of the book really stood out to me. She had been in for an interview with Lisa Wilkinson and on her way out, Lisa said the following to her:
You know, Mia, magazines aren’t for everyone. You might be better suited to a different form of journalism like newspapers or TV. Or radio. Magazines are either in your blood or they’re not.
I read that line, and then paused. How was I to know if magazines were in my blood? What if I really don’t have what it takes to break into magland? What if this is all just a pipedream, and journalist is going to end up with geologist in the list of careers I once imagined being?
And then I shook my head at my own silliness.
I’ve adored magazines for as long as I can remember. I have over three hundred of them in my room. Since beginning to read Dolly and Girlfriend five and a half years ago I’ve never missed an issue or thrown one away. I’m making my mum buy all the issues I miss while I’m away. I did my first week of work experience when I was fifteen, and have completed three weeks so far. Even though it’s only September I’ve already secured another three weeks for next year, and plan on booking another two in the near future. I’ve tried my absolute hardest to create contacts within the magazines I would love to work in. I use time that should be spent doing homework writing reviews of GF and Dolly in the hopes that someone I admire will read them and pay attention to me (when I was at Dolly, Tiff the editor was talking to me about them and I had a major internal freak out because even though I imagined cool people would read them, I didn’t actually think they would). I follow the career moves of my favourite journos like it’s a sport. I really can’t picture myself doing anything other than magazine journalism. Try as I might, imagining myself as a teacher or a doctor just doesn’t work for me. The top of a masthead (pssh, again, I’m not ambitious) is the only place I can see myself, and as I get older (I’m closer to my seventeenth birthday now than I am to my sixteenth) the image of my perfect career is slowly becoming clearer and beginning to take a real shape.
Magazines in my blood? I honestly think if you cut me, I’d bleed glossiness.
frangipani princess xoxo
ps. ‘Sing For You’ by Honor Society just came on my iPod, and it reminded me of this post I wrote almost a year ago. Pretty much fits in with this post perfectly.