When Roslyn High School grads say that they want to major in English, they are quickly pegged as teachers and dumped into the education bin. If they say, “No, I’m a journalist,” they get “Oh, that’s interesting,” in a tone that evokes patting a child’s head. Or the suggestion, knowingly delivered, that it’s “a dying field.”
Writers have long been envied for their creative freedom and perceived cushy work, even as they are pitied for their wages. Oh to turn the tables and watch the haters try it; working on deadline, staring at a computer screen for 15 hours straight, cranking out original pieces several times a day.
It’s a difficult industry to break into, yet once that first byline hits, you declare you’re here to stay. But can you really write news for a living?
The few lucky writers with stable gigs at renowned newspapers or glossy magazines can still make a living off of words. But for most who pour out heart and soul in print, it’s tough to pay rent, bills and school loans.
Still, we ignore the cruelties of ‘get a real job.’ Whether you are Team Print or Team Web, both teams still need writers need to provide value, especially when it comes to news. We chose to do what we love — highlight the good in local communities, bring international news to your fingertips, tell you where to get the best burger, and most of all, keep you in the know about your everyday life — over just making money at a job we would probably hate. Isn’t this what our parents taught us? To work hard to achieve our dreams?
Is it possible to write for a living? Yes. Is it a good idea to continue to look for that dream job? Absolutely.