A few weeks ago, a guy named Brad emailed me and asked if he could write a guest article for my blog.
I thought it was a little strange that someone wanted to write for thegsandwich. It is, after all, my personal blog. And then it made sense: Brad wanted to write for my first website, Beach Rose Yoga, which I launched when I taught yoga a few years ago.
That website has been dormant for four years, nearly forgotten even by the person who started it. But Brad was unfazed.
“See if it’s still online,” Brad urged.
Teaching yoga taught me that you can love something, but hate to teach it. I loved yoga, but teaching made me nervous. There’s a lot of pressure getting people to their zen moment, and students let you know when you fail to deliver.
Teaching yoga was a good lesson though. It taught me that we all have different talents, and some people are meant to teach yoga while others should stay in the back of the room. I was never a great yoga teacher because I didn’t believe in myself. I get a lot more enjoyment out of writing because it comes naturally to me.
Someone once told me that you know you’re meant to do something if time flies while you’re doing it. The clock never moved faster than when I was a reporter, and never moved more slowly than when I was editing. Writing is a creative process, while editing feels like you’re cleaning up someone’s mess. At least it did for me.
I’ve always enjoyed helping fledgling writers, including my son while he was in grammar, middle and high school, because I believe we all need mentors. And though I can’t offer Brad a writing job or exposure to a huge audience, I can help get his message out because I told him I would.
Writers need all the encouragement they can get. Though I know from my own experience that writing jobs are scarce, the future for writers looks even more bleak.
I recently attended a ceremony for the University of Connecticut’s Honors Program, where my godson earned a medal and degree in economics. Of the 450 or so students receiving honors, only two majored in journalism. I was so stunned that I whispered something to my mother seated next to me.
“I guess no one wants to go into journalism anymore,” I sighed.
Newspapers have always paid meager salaries because people have always been drawn to journalism. After Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein broke the Watergate scandal in the Washington Post in the early ’70s, competition for newspaper jobs became even tougher.
But the number of journalism majors has been dwindling nationwide for several years. Many experts blame the shutdown of print publications across the country as the main reason for the decline. It doesn’t help when our president dismisses every negative piece about him as fake news.
Most of the people I worked with at newspapers have taken early retirement, buy-outs or left for more lucrative careers in public relations and marketing. It’s understandable: the money, hours and job security are all better working for companies, the government or colleges and universities.
But only two journalism majors in a pool of nearly 500 scholars? That number is jarring because it tells me the best and the brightest students are being drawn to other fields right out of the gate. I guess that’s no surprise given today’s job market. It’s nice to major in something that will translate into a job upon graduation.
Still, I find it heartening that there are still Brads in this world who are true believers and following their dreams. He quit a job in the corporate world to become a life coach, promote self-care and write. That takes a lot of guts and a whole lotta faith these days.
I hope he’s taking his own advice because starting a new business, particularly one involving writing, is stressful. But I think Brad believes in himself and his mission, and that’s very important. He didn’t get fazed when I told him that Beach Rose Yoga was dormant. In fact, he told me to get my act together and see if it’s still an active site.
I did, and it is. And I posted his piece on that website, though I warned him he’s probably not going to get much traffic. It doesn’t matter though. I kept my word. And at the end of the day, that’s all any of us can do.
To read Brad’s piece, click here: https://www.beachroseyoga.com/