What is there to lose?
I spent a large proportion of today sitting in a newspaper office typing an article for the Head of Content, having spent the morning phoning people and getting quotable comments, asking people's names and ages. This was the first day of my new season of Work Experience at the Mid Devon Gazette. How come? Well, I asked if I could, and they said yes.
What's weirder is that I only thought to make this request because I was already writing a monthly Children's Book Review Column for them. Which only came about because one day I thought, hold the phone, I would LOVE to write a column for a newspaper. How can I do that? Minutes later I was composing an email to the newspaper asking "please will you let me write a column for you? Here's a sample book review I've written, and by the way I am a total children's book geek." Or something like that. What blew me away was the fast and positive response. The Content Editor said yes. And not only that, but it was 'just the sort of thing he'd been looking out for.'
I am not writing this post to boast, but to encourage. I want you all to be aware of how easy it is to ask for something. It costs nothing to ask a question, and if no-one ever replies, or they reply with a big fat no, so what? What have you lost? There are so many avenues to explore instead. And if they say yes, well, there you go. Enjoy it.
I have not been fed by a silver spoon, neither am I completely (or even slightly) qualified for anything much. I do not have a degree, I chose to explore art and writing from home. And I haven't got much relevant work experience except for working in bookshops and libraries. I have had enough rejections to know that just because you want something doesn't mean you will automatically get it. But, you just might. What I do know for sure is unless someone reads your mind and tracks you down to find you and fulfill your dreams for you, most things will not happen unless you ask. Explore. Knock on doors, write emails. Hundreds of them. See what happens. See where it leads you.