15 January 2014

"What do you want to do with your life?!"

*Unrelated image that is actually related to this that I've had floating around in my files for a while.

I felt like an important issue needed to be addressed, here. For months, maybe even years I have had to think about what I want to do when I leave high school, the (for me) dreaded move from a comfortable, expected environment to (to be quite honest) expected route of University. Now, I know that University is completely optional, and that there are other options: take a gap year to figure out what you want to do, get a full time job, get an apprenticeship, etc.

That side issue aside, I feel like there is a burdening pressure on students these days to figure out what they want to do with their life at the mere age of fifteen, sixteen, seventeen; because the subjects you choose in Year Eleven or Twelve could impact what University courses you get into, etc.

For the longest while now I personally have been toying with the idea of working in magazines. There really is nothing I can think of that I would want to do besides that. It's hard when you don't exactly know how to get there, and you don't have the information you need and good advice from industry specialists to aim to get there.

I want to work in the magazine industry. I want to be the editor for a magazine like Frankie, or Yen, or Betty, or Rookie. I could literally spend my whole income on magazines. The list goes on; I want to be that stylish, amazingly cool editor -- like the unbelievable phenomenon that is Tavi Gevinson -- for a vintage magazine that aims to empower women, celebrate arts and crafts, shoots wonderful photography, has interesting, well-written and thoughtful articles that are a mile and a half away from the mind numbing, pointless gossip magazine articles.

I want to be apart of that whole frantic, amazing, creative space with creative individuals who are all trying to meet deadlines for a creative project they love. I want to be passionate about what I do, and have others around me that are passionate, and that understand me -- that understand how I have to finish this by midnight to get it to the printers, or that understand how pretty that photo is, or understand how important that message is to put across, and I want people that empower me and make me feel like I am doing something worthy.

But I do not want rules or restrictions. I want to be creative, and use my art and design brain as well as the written side. I want to create something I'm proud of that is aesthetically pleasing and wonderful as well as intelligent. I just want to create something creative that won't bound me by a grade: an achieved, or a merit, or an excellence. I want something that is ungradeable -- yes I made that word up -- I want something that people will appreciate, and love, and cherish in their own bare hands. I want to do something with my life that is both challenging and really, really hard to explain -- that I just want to do whatever I like and have a good time doing it.

And I value print. Print is dying. Online magazines are the new thing. Except online magazines are really not good. I want to hold something in my hands, feel the paper, line up the issues lovingly on my bookshelf, not hold the back and sides of an i-Pad and have them all stored in a cloud. It makes it even harder to get into this industry; when the industry is dying and getting even more competitive at the same time, and it is changing and evolving.

I want to make a change somehow. Here in New Zealand, there are no magazines that I know of that strictly have all of the above listed things. They're all from Australia, or Europe. How am I going to make my dream come true if I'm doing something no one has done before in my country? To get a magazine published and put into your local bookstores everywhere; I mean it's harder than trying to get a novel published here in New Zealand.

Sometimes I feel like I am limited to what I can do here. I want to live where big things happen. I don't want to sit here wasting away my life on something I might be easily able to do overseas and have a bigger audience for. And in midst of this there are so, so many other unanswered questions about how is this even possible? Work experience is a must in the magazine industry. And it's hard. It really is -- to be competing against about a million other girls or guys who want that work experience in a magazine, like something you see in the movies.

I'm interested in fashion, and in art, design, and photography. I like home decor, interior design, food, travel, writing, reading, blogging etc etc. The list goes on.

My question is; where is the available help, how exactly can you explain all of this to one person and get an answer to how you're going to get to your goal; how you're going to live your dream. It seems very impossible when there is no one who understands it or is supporting you. And it is even more difficult when you are not learning the industry at school, you are not learning what you want to eventually do. And then University -- where is my course which signs me up for magazine production and publishing, writing and photography all bundled up in one?

My problem is, I know what I want to do, but I don't know how I'm going to get there, and to me, that is scary.

Note: This was an impulsive bit of writing I just thought I had to get out. I feel as though this has been bundled up in my chest tight for a long time.

'til next time.



  1. I love this post! I've always liked magazines too, I have a huge pile of them and I buy at least one a month maybe two sometimes. I think there is something special about being able to go back to them and read them rather than going through posts on an online magazines. I'm very much into photography and I used to think about taking photographs for funky and quirky magazines but I didn't know how to go about getting into photography that way so I went to university. It's hard living in New Zealand, I feel that there aren't as many opportunities. I'm going to go on my OE as soon as my degree finishes and hopefully something can arise from there. I wish you all the luck with deciding how to go about your dream! Talking about work experience, submit your writings and your photography to magazines. I know Frankie takes submissions, Rookie does and I'm sure a lot of others do too! Just send everything everywhere and eventually something will happen x

    1. Thank you so much Caitlin. I agree that there aren't as many opportunities in New Zealand, and it really is hard. I know I have to get myself out there and submit my work to magazines, I just have to work for it. Thank you so much again, it means a lot xx

  2. love your writing in this post. I'm in year 12 this year and definitely feel the pressure of university. I am worse than you, I have no clue at all what I want to do when I leave, I have a lot of similar interests, but there's nothing I see myself pursuing that is a career. all I know at this stage is that I want to go on a gap year the year after I finish school and travel europe, but I have to get accepted into a uni course and defer for a year before I go; to keep everyone happy that I will get some qualification and get some kind of successful career. you know? I hope all goes to plan for you, you are really great at writing and you have a dream and ambition which I think makes you more passionate than other candidates etc. !





  3. Thank you Lena, I hope you figure it all out with yourself and your career. I think taking a gap year is an amazing idea and you will have the most brilliant time. Who knows, maybe I will take a gap year, nothing is ever set in stone.
    You are so kind, so thank you! Hope everything goes well xx

  4. i totally understand what you mean! from a young age I've loved magazines and books and have always wanted to be a part of them! After doing a questionnaire during the early years of school one of my top choices was graphic designer- something that ive been working towards ever since! But since I started blogging last year I've really felt like magazine and publishing is something I also want to get into. I love writing. And I love being able to read about peoples thoughts and expressing my opinion! I feel like if there were more people like this, then magazines like you describe would become more likely in the world! Living in the UK there is many of great magazines! However, with some becoming closer to spending £10 I always feel like I'd be over spending. There needs to be great alternatives for the creative people in the world. Otherwise, they're just getting shut out!
    Lauren | OhHay Blogs!

    1. Thank you so much for commenting!
      Oh yes - if there were more people like us there would be many great interesting and different magazines.
      If we know what we want we have to work towards it.


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