Fame before following

by Penny M

Just before I set off towards foreign lands in February my blood made a lofty dash to my head, and I signed up for a freelance professional journalism course through correspondence. I completed an entry form online and had no proof that I‘d correctly selected my preferred starting date which was mid-March. I received my first tutorial in the middle of February, two weeks before my departure for Australia. Hmm! I forgave them.

Am I the only one who thinks in months? Don’t answer that, I’ve just realised that the course is Australian and Australians in certain areas think in one or two week intervals. No, I don’t mean they only think every two weeks. Salaries are paid at two week intervals and rent is payable weekly. I guess that’s why the Morris Journalism Academy schedules tutorials every other week.

I’ve now had five. So, not only do I have to get my brain around the time differences (see my last blog), but I have to reschedule my priorities and deadlines to cope with an influx of Australian notes.

I’m devouring the contents of each tutorial and thoroughly enjoying them. Unfortunately my assignments are forming a stack on my To Do List along with numerous other projects I want to get to yesterday.

boy on books
I reached a section of my third tutorial, entitled ‘The Column and the Blog’. I quote:

‘The “column”, “comment piece”, “opinion piece”, or these days, “the blog” (short for “web log”), is an altogether different matter. It’s specifically designed for the writer to present their opinions – and sometimes biases – on a subject, though in a manner that is logical and backed up with facts.

Columns that appear on a regular basis are usually written by an expert or identity, but all columns focus on current events or topical themes.

These, then, allow the columnist to present their interpretation of what is happening in society. Ideally, readers will buy that publication each week or month, or visit that website, to find out what the writer has to say on that issue’s chosen subject…’

‘Editors are only interested in presenting the opinions of experts, identities or celebrities, so a column, or an idea for one, is not something a new writer should attempt to sell…The same goes for blogs on high profile websites. These are the domain of experts and identities, who have often become so through years of writing on a particular subject and building a strong knowledge base.

The high profile bloggers have in-depth knowledge in a specific field, and are considered by editors to be an asset for their website – something that people will come back day after day, or week after week for.’

The above reminded me that a pure blog expresses opinion and/or comment.

Our Scribbling Scribes blog is fun to write, good discipline and it’s a pleasure to delight our readers who, I suspect, are still mostly family, colleagues and friends. However, I’m under no illusion that I have a thirsty public out there who would hang themselves if I missed a deadline.

This will change when the world knows my name.

Until then I need to expand my profile by producing articles, novels, stories et cetera that make a difference in the lining of my pocket.

Man Reading Book and Sitting on Bookshelf in Library

I hope for editors, publishers, agents and the like to discover me and then read my blogs as a reference. I agree with the author of my course notes and have concluded that fame comes before following.

So, if I skip a Scribbling Scribes deadline on occasion, it’s because I’m concentrating on building a public who will miss me if I don’t deliver. I hope our readers will understand and forgive me.


One thought on “Fame before following

  1. Susan says:

    I’ve come to the conclusion that writing is like acting. People do it for years without recognition and when fame finally hits them one day – usually purely by chance – they are billed as “an overnight success.” This often leads to the wry comment “It only took me 25 years to become an overnight success!” uttered by so many actors and writers. Keep pounding your keyboard on those assignments, Penny – success is just around the corner…

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