I really pondered over whether I was actually in a position to write this list, after all I have been pursuing written journalism part-time for a meagre 4 months- I am hardly your professional journalist reflecting back on a successful career. What I do have though is some experience of starting with no qualifications in the area and it is fresh in my mind because I am still in the process of getting into journalism.  So here are my top tips.

  1. First up, your frame of mind. You have to be passionate and driven, you have to genuinely enjoy writing and have the drive to complete what you are doing. If you didn’t though I don’t think you would be reading this list.
  2. You also need to think that when you start you may be doing things with little readership, for example your own blog. I have found this actually quite helpful though, as it gives you an opportunity to enhance your writing and develop a style. You will look back and be thankful that a lot of your early work hasn’t been read a lot.
  3. Get involved with your school or university magazine. There is always opportunities to write article for these sorts of magazines, on a variety of areas. There is also often room for moving further up within the magazine ie section editor, deputy editor maybe even editor and chief.
  4. Constantly search for opportunities; once you have some articles under your belt in your school/university magazine and a few descent blog articles, then you may feel you can approach an online magazine or other local magazines or newspapers.
  5. When writing a proper article (by that I generally mean for something that isn’t your own blog) ensure that your spelling, tenses, punctuation and plurals are all correct. Any mistakes will majorly wind you up and if they aren’t spotted by your editor will ruin the level of satisfaction you have for the article.
  6. Don’t be scared to ask, after all, as the phrase goes, if you don’t ask you don’t get. This can be for an interview or for work experience etc. I have got quite a few things I didn’t think I would get but I was brave enough to ask.
  7. Don’t bite off more than you can chew. This is meant in workload and in experience. For example if you are asked to write on fashion and you know nothing about fashion, you may not be the right person for the piece.
  8. Don’t lose heart. You will write bad pieces, probably quite a few in the early days; you will have articles rejected but what makes you a good writer is looking at why and learning from it.
  9. Be bold, be brave, be true. The best pieces come from something that is new, something that is innovative and something you are passionate about.
  10. You are a writer, write it yourself!
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