Adam Westbrook // ideas on digital storytelling and publishing

10 myths that will stop you innovating in journalism

Posted in Entrepreneurial Journalism by Adam Westbrook on August 15, 2011

If there’s anything I’d ever wish you to take away from reading this blog over the years, it would be the following ten points. 

They underline everything I’ve learned in two years of searching for new ways to do journalism, and the four years of reporting before that. Please share with anyone you think wants to do big things – but is holding back.

10 myths that will stop you innovating in journalism

.01 you don’t have enough time

Truth: you will never have enough time, so just get on with it.

.02 you don’t have enough money

Truth: you will never have enough money, so just get on with it.

.03 you don’t have a good idea

Truth: everyone has good ideas; they just don’t write them down – so start writing every one down.

.04 you don’t know video/web design/HTML/CSS – it’s too complicated

Truth: Nothing is too complicated so buy a book and teach yourself

.05 your idea will never work

Truth: Most ideas don’t work. But they often create opportunities for better ones, if you start them

#6 It’s safer/more secure to get a ‘proper’ job

Truth: the recession has proven that job security does not exist.

.07 If you take a risk and fail you’ll go bankrupt/get in trouble/will never be employed again

Truth: obviously it’s up for you to weigh up your own personal risks; most people find though that fears of bankruptcy/bailiffs/divorce and homelessness are mere phantoms.

.08 There’s no point in going out to write an article/shoot a film if no-one’s going to pay for it

Truth: then you’re denying yourself great opportunity to practice and master your craft (unless you’re the greatest journalist/writer/film maker the world has ever seen)

.09 You’re the greatest journalist/writer/film maker the world has ever seen – and as soon as people realise, you’ll get the job you deserve

Truth: you’re not, so just get on with it.

.10 This is too difficult and too much like hard work.

Truth: Life is difficult for everyone, so just get on with it.

9 Responses

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  1. Martin Gonzalez said, on August 15, 2011 at 3:48 pm

    This is a very inspiring email. A can connect with all of them. Very nervous about focusing on my life in what I love to do.

    • Adam Westbrook said, on August 16, 2011 at 7:50 am

      I’ve learned that if you’re nervous about it then it’s probably the right thing to do. There are quite a few writers who view fear not as a bad thing, but as a compass to guide you towards what you really want to do. Thanks for your comment🙂

  2. zlatinag said, on August 16, 2011 at 9:59 am

    This post helped me so much! I finally started putting my ideas into words. Thank you so much for sharing your insights with us.

    • Adam Westbrook said, on August 16, 2011 at 12:33 pm

      Really glad you’ve found it useful! Writing down ideas was one of the best bits of advice anyone gave me; I always carry a notebook around with me now!

  3. Tracy Boyer Clark said, on August 17, 2011 at 2:17 am

    Brilliant Adam! Sometimes people need to hear the honest-yet-blunt truth that their excuses just don’t cut it. Well said🙂

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