the firing line.

It doesn’t take me a lot to get worked up. It especially doesn’t take me a lot to get worked up about the things I live for, such as my writing. At the dinner table the other day, my mother reminded me that she has read anything I have written since I was three. I told her I doubt I wrote anything at that age, she told me I was wrong.

When I get up in the morning, the first thing I think about is the course of the day; what will I wear, eat, do, read and write? I do not live one day without putting my mind into writing, because it is merely how I work and set about my life. To cope with the struggles that life brings me, I pour it into language. Whether my blog, my journal, my friends or scrap pieces of paper, my heart will be written into words each and every day.

So it is easy to comprehend why I would get offended or genuinely upset when someone attacks my goodwill on writing, or my ability itself. I am a student writer, I graduate with my Bachelor in Arts degree in October. Let me emphasise that once more: I am a student writer. This means I am learning. Stick an ‘L’ plate on me, I don’t care. If you think people should be warned that I am not yet a ‘professional standard’ writer or journalist, then go ahead. But eventually I will be a P-plater, ready to dive into the crazy and cruel world of media relations.

I’m already experiencing it. I’m not the passenger anymore.

The past week I have been enduring abusive messages, comments, emails and the likes from anonymous (and sometimes not) beings on publications that I write for, including this one. I have had to delete crude insults from public viewing, but some are out of my reach.

Being a writer and journalist means I must be ready for criticism such as what I am receiving lately. But there is a fine line between bullying and criticism, and I believe people should be careful about where their toes are touching. If you are meaning to pin me down and insult me outright, then good job, you’ve done it. But where has it left you? Do you sit behind your keyboard and snigger with pride? Let me ask you this: when you were starting off in your career, were you giving the top rank in the industry before you had graduated university or schooling? No. Most people in life are not handed such luxuries. We start from the bottom, where we learn the dos and don’ts of our passions, and work our way upwards.
I’m inclined to make mistakes, if I don’t, I will not learn. But name-calling will not teach me anything except for the cruelty of those who don’t even know me.

The support I have had through this has been overwhelming, and my Twitter account has been flooded with generosity. Everyone is going to experience the stage I am going through right now, that’s what makes us better at what we do, however, it doesn’t make it any easier…or okay.

Call me a “shameful excuse for journalist” or whatever else you may, but I get up in the morning looking for inspiration to write; whether negative or positive, you have given me just that.

Those who know me well enough would know I go by one set of words…

You can’t write, if you can’t relate.

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