What’s In The Headlines?


What’s In The Headlines?

For as long as I can remember, I always wanted to be like my brother. He is not older than me – in fact, he is a minute younger than I am. But because of his writing talent, and due to his impeccably hardworking nature, it always seemed as though he could do no wrong. His praise was (obviously, correctly) sung all over for his immense talent for creative writing. A talent it didn’t seem had also been passed on to his female counterpart. I tried my best, and yet it was ever more apparent every time I tried that I could not express such beauty and imagery through my words in quite the way he could always, and continues to be able to do. I thought I’d better move on to a different hobby and leave the writing to him – I tried everything; I was never exceptional at anything in the same way he was at conveying emotion through a story. That is, until I reached my final year of primary school and it seemed a door had opened to finally give me such opportunities as his natural talent had given my brother.

When you’re eleven, a shy child who doesn’t think they know enough about the world to question a teacher on such matters, you generally go unnoticed. Which – if you were anything like I was – was a great thing. I would get on with my dodgy story writing and hope I wasn’t laughed at for my ludicrous attempts at an enjoyable story.

I don’t remember how it came about, or how it was me who was chosen, but one day I was summoned into my teacher’s class, amongst a crowd of about seven others, and pitched an idea about the school newspaper. I hadn’t done much factual work, but what I can remember, this idea appealed to me. But then the strangest thing happened. I was recognised for once. For – believe it or not – my writing abilities, and was asked to be the sole Editor of the newspaper. Sgoop only ran for one edition, but it gave me a version of writing I somehow succeeded at. And by the time I’d made it to secondary school (after that same teacher had told my brother and I he wanted to be reading my brother’s tenth novel in front of the fire, with me reading the news on the television in the background) I had no idea for the first three years that eventually I’d be doing something like writing for the What’s On? and writing my first Welsh language article for Hacio.

Around Easter of 2016, I had launched my own blog. I read about Tavi Gevinson and the way she took the plunge and just wrote about anything and everything – it inspired me to do the same. I had gotten from being this shy girl who would never want to challenge the rules, to a (still quiet) girl who’d read enough to know she had an opinion. My blog was my first step to being where I am now.

As soon as I’d made my decision on my future career plan, it was go time. Once I’d finished my exams and I’d gone back to school, I was starting to work on a new project. Another school newspaper. But one that I this time, had so much more pride in. Because – although I had to make up an IT design (never really a strong point) – it was solely mine. Our next edition comes out at the end of term. If I didn’t think I would want this, I wouldn’t have put myself out to ask Hacio if they’d consider my work; I’ve never had enough self-confidence, and when I sent my article for the Welsh S4C-owned website, I had no hope that it would ever be published. Yet my first email back from the correspondent I’d been speaking to (after a few days, which felt like weeks, I might add) said that he’d liked the article and already uploaded it. A shock and a half for the person who continues to miss the mark on story-writing.

Journalism is a field which is probably stereotyped as being filled with cocky know-it-alls, and to be honest, I hope I don’t fit that mould. But I think it’s also about being different and having a talent for writing, and enjoying what you write. I’m not sure if you would call what I have talent, but I’m willing to work until it is.

I think I’ll probably always envy my brother. His work still continues to blow just about everyone away. But I think now, I have my own writing style. One which won’t be stepping on his toes (though, as he’s practically a genius at writing by this point, it might just be the one toe) and one which helps to define us even more defiantly as individuals.

I love my brother’s work. But I have stories of my own to write. And this time, I hope I’ve not missed the mark.

By Tirion Davies