A Time of Change

As part of National Young Writers Month, I sat down at the start of the month and started to make a list at my whiteboard.

Taking my marker, I divided the board in half – the first side for places I wanted to submit stories to, and the other for places I’d potentially like to work at. Writing jobs.

Ever since graduating from my writing studies last year, more and more I’ve felt the itch to leave my current job of almost 3 years, and finally go and find a job where day in, day out I could write in some capacity.

And right from the start, this year has been so exciting – I’ve felt like there’s been a momentum building, step by step bringing me closer to living out that dream.
January saw me start volunteering at local community paper the Gully News, writing and editing articles, doing interviews, even at one point being asked by the editor to write the editorial. In March I also got to do some online sub-editing work. And this month, only just recently, I was accepted for an editorial internship, writing and editing for an arts website.

Each and every one of these things is proving to me that this is definitely something I want to be doing for the rest of my life. It feels as natural, and as much a part of me, as breathing. I would just be so lucky, and I would so easily die happy with a goofy grin on my face.

So, sitting at my whiteboard, my list consisted of various newspapers, publishers etc, ANYTHING that I could apply to.

And to begin with that was all well and good… except for the fact that, right now, the literary world is the midst of a storm, with a major shift affecting every aspect of the landscape… the shift from PRINT to DIGITAL MEDIA.

Everything as we know it seems to be changing, and the uncertainty of everything is disconcerting.

Technology has advanced so much, with music and the internet and smartphones, that old technologies are starting to gradually get left behind.

Earlier in the year, major bookstores such as Borders and Angus & Robertson started to disappear as it became cheaper to buy books online. E-books began to gain more ground on printed books. And now, it looks as though newspaper print may be in danger, too.

Last week, it was announced that Fairfax Media, one of the biggest news organisations in the country, would be axing as many as 1,900 jobs or sending them overseas, many of those editorial. And it is reported that News Limited is likely to do the same thing.

To follow on from this, yesterday the editors of The Age and the Sydney Morning Herald both announced that they were stepping down.

It just seems so depressing. A very sad day for those in the journalism industry.

With all this happening, and all this uncertainty, I feel like a brick-wall has come down in front of me. If all these people, who have been in the industry for years, are being pushed out, what hope do I have of finding a way in? I am no longer sure what to do, where to look.

All I know is that I need to try, and whatever I end up doing, I will be happy in the end.

I can’t see what lies ahead… all I know is that big changes are afoot, and they need to be embraced.

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