I got the following e-mail from a friend today who's been there. If you're a journalist, you've been there. In fact, if you've ever hated your career path, you've been there. We are not alone. I've had a lot of thoughts and ideas and dreams and self-doubt and self-destruction swimming through my head lately, and I needed reassurance that it's happened to someone else. And he came out just fine.
I don't know what I have planned for my career, but I know this is not the career I see myself a part of in 10 years. Or five. Or next year. Hell, tomorrow in this newspaper-unfriendly economy.
I am not fulfilled. I am not happy. I am not proud. Instead, I am beaten down, I am bored and I am struggling. I did not pay (and am still paying) thousands upon thousands of dollars for an education that landed me in a miserable career.
I have potential, and I can do more than this. Newspapers are hardly the future, and they're certainly not my future.
Right now I don't have a battle plan. I don't have options. But I know they're out there. And I will find them, even if it means I have to fight tooth and nail to get there. Because, as you'll read in the e-mail that follows, life is too short to be unhappy. I want to love what I do, even if getting there means cleaning up dog poop or serving coffee to caffeine addicts.
I want a fulfilling career, dammit.
"I have a lot of opinions on journalism, newspapers and whatnot, but it would fill up your entire inbox. Long story short, I think you'd be very wise to move on. Explore what else you want to do with your life. The possibilities are endless when you really start thinking about what you can do.
Quitting is exactly what I did when I realized it wasn't for me.
It took me a LONG TIME to realize that writing and journalism is DEFINITELY NOT the same thing. In fact, if you love writing you may find you hate journalism. It was while blogging as a bellman that I rediscovered my love for writing. But I still didn't realize the distinction between writing and traditional journalism until I took a job at the State Journal. I realized almost immediately it was a mistake.
I am not sad to see newspapers die. They were a good idea in their time, but they just don't make sense anymore. Shit, the printing press was invented centuries ago. It's long past time for new technologies -- faster, more efficient technologies -- to take their place.
Long story short, life is short. You gotta love what you do. And if you don't, you gotta move on."