Get Confident, Stupid!
September 20, 2010 4:28 PM Subscribe
I have an opportunity to do what I dream of doing, writing a food column, but utterly fail at journalism. What do I do get cojones and pursue this dream to something bigger?
posted by Kitteh to grab bag (15 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
I love food. I read about it obsessively, I buy stacks of food magazines, cookbooks, etc. to learn more, to know what is going on, and my cooking skills are pretty awesome. I have been running a food blog of my own for nearly three years now; I toil away at it, have a few loyal readers, but have never really got the hang of internet social networking. Anyway, if it has to do with food media, I probably already know about it or am eager to know about it.
I have been given a great opportunity. Where I live (Quebec, Canada, though I am American) I have been handed the chance to write a food column, solely based on an impassioned email to the editor of the local Anglophone newspaper. It's twice a month to start, doesn't pay much, but I don't care. It's a column! In a newspaper! (The eventual goal is to build up a portfolio and start trotting it around to larger newspapers, perhaps magazines.) Only I have a problem.
I am a bit shy. And even though I am taking French classes, I am lacking the confidence to talk to predominantly French farmers/shopkeepers/artisans. Some of them are bilingual; others I drag my French-fluent husband along to help me out when things get sticky. But that's not the worst of the problem. It's just being bold enough to strike up a natural conversation with people, to talk about what they do (which obviously I am interested in hearing about), why they do what they do, etc. I took journalism in high school, but I have to tell you, 15 years later, I can't remember a damn thing about it.
So how I do not screw up this chance? How do I gain the confidence to be the kind of food reporter I am aiming to be?