Cumbria’s Answer to Anna Quindlen

Anna Quindlen, for those of you who aren’t familiar with her, is a 20th century journalist, reporter, columnist and most recent to date, novelist and my writing idol.

She entered a journalism career nearly 20 years before I was born and in that time made a huge impact on the world of journalism and careers in this field for women. In short, she is an absolute babe!

Can I be Cumbria's answer to this amazing Lady?
Can I be Cumbria’s answer to this amazing Lady?

Her column, Public and Private was amazing in the New York Times and her books are simply inspiring – she’s pretty much an inspiration for my career. Plus turns out we have a lot in common – we both lost our mothers at young ages, plus they both died way before their time in their forties. We’re both very opinionated and, in want for a better word, blunt at times and both very determined and tenacious ladies!

But a quote of her’s I’ve always loved is this:

The thing that is really hard, and really amazing, is giving up on being perfect and beginning the work of becoming yourself.

It really does speak to me – I’m often seen running around like a headless chicken or blue-arsed fly (which ever idiom or phrase you prefer) trying to do my utmost best to please everyone, and certainly not in a martyr way, in a way to make myself feel better, because in my head if I was doing a lot for everyone, I was being a perfect daughter, sister or fiancée (even if wasn’t even that much help!) -and it took me months plus this quote to realise that the way I would be perfect was by working on just being myself.

Being myself meant being a tenacious, determined reporter, who makes time to write for pleasure, walk my dogs, see my friends and family as, to fit in another quote by Ms. Quindlen:

You cannot be really first-rate at your work if your work is all you are.

She inspires me to gain new perspective on my life and my work – I don’t want to be the next Pulitzer prize winner, or the best journalist in the world, as truthfully that isn’t going to happen. However, I can be more organised, more inspiring, not scared to be controversial.

She also gives me confidence in my already owned skills – she wasn’t coy with interviewing, her skills we second to none, and mine are pretty good, if I must say so myself. She won an award for reporting and my editor refers to me as his ‘star reporter’ – so I’m definitely making a start!

I intend to be Cumbria’s answer to Anna Quindlen, by being myself – I already get recognised around town for my features and articles, so I’m certainly on my way to ‘Anna Quindlen’ status – but maybe not quite there, yet!

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