One leg on the bed, another on the floor as I decide between attending the meeting and making breakfast. You cannot skip either of them, can you? But you can survive on a cup of coffee and some cookies as your boss is all riled up in search of ‘NEWS’.
Journalism, they say, isn’t an easy profession. But is the responsibility difficult? Or people who have shouldered them?
I remember struggling to wake up every morning and replacing the cup of coffee that I finished at 3 am with another one at 8 am. Trust me, it was never by choice.
I realized I was adding one extra spoon of coffee with every passing month but nothing could freshen me up.
NEWS NEWS NEWS! CRIME, CASTE, HEALTH, POLITICS, EDUCATION, SO MUCH!
Something I stepped into ‘to increase my horizon’, managed to trap me and put me in a cocoon. I realized I had lost the ability to question, comprehend and realize what I was doing because of the idea of “just get done with it”.
3 stories in a day, 2 in the pipeline, 4 in my head, 3 in my boss’ notes. But what took away the limelight was that one story by someone else that missed my attention.
At first, I thought it was very normal for my mind to be ‘preoccupied’ until I understood that all my thoughts that probably were never executed, came in the way of others. What was alarming is that there were no personal-professional boundaries.
I remember writing a story I strongly felt was crucial for people to know. I researched well and was eager to read it myself. But did I write it well? No.
I also remember not eating well that afternoon. I remember standing in the kitchen with my laptop on the fridge as I ‘HAD TO’ submit the story.
Something that gave me immense learning, suddenly became a piece of submission. It lost its essence and clearly did not indicate my effort.
Juggling between ‘did I put sugar in my coffee’ and ‘how will I submit this by 3pm’, I saw my passion for journalism take a backseat. I had become an employee, not a reporter.
And one day, I chose the balance. I chose to pursue my passion and not a job.
I chose to live for my stories and what drives me and not a monthly salary (it’s often ‘pocket money’ in this profession)
Do I have a plan? No.
But I do have time. To work, plan, think and reflect on all of them.
It’s not good money but I feel a lot closer to my passion.
The idea was always to give people ‘news that deserves their attention’. It couldn’t have been possible if I lost mine.