In the summer of 2014 I was fortunate enough to spend a week at the News UK offices on a journalism summer school run by the News Academy. We spent five days putting together our own paper, fuelled by workshops and talks from journalists from the three News UK publications – The Times, The Sunday Times and The Sun.
I learned a lot that week. I learned how to write better. I learned how to make phone calls. I learned how to sub-edit, where to place a photograph on a page and how to conduct an interview. I learned just how important contacts are in this industry.
But there is one tiny fact that I have relayed more times than any of the advice I was given; it was mentioned in passing and I was so surprised I didn’t need to write it down. I learned that The Sun has…
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It’s National Handwriting Day here in the UK, what better way could you express yourself than through a letter?
There are days,
There are days when your life clouds over
and the world gets so dark
that all at once you can’t tell night from day.
There are times
when your heart cries ‘this isn’t happening’
but the truth is cold and real
and I know this storm won’t go away
‘It’s her or me’ from Miss Saigon, by Boublil and Schonberg
I’ve been quiet on here for the last few months. I know some people have dropped by to see if anything has been written and I have tried to, but it’s been a difficult end to the year.
Not many people know, but I’ve been off sick from work for 2 and a bit months. Mental health issues are still quite taboo in our society and I don’t really understand why. It’s something that can affect anybody and yet still it’s not something we feel confident talking about. I have depression, which I think is something that I’ve been battling with for a decade and it’s dreadful. This bout has definitely been the worse of the lot. A stressful job, moving to a new area, not having much if a social life, various things that have happened in the past, lack of money all building together until I essentially cracked. I couldn’t get out of bed, I couldn’t go outside without having a panic attack and I couldn’t go to work. It’s such a difficult thing to describe. I get frustrated with myself because I can’t physically do things that I want or need to do. I can’t get out of bed. I can’t speak to people. I don’t have any outward physical manifestation of this, there is just this mental block, a cloud, a haze that won’t let me through. Then I spend time arguing with myself in my head – you know what you need to do, just get up, just get up, just move yourself, just stop wallowing in self pity and get up and do something. But it’s no good. There is some chemical imbalance at the moment. There is something just stopping me whether I want to or not. Ruby Wax says it better than me, so here she is: