Wednesday, June 04, 2008

It'll Be All Write

When I meet new people, I automatically tell them I'm a journalist because that's what I always wanted to do. It's not exactly a lie, I do freelance on the side of my regular job. At the photo exhibition I wrote about, my Turkish friend A introduced me to the fascinating circle she moves in. I shook hands with a man, let's call him Bob, and exchanged the usual so-what-do-you-do. "I'm a journalist," he replied, to which I gasped with delight and gushed "I'm a journalist too!! Who do you work for?"

And there in the soft lights of the market, in front of a photo of a gypsy wedding, Bob said "Al Jazeera. How about you?"

Damn. I was in the presence of journalism royalty. Crap cakes! "Oh you know, no one really. Mostly health and beauty stuff..." Me telling someone from Al Jazeera that I'm a journalist is like being an extra on a sitcom and telling Angelina Jolie you're an actress too. I didn't suppose he'd heard of Black Beauty and Hair magazine or would be at all impressed that I just submitted an article on the dangers of antiperspirant, so I cut my losses and fled to the next photographic display.

Every time this happens I feel myself shrink a little, and a little more, and a little more. A is so well-connected and I met so many important journalist types on that night that by the time I left I was so tiny I had to watch out for falling cigarette butts as I walked home.
Working for any of the big names - Al Jazeera, the BBC etc. - would be my dream and it's a dream I hope I'll achieve. I spent a lot of my early 20s getting my knickers into a twist at how many doors kept slamming in my face and annoyed with myself that I wasn't the journalist type who sells their grandma for a scoop to make it big.

However, the truth is that I'm quite happy with the pace things are moving at for me. After years in the wilderness knocking on doors, I am perfectly satisfied that once in a while I'll write something about how good olive oil is for you or 101 ways to wear a sari and manage to flog it. All I really ever wanted to do with my life is write, and I'm writing, so that'll do just fine for me.

A rather more unfortunate side effect of telling people I write for women's magazines is that they clasp their hands together and say "Oh wow! Like Carrie Bradshaw!"

Oh God! Being a freelance, female, curly haired writer automatically makes you Carrie Bradshaw? Someone help! And tragically, even in that instance I end up correcting them by saying things like "Oh no, not at all like Carrie Bradshaw. No where near as successful!"


itelli said...

"the truth is that I'm quite happy with the pace things are moving at for me"

If that's a true statement (and I have no reason whatsoever to believe it isn't), I am really jealous.

And it makes me feel way smaller than u felt. It makes me feel very non-humble...

Anonymous said...

I'm just happy you don't aspire to be a journalist for a certain TV station so you can chase people around a beach and get them to agree with you that the weather is hot!

Anonymous said...

Ok this post made me laugh today! I really love the way you write, and on occassion, when there's a day when you don't post something, I get slightly disappointed.
I also love the way you respond to life and its misfortunes, it is refreshing and entertaining. I even look closely to any young Asian girl (non-Chinese and non-Japanese) I see on the streets of Athens and always wonder if its you!
Keep up this awesome work you doing, and I'll keep glimpsing into your life.

deviousdiva said...

Keep doing what you're doing, sweetie.

Not many people can make me laugh on an almost daily basis but you do !



bollybutton said...

Well spotting me might be a bit harder than you think. The curly hair tends to make people think I'm Greek. Just watch your step if you happen to be around anywhere where important journalist types might be.
If you hear a little cry, look down and there I'll be, leaving the do after telling a pulitzer prize winner I'm a journalist too.

And itelli, yes it's true. Maybe I'd be working for the BBC by now if I weren't so satisfied with the rate I'm moving at!

BIG_Smile2 said...

Hello there:)

I am a Romanian girl who's been reading your blog for almost 2 years now. I really love what you write and how you write. You are very funny, interesting and smart:)In fact, i almost feel like i've known you for ages and that you're my friend already:)Keep up the good work and enjoy everyone of us with your articles:)Lots of hugs for you!