Earth to reader: This post is long but I’ve had a month worth of no-blogging to make up for. And in said month I appear to have lost any such ability to write concisely.
If you thought I’d given up on Taggle Talk, think again. If you thought I’d given up on you, think again, again. These past few weeks, people started saying all sorts of nonsense things to me such as “why have you given up writing?” and “I knew you wouldn’t keep it up” and I’m not going to lie – this really pissed me off. If there’s one thing I’m not, it’s a quitter (unless of course we’re talking about studying a Bachelor of Laws and International Studies or fixing a frozen computer or rowing – I’ve been known to quit such things, but only for good reason i.e. my sanity). Anyway, there was only one way to prove my commitment to you and this blog and that was by posting something, hence what is happening here.
I’ve been a busy, busy bee. Study has taken over my life, and anything un-related has suffered to an astonishing degree, Taggle Talk included. My room is a mess, for I’ve had no time to tidy. I’ve been wearing my hair curly, for I’ve had no time to straighten it. And I probably have no friends, for I’ve neglected them entirely. Apparently I’m not very good at this popular thing people refer to as ‘balance’, but I’d rather not go there just now and ruin this perfectly lovely Saturday afternoon.
I’ve mentioned a few times that I’m studying journalism. If you didn’t know that about me then you clearly haven’t been paying attention and for that I’ll probably never forgive you. I’m six going on seven weeks into a yearlong course and so far I’ve learned all sorts of interesting things such as why a story about a man biting a dog is more newsworthy than a story about a dog biting a man. It’s riveting stuff, I tell you.
There’s also been a lot of serious talk about this idea of ‘self-branding’. Apparently, as an aspiring journalist, I need to create my brand. So that’s what I’ve been doing all this time. And let me tell you this; it has been no easy feat. Perhaps I should clarify that by ‘self-branding’ I don’t mean tattooing Taggle Talk™ on one’s forehead. What I mean is a sort of professional branding; what is my view of the world? What is my point of difference? How do I want to present myself? There’s this great relevant quote by an interesting fellow called George Bernard Shaw and it goes a little something like this:
“Life isn’t about finding yourself, life is about creating yourself.”
Creating oneself sounds easy enough, right? Wrong. So, so wrong. I can’t even create a fucking birthday card, let alone myself. I mean, haven’t I already been created? Isn’t that what my parents did nine months before I popped into the world? And aren’t I already a complex product of the 23 years I’ve spent in (or is it on?) said world? Haven’t the hundreds of people I’ve met along the way and the thousands of conversations we’ve shared been responsible for my creation? Now, I don’t mean to disrespect but I’m not entirely sure I agree with George Bernard. I don’t believe we create ourselves. I believe the world does it for us. (I’ve just read back over that little bit and I realise I sound like a loony person who owns a fortune-telling crystal ball – please be assured that I am not and never will be that person.)
Earlier this week I expressed this philosophical brilliance to my lecturer and she just about had a heart attack. “Honey, breathe. Em, darling, it’s just a simple exercise to encourage you to think about the type of journalist you want to be. Does that help?” Simple my arse. “Yes, it helps, but perhaps you could have shared this clarification before I had a mental breakdown.” “Sorry, honey. I suppose I wrongly assumed that you’re not a complete nutcase.” “Takes one to know one, Miss.”
Where was I?
I remember; I was deciding what type of journalist I’m going to be. Now, six weeks ago I thought a journalist was a journalist and that was that. I’ve since learned otherwise. There are maverick journalists, otherwise known as “unbranded calves” (I’m as confused about that one as you are). There’s something called trust journalism, which I suppose has something to do with trust. And there are these completely embarrassing types of ‘journalists’ called citizen journalists, otherwise known as “flogs with blogs”, otherwise known as members of the public who believe they have something important to say about the world. Proper journalists believe citizen journalists are a threat to the profession so as you can imagine, I haven’t exactly gone around throwing Taggle Talk business cards at my tutors. There are all sorts of other types of journalists too but they’re not coming to me at this present moment and the last thing I want to do is get off this cloud of a couch and read through my lecture notes. My point is, there are lots of journalist ‘brands’ out there and I need to select one that’s right for me.
But here’s the thing: I just want to be a me journalist. And maybe that’s a brand in itself but I don’t know what a me journalist entails; that would require my knowing what me is and I’m for some reason under the impression that people don’t know the meaning of me until they’re 93 and dying.
Alright. I’m about to reach the 1000-word mark, which is really quite ridiculous, and I doubt you’ve made it this far anyway. For that reason I’m not going to bother with a conclusion. Take from this nonsense what you will.