A lifestyle blog from a forty-something mum

Friday, 21 August 2015

You Don't Know If You Don't Try

Featured on the blog today is a guest post from daughter, Olivia. She starts her  third and final year at university in September, where she's studying English Literature and Creative Writing. Here, Olivia reflects on the opportunities she's had to explore the world of media and how much she's enjoyed the experience. 

Throughout life I have considered myself to be a very lucky person.

I was fifteen and sat in a maths class, but unable to think about numbers or solve problems. I kept watching the clock. In exactly fifteen minutes I would be in a small office having an interview with a woman I had never met, talking about myself and why she should hire me for a two week placement at a media company.

I was terrified.

But there was another feeling, like the feeling you get waiting in line for a theme park ride. That feeling was excitement.

If I am truly excited about something it doesn't matter how scared I feel, or how worried I am that I will fail. Hope for something great will always outweigh feelings of fear or doubt.

After a firm handshake I left the small office with my placement confirmed. Those two weeks were to be one of the best and happiest experiences of my school years. 

Now that I am at university, opportunities are thrown at me from all directions. You could almost drown in them. I always feel guilty for letting something pass me by. And the age-old question, 'What if?' pops into my head on a regular basis.

But the truth is, I like to trust my instinct. If I'm not excited by an opportunity, no matter how amazing it is, no matter how many doors it could open - I won't take it on.

Last winter, while sat tearing my hair out over an essay I received an email. My university were looking for writers to report on a local book festival. Intrigued, I looked at the online program for the two-day event. I could not believe my eyes: one of my favourite children's authors would be there. I instantly replied to the email and filled it with lots of exclamation marks and capital letters to show just how excited I was.

A week later I had a lovely conversation with the author over the phone.

On a cloudy Sunday morning, me and my fellow journalists bundled out of a taxi after a ninety minute journey and walked around the festival site. Today I would finally get to meet the author in person. At the book signing I felt a little out of place as everyone else was either a child or parent. I kept looking at my watch as I had to write a 300 word report by 4pm. It was now after 3pm. But this was something I had to do. When I got to the front of the line I was pleased to find the author every bit as lovely as I'd hoped she would be, and she later sent me an email wishing me luck for the future. I hope that one day my books will be displayed on the same shelf as hers.

This summer I applied for an internship at a top publishing house in London. Although my latest venture wasn't successful, I feel optimistic for the future and plan to apply again next year.

Excitement is the secret ingredient to achieving the impossible. Who knows where life will take you?

Copyright©2015 Izzie and Olivia Anderton


  1. You must be very proud of your daughter Izzie.

  2. Oh good on you Olivia. I agree, that you just have to keep going and follow your dream even if you get knocked back. Good luck with finding an internship.

  3. Oh how fantastic, and what a lovely inspiring read for young people. I'm going to show GG. I love that sentiment of never doing something unless it excites you. It's too easy to lose sight of that when money is involved. I really hope you get that publishing gig eventually!

  4. Pointed over here by Helen and what a fabulous post, you certainly have the right motivations, all the best Oliva. Mich x


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