Sidepodcast // All for F1 and F1 for all

On target for the first goal // How a change in career has sent Sidepodcast to its first football game

Published by Christine

I don't remember signing up for this when I announced my mid-life crisis, but next Saturday I'm going to watch a Premiership football match. Outside. In the cold. It's not something I ever thought I would do, but it actually fits in with a couple of current aims I have.

For the next assignment in the journalism course I am working through, I have to write about an event I have attended, with the scope being anything bar a music concert. That's okay, I don't go to concerts either. Given that I am taking the sports track on this course, and that I have a Life List wish to watch ten sports played live, it seemed to make sense to turn this assignment into something a bit more memorable.

Thus, next Saturday, I'll be wrapped up warmly, heading to some kind of stadium, clutching a pen, paper and camera, and pretending to know what is going on.

Meanwhile, the path to a new career is taking a slow turn towards the positive, as I have quit my current job working with numbers. I am lucky enough to be able to take my time whilst searching for the next thing. Not forever, of course, but it takes a little bit of the pressure off, and that means I have the opportunity to clear my head of all things mathematical and really concentrate on what I want to do next. I'm finding it hard at the moment to envisage what the future holds, as though I am in some kind of limbo. Hopefully once I walk out of my office on that final day, then I can really start to relax and focus on what the next part of the plan is.

Waiting in this limbo-land, I have been trying to write more. You may have noticed there are more words alongside the photographs on F1 Big Picture, and I resurrected Life in the Fast Lane for another series of ten parts. Even if this is nothing like the writing I may end up doing, all words are good practice.

As it turns out, though, a lot of the way I structure a news piece is not necessarily the best way of doing it. I've never claimed to be a news journalist in that sense, and I don't particularly want to enter that world, but I do write pieces that are somewhat news-like. Again, it is all good practice.

Last time I gave an update on my journey to a new life, I mentioned my next task was to rewrite an article, correcting spelling, and putting a decent spin on it. I thought it would be easy. I found it easy. When I got the feedback returned to me, I discovered I'd been doing it quite wrong. Discussions with Mr C proved that we both had no idea this was how news pieces were structured, and further investigation into online news outlets proved that it was the case.

Obviously, I don't want to give away the secrets of the course, or undermine their business model in any way, but it would not be anything too revealing to say that your first few lines need to grab the reader's attention. I had never really put enough focus on leading with the drama, and leaving the facts and figures for a couple of paragraphs down. I've always been more of a story-teller, starting at the beginning, grounding the story with a timestamp, and following it through to the end. There is room for those kind of pieces, naturally, but when you are trying to purvey the news, and encourage a reader's attention, that's not the best way. Turning this all on it's head is both a revelation to me, and also something I'm finding quite tricky.

I may find myself practicing some more news items in the next few weeks, and it will be fascinating to see how and if the style of them changes.

All content in the series My Not-Quite Mid-Life Crisis