If it’s not of professional quality, don’t bother

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It’s been quiet here. It’s been quiet because I was no longer able to write for fun.

Why is that? Well, I realised that I was supposed to become a writer, journalist, media producer, communication professional… Suddenly the pressure to write amazing stories was too much.

I graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism last summer. The final years of the degree were all about making me and my fellow students professionals.

Our lecturers required us to write as well as professional journalists and would not give high marks unless they considered the story to be worth publishing; they would not give the highest marks unless they thought that the piece could win a journalism award. At least that’s what they told us. Fair enough, that’s how you prepare students for the pressures of a real newsroom.

What really put me off was the advice relating to personal blogs given by a guest speaker. She said: You have to always perform your best. If you write a blog, it has to be of good quality because your potential employer might check it out. If it’s not of professional quality, it’s just going to harm you.

How can you require someone to produce professional-quality content on their blog while they are not being paid for it, while they are working part-time and studying full-time and, perhaps, trying to have a life as well? I know I can’t do that.

I liked my studies, had a great time writing my final project/journalistic dissertation and sort of enjoyed working in a Finnish newspaper as a summer reporter and editor, but I stopped writing for fun. This past year I have been writing only academic essays to complete my postgraduate degree (not journalism).

I’m not a professional journalist, maybe someday I will be, maybe I won’t. Nevertheless, I want to be able to write for fun. Maybe, with the mental support of this personal disclaimer, I will be able to publish new stories here:

My blog posts are subjective and selective, I do not interview the right people and do not have the catchiest headlines – I do not aim for professional quality.

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