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For years, I seemed to have a fear and phobia of the word “journalist”.

I think, growing up in a generation which was so consumed with media (to say nothing of today) I remember the word being used in so many contexts as deeply negative. I grew up adoring novelists, actors and singers and wanting to match their creative endeavours. ‘Journalist’, on the other hand, seemed to carry a dirty connotation. Artistically it was ‘lesser’. It was just the job where you were paid to slag other people off. It was the people who, my idols claimed, hurt them, bullied them and made their lives miserable.

I don’t think I had found, through my tender young years, the sheer joy of being (or trying to be) a good writer. Painting with words as I used to paint with watercolours. Crafting scenes and telling a story. Not just fiction, but the magic in communicating your message to readers, whatever that message may be.

Nor had I clicked that every journalist was not some awful Rita Skeeter-esque gossip columnist. And not to sound entirely Machiavellian, but I also hadn’t considered how much some of these gossip columnists were paid, either.

Now, one of my biggest goals of the year is to up my stance as a professional journalist. I’ve been published in websites and small publications since I was 19. But I want more. I want to be written and recognised in London’s biggest papers and respected magazines. The idea, the thought, the dream of being a columnist is now something I burn to have. My own space in the Standard or The City Magazine with my thoughts and my message, showing my expertise in the fields I’m passionate about. Now, the question is how to get there.

Now, one of my biggest goals of the year is to up my stance as a professional journalist. I’ve been published in websites and small publications since I was 19. But I want more. I want to be written and recognised in London’s biggest papers and respected magazines. The idea, the thought, the dream of being a columnist is now something I burn to have. My own space in the Standard or The City Magazine with my thoughts and my message, showing my expertise in the fields I’m passionate about. Now, the question is how to get there.

I’ve always been determined. When I want something, really want it, it always seems to happen. I can make it happen. Along with Google Analytics and assorted other things, this is something I know I need to happen. For my success, to prove to myself that I can do it. That despite all the people telling me that I have little talent, I am worth something. That my writing is worth something.

It’s almost ironic, to feel the need to prove myself at something that I avoided associating myself with, even mentally, for so many years. Perhaps that was a mistake. Perhaps in terms of my life and career, it was the first of many mistakes. But I know that now, writing is my biggest strength. I know that I want to be respected for it. I know that I want to make money from it. I know that I love it.

Sometimes I wish that writing was all I had to worry about all day. That I could sit and play with my words as I used to play with my toys. Spin stories the way I used to spin myself into my own worlds of fantasy. I may not know all that much, but I know that storytelling is a primordial drive that keeps me moving forward. I know that I’m most satisfied when I’ve written something that gives me satisfaction and I know I’ve done it well. I know it satisfies me more than all the columns of numbers and sales figures in the world.

All I really want is to be master of my own destiny. I don’t want to spend my life following orders and feeling the frustration I’ll inevitably feel. But how to do it? How do I take control of my own life?

Do I become a novelist and write a book that sells?
Do I start my own social media agency and work my own clients?
Do I work on becoming a full-time journalist?

I do not know. All I know is that the freedom to be creative, to be expressive, to be successful while answering only to me, is what I need. That’s my biggest dream.

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