It is not an easy balancing act, being a freelance journalist and a full-time academic. One is fairly scheduled and eating up space in my calendar, while the other suffers for those exact reasons. Not really how I like it, as it makes me drink more, use more snus (Swedish smokeless tobacco) and leaves me exhausted every day.
It is Saturday, just before 10 pm, when I’m typing this exact sentence — I am at home. Just clocked out for an hour or so from a presentation I am working on. Gathering sources, piecing together information for a slide show and drafting a short script.
The thought of putting on some music after I publish this short write-up is very appealing. What is unfortunately not so appealing is reading a book, even if I want to. The thing with academia is that you kind of get sick of reading, mainly because you often have to read things that you already know or find mind-numbingly boring. Do not get me wrong tho, academia has taught me a lot of good and interesting things, but that is the issue. Certain things I prefer to stay as good and interesting, not having to take the step further and be tested to check if I have memorised it verbatim.
Attaining knowledge is of course the least of my dismay. It is the lack of time to actually work as a journalist that suffers.
Oh, sorry. I have a 2000-word academic essay due soon, so I can not cover that story for you. Maybe next time?
Between trying to find time for journalism and academia, I also need to try to be social and spend time with the missus. Maybe also try to stay active, instead of sitting hunched over a keyboard all day and all night, consuming snus, energy drinks— during the day to keep me going —and beer— at night to wind my mind down.
Living like this does however teach me how to be better at prioritising tasks and obligations. Not to mention, understanding that mostly ignoring things that will benefit me now, instead looking at what will benefit me years to come.
It is kind of ironic tho, that my degree in journalism is somewhat in the way of my career as a journalist — holding me back a bit … for now.