When people ask me what a day in my life looks like, I usually sigh and have absolutely no idea what to say. Therefore, I usually end up saying something absolutely random. When I started thinking about writing a post about my daily life as a freelance journalist/writer, I understood the reason underpinning my obvious difficulty while talking about my ‘routine’ : the ‘routine’ doesn’t exist. Even during the school year, when I have my studies (I will be the third year student in September), every single day is completely different. This must be one of the biggest reasons why I enjoy so much what I do – no matter how difficult and stressful it can sometimes be, at least I am never, ever bored.
To be honest, there is no other way to talk about my day than to pick a random day and rewrite its schedule – in this post, I will discuss one of my June days and I really hope it will provide some useful insight to those who wonder what kind of days you can possible have while working as a journalist.
I know it’s not a good thing, but I tend to get up at different times every day. These days, I wake up around 8 o’clock and the first two hours are dedicated to all my morning rituals – two cups of water, shower, some beauty time, proper breakfast (I never, ever start my day without good and delicious breakfast), checking all social media and e-mails. This part is pretty crucial as it can sometimes change the direction of the day.
Interview/press time! I am always eager to meet new people or see new places I’m going to write about. I should precise that I am a little bit more fascinated by interviews, but they are also a huge responsibility. A lot of people ask me what kind of difficulties I could possibly face while meeting successful people and talking with them – it must be hell of a great job!!! Well, it is, but it’s not as easy as it seems. One thing that never fails to remind me what kind of duty I have is the fact that I’m working to have a great conversation. Not a good one, but great. Possibly – greater that has ever been held with his person before. This is my absolute imperative and no matter how satisfied I might be with the outcome, I always think I can do better.
In my opinion, a good interview has to be as fluid as a talk with one of the best friends, when questions come rise very naturally. In order to have this kind of conversation with a stranger a very thorough research is necessary. I recall being very inspired by one of my mentors, who watched every single movie of the director she had to interview; she dissected every single detail of them before daring to meet him. Right now it seems like a no-brainer, but then I understood very clearly for the first time that there’s never too much research you can do. This part is just as equally fascinating as the interview itself – I could never put into words the pure joy of having a real, not a shallow conversation with someone who has so much to tell and offer. Of course, not all interviews require that much of a preparation and not all conversations leave me absolutely overwhelmed, but when they do, a much greater challenge awaits – translating that experience to the readers. No matter how good one writes, I believe that some details are always left hanging in the air, the ones you cannot put into the article no matter how much you want. They are like special gifts. And dear, I love these gifts so much.
I can have a couple of interviews or meetings in the same day – I especially love when different kinds of events are mixed, for example an interview and a showroom which I have/want to write about. Every new task is a wonderful aesthetical investigation! If I don’t have more than one meeting, I try to visit new places anyway, especially during summer. What could be more perfect time to discover the city? That’s why I dedicate one hour or two to visiting a new park, going to an exhibition or any other plan I come up. Visiting new places gives me energy and ideas for upcoming projects and articles. This particular day, I had an interview, then met with a fellow Instagrammer, had lunch together and visited a modern art gallery.
~15:00 – ~19:00
Time for writing! It can usually extend even longer, especially during the school year when I have essays practically every day. Not only I write articles for magazines or my blog, I also have some advertising projects and translating material. I cannot go a day without writing and if I don’t feel like doing it, usually it means that there’s something wrong going on in my life. However, I’m talking here more about a psychological refusal to write, not about the creative block. The latter occurs rather often, but that’s why everyone who wants to write needs to read a LOT! Every day, I dedicate at least two hours (when at university, I’m reading basically all the time) to reading books, albums, magazines, internet articles, writing down every new thing I’ve learnt, every new word, phrase (people tend to think it’s useful only for writing in foreign languages, but it’s just as equally important if you don’t want to lose your ‘muscle’ writing in native language!), expression – anything that catches my attention. It’s highly improbable, if not impossible, to be a good writer without doing all of these things consistently. When I experience a creative block, I prefer to let it pass, but that’s more like an ‘in an ideal world..’ situation – in reality I am pressed by deadlines so that’s exactly when my ‘inspiration’ book comes in handy. Reading extends the vocabulary, refines your thinking, makes your expressions more sophisticated; it is also imperative to self-growth and learning new things (obviously).
Evening (~20:00 – ~00:00)
It’s only recently that I found out the best cure for stress (for me, at least), which is doing sports. There are many other efficient ways to relax, such as meeting friends, watching movies, talking to the close ones who can help as well, but the fullest, the most sincere relief only comes after one hour of a really hard and honest working out in the gym (no social media checking included). However, I’m not into going to the gym in the morning, so I do it in the evening, when I have the most energy physically. There’s no better feeling for me than to come back home completely exhausted, pamper myself with my night rituals, have a conversation with my boyfriend or call my mom and slip peacefully into the bed. I try to limit my interactions with social media before sleep, however, for the moment I’m not successful at it at all…
This is a very rough sketch of what one day can look like. There are many different nuances, so if you have any other questions, I will be more than happy to answer them in the comments!
Photos by Gintare Vaicekauskaite