I am a journalist. Wow it feels good to say that. Or even to type that. I thank my stars for the day I decided not to write CET exam for engineering despite all the training I went through to take it up. It just wasn’t my thing. I now work on the features desk at Deccan Chronicle in Bangalore. It’s everything I wanted. I write one story a day about absolutely anything I want and I get by-lines on a daily basis in the paper. And my work timings are perfect to let me have a life outside my job!
Of course, my writing might be not be great, as has been pointed out by a few people. I had my cousins laugh at me continuously for “OMG! You used a semi colon before a dependent clause! AAArrrgghhh!!” Yeah. Ok. So what? I haven’t been taught these things. In fact, until 12th grade I had ridiculously mediocre English teachers who had never once read a book apart from the prescribed text books (prescribed as per the state syllabus in Karnataka mind you).
My grandpa on the other hand is in awe of my writing. He thinks it’s shocking that I have such talent and he is left speechless every time he reads something I write. Come to think of it, I don’t know where I get it from. It’s like how Jean Louise Finch (To Kill a Mocking bird) has no clue how she learnt to read. She has a lovely explanation for it: Until I feared I would lose it, I never loved to read. One does not love breathing.
Maybe it’s something like that. As a school girl, when it was turn for our class to hold the assembly, I’d readily jump to prepare the headlines to read to the school. I never watched the news or read the paper, but I was proud of my English and wanted to show off, I suppose. Maybe it was because I read a lot. Well, not even a lot. Just the usual stuff that kids read – Nancy Drew, Secret Seven, Hardy Boys, Harry Potter. It was only when I was 18 that I really did start reading and writing here and there.
I don’t think much of my writing. I don’t use big words. In fact, I get very intimidated when I read stuff my classmates from ACJ write. I just like to put down my thoughts. I also have an undying love for happy fantasy fiction. 13 and a half Lives of Captain Blue Bear is my favourite book in this genre. Walter Moers is just so amazing when it comes to writing ridiculously funny stuff! His work will never cease to make me smile. I have written a few short stories myself. I also wrote a long ridiculous 40 page story about my fantasy date with Theo Walcott and Carlos Vela. Gosh! I must hide it away where even I can’t access it. It’s the most embarrassing stuff.
Basically, my point is, before making fun of someone’s writing, think about where they’re coming from.
And oh! I can’t tell you how important this is, but do EXACTLY what you want to do in life. You live life once. Live how you want to live it. Taking up journalism was the best decision I made in my life. I love every bit of being a writer. Look at me dishing out one blog post a day aside from my one-story-a-day for work! When you love doing something, you will never have enough of it. So go do something you love.