As an avid sports fan and beat writer for the men’s hockey team here at UW, I find that my Twitter is almost entirely dedicated to sports. College football, college hockey, NHL hockey, MLB baseball… if it’s a sport I love, I’ll have an opinion on it, and I will want to talk about it with people to start conversation.
A few days ago, when I was home for Thanksgiving break, my parents suggested something to me that I first thought was odd: I could start my own sports Twitter account and corresponding sports blog.
I was hesitant about the idea for a few reasons. First, I was afraid of looking stupid. People my age aren’t taking such professional career initiatives to brand themselves just yet—they’re tweeting things to be funny and get retweets and favorites. Second, I was afraid of getting no traffic. Often, the older people I follow on Twitter start up career-related websites that I never pay attention to because I’m just not that interested.
And third, I’m a little afraid of tying myself down to something so early in my career.
As much as I love sports, there are a lot of other topics I’m interested in exploring in the world of journalism. Before the Daisy Coleman story broke, I was not at all interested in investigative journalism. Now, I think it’d be an interesting, challenging and rewarding career. The thought of journalism ethics never crossed my mind until a couple of my classmates gave a presentation about photojournalism in the Boston Marathon bombing. I was never interested in PR, but now I think I could be good at it someday. And I’ve always dreamed of writing a novel—always.
The truth is that it’s hard to lock yourself into one thing when you’re so young. The image you create for yourself today may be an image you want to destroy a year from now. People and their interests are constantly changing and evolving. Boxing yourself in will only cause problems later on in life—just look at Miley Cyrus.
So before I create a brand for myself and confine myself to a certain set of interests and rules, I need time to explore. There are so many different paths I could take. At this point, all I know for sure is that I love to write. For now, that’s what I will focus on. I want to be recognized as a strong communicator before I become associated with another group or field. My writing is what is most important to me.
And though I love sports, writing will come first.