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Ask our counsellor


Dear Madam,

I am a 16-year-old II PUC Commerce student. I am an aspiring journalist. But, of late, I’ve realised that I dream big but I’m not working towards my goal. I dream, but I sleep and dream. Help me wake up. I’m afraid I’m heading for a fall. I hate to think negatively but I’m just not able to avoid it. How can I believe that I have what it takes to be a good journalist?
Shruthi

Dear Shruthi,
There are two types of ‘dreamers’. One is like Martin Luther King Jr. who said, ‘I have a dream…’. And he did everything possible to fulfil that dream. He dared to dream as he felt passionately about the change he wanted to make.
The other is like the milk maid who carried a pot of milk on her head and dreamed of selling the milk, saving money, buying a cow, becoming rich, and so on. In the process she dropped the pot of milk.
Now the choice is yours - which kind of a dreamer would you like to be? Nothing I can say will make you change, unless the passion comes from within you. You also need to talk positively to yourself. Tell yourself: ‘I will be a journalist’.
Here are some personal attributes that a journalist needs to have: a flair and enjoyment for words and writing, a good vocabulary with ability to express ideas with clarity, the instinct to pick out newsworthy stories, curiosity, an open-mind, non-judgmental and unbiased approach, commitment and dedication to the task, stamina to work long hours, courage to be in difficult situations, wide ranging interests, a reading habit and many more qualities.
Are you going to be overwhelmed by these attributes? Or are you going to say, I have it in me to be a good journalist. If it is the latter, the first thing you have to do is make a step-by-step plan on how you are going to fulfil your dream.

Dear Madam,
I am a class 9 student. I love writing poems and stories and am also quite good at it. Recently I read somewhere that Enid Blyton, a famous writer, had her own column in a newspaper at the age of eight. I don’t know if this information is true. But now, I too want to have a column in a newspaper. Is this possible?
I have also started writing a book. I want to know if people would publish my books? I want to grow up and become a great and famous writer.
Please Help.
Rhea Muthane.

Dear Rhea,
When I read your question a beautiful quotation by Michael Korda came to mind – ‘The more you can dream, the more you can do.’
You have the guts to dream big and I can see the determination to fulfil the dream. Remember, nothing is impossible. I have not heard about Enid Blyton having a column in the newspaper at the age of eight. It is enough that this information has acted as a source of inspiration to you.
You have to think of the steps you will have to take to get the ball rolling. Before you approach a newspaper you will have to have clarity about the following:
* The objective of the column
* Do you want it to be monthly, fortnightly, weekly?
* The approach you want to take.
* A portfolio of your published / unpublished writing.;
* You must have an outline for an editor to take you seriously.
* Your book can be published provided it is good and accepted by a publisher. You will have to approach publishers with the manuscript. However, you should be prepared for rejections – but keep trying.

In your question you did not say anything about the reactions of your parents to your dreams. Please keep them informed and take their help too. It will take a lot of running around for which you will definitely need their help. You also need to have a balance between your studies and your dream.

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