Give yourself enough time to fail

“As much music we do, less music we listen to.” This sentence is not mine but I agree with it. Its author is Kalaf, 37, a writer and a musician from Angola who lives and works in Portugal since he moved to Lisbon in 1995. In a interview published on Estante magazine by Fnac Portugal, he talks about his writings and his music and says he misses to listen to the music – that he loves and the reason he chose to be a musician – since he works as a musician for living. The sentence made me think because, sometimes, I feel that too.

No, I am not a musician. But I’m a journalist. While the teams are getting smaller day after day – the American Society of News Editors annual newsroom census found that job losses accelerated in 2014, falling more than 10 percent in a single year –journalists have no free time to learn something new: that time for learning is rapidly reduced to nothing. Agenda can be mortal to a newsroom that doesn’t have sufficient ways to produce proper stories, right?

Sometimes, journalists are forced to read and write less about what they like or about issues that they are interested in.  This is modernity, you must say. This is not good work, I must add.

What this is this related to my fellowship? Well, on one hand, it gave me the possibility to stop and watch. I see every person in Propublica as a mentor to me so I am trying to learn from each one, day by day. On the other hand, being a Chicas Poderosas/Dow Jones fellow at ProPublica allowed me to read and do experiments – Ruby on Rails is my ‘must read’ on these days -, without being afraid to fail. Fail exists in order to learn. And learning is the first step to grow up and be a better journalist and a better person.