I read this article by one of the founders of SmartNow.com today.
On top of that I’ve been Twittering with some folks about being laid off. I feel it’s cathartic for me to write it out.
On top of that I’ve started journaling again. I’m trying visual journaling. Doodling seems easier than writing any more right now.
Julie Wainwright’s words hit me, though. This part:
I built my image of myself on two main supporting pillars. When those collapsed, I did too. What I mean is that I had defined myself as someone who was smart and could figure things out and also someone who was entering middle age as a married woman. The “smart” definition was fostered from my childhood. I was the oldest of four children with a mother who was ill and a father who worked long hours to make ends meet. Whenever I asked my parents a question, they would say: “You are smart, what do you think?” Believing I was smart helped me survive a hard family situation and still make top honors in school. I never bought into being a “pretty” girl; I was the smart one. I was not smart enough for Pets.com. I failed publicly. After more than 20 years of good to great business successes, I had crashed and burned.
For a long time, I’ve recognized that I have defined myself by my work. Work was everything to me. I had a good social life and I have a loving boyfriend, but work was what made me get up in the morning.
I am a journalist. Even my personal site says so. I am a journalist, a writer, a nerd. Those are work terms. They have nothing to do with me being a Asian American woman, in her 20s. I don’t define myself by my love of cooking, spicy food, my cat, yoga, reading until 5 a.m.
Perhaps this is why I, and other journalists, take the failure of the industry so hard. This is who I am. I am made up of newsprint and soy ink, or at least it feels that way. I am ingrained in content management systems and what social media can do for us.
I still read Romenesko. My ultimate dream? A newspaper hires me to be a web producer and wants and appreciates doing new things. Trying something different. The Boy is there at my side, egging me on, as he always does.
Pretty sad and simple dream.
I don’t know that defining myself by my work is an ultimate failure on my part, but it’s making this, sitting in my pajamas at noon with no intention of changing, harder.
I am coming to terms with the idea that I might not find a job in journalism. There are few and though my talents are rare, they do not fill newshole. That’s the main concern, it seems, for many papers. Not getting things on the web.
We had a blackout at a paper I worked out. I was saying I could take the computers to my house, get the whole paper on the web right now, so reporters wouldn’t lose days of work. They were worried about where to print the paper. The main concern was getting he print product out. Web was an afterthought.
The sports and features reporters lost all their work and those stories were never printed. Or put online.
I am a journalist, but I may not be practicing. That’s what happens, I guess.