Deciding what you want to do with the rest of your life can be scary. After all, it is the path you choose to navigate for what could be the entirety of your adult life. You’re asked the same question since the day you start school. “What do you want to be when you grow up?” Some kids says firefighter, some say nurse, some say movie star. I said journalist. Well, actually I said tornado chaser, but once I was old enough to realize I was bad at math and wasn’t completely comfortable with the on the job hazards, I realized what I really wanted to be when I “grew up”, was a writer.
It’s a special thing to have a talent from a young age. Most people go through their entire life not being sure what they truly wanted to be, bouncing around from job to job or just never finding something that truly fulfilled them.
When you have a talent for something it shouldn’t be ignored, no matter what it is. In this case, if it’s writing, you should pursue it. We can always use more great writers in the world, and if that writer happens to paint a story with words that are responsible for changing lives, that’s a big deal.
Journalists often get a bad rap. The media in general tends to because of a few bad eggs. You know the ones I mean; the handful who lie and deceive and take advantage of the trust the public places in our hands. But true journalists have morals. They have a sense of pride and duty. They aren’t journalists for the fame or glory, but to change lives with the written word, and pay the public a service by getting down to the bottom of a scandal that could impact them or telling the story of a hero.
Think about if there were no journalists in the world. You would feel completely cut off. What’s happening in the Middle East? What about the drought in California? What does that guy look like who abducted that child? We often take knowing these things for granted, and even groan that we never hear any good news as we sip our morning coffee and read the paper. We don’t think about the shape the world would be in without these gifted writers. They put themselves in danger more often than you realize, and all for the betterment of the public.
So if you have this special talent, if you want to change lives and tell the story of the Boston Bombing survivor who married his nurse, if you want to be responsible for giving a mother of a soldier her only connection to his life overseas, then you should use it. Be brave enough to be a journalist.