10 questions with Laura Jane Macbeth

Laura Jane Macbeth is a woman's magazine journalist. She has written for many publications including one of my favourites columns 'single girl in the city' column for Cosmopolitan UK. Having an interest in the magazine industry I couldn't resist asking her a few questions and sharing it with you all. 

What sparked your interest in becoming a magazine journalist?
I'd always loved magazines as a teenager so after studying English and being generally word-obsessed it  felt like a brilliant way of combining writing with an actual job. 

What is is it about women's magazines that made you want to write for them?
I like the conversation they set up between women - the idea that you have these shared experiences you can recognise and help each other with. Plus they're fun, funny and real.

Do you have a particular favourite part of being a journalist?
I love writing relationship features and anything psyche-based - I find that fascinating and it's great when your colleagues read those pieces and find them helpful or revelatory. I also love writing funny column/opinion pieces. It's great just getting to be silly or sound off about topics.

Are there any negatives to being a journalist?
It's not the most stable industry unfortunately. There is always talk of 'the death of magazines' due to the Internet - although that's been around since I began in journalism ten years ago. So I guess it's a slow death! Also it's very competitive, so it can be hard when you don't feel like your career is progressing the way you'd want. 

Aside from writing what do you enjoy doing in your free time?
At the moment it's mainly cycling and eating amazing burgers! There's also a brilliant rooftop cinema in Peckham that I'm now slightly obsessed with.

What is an average day like for a magazine journalist?
Every day is different! Which is one of the great things about it. So I may be writing the news section, editing a feature and interviewing a celebrity all in one day. The next I could be out on a photoshoot trying out some mental new exercise trend. I like how unpredictable it is.

Did you have any mentors or role models growing up?
When I was a student I loved the magazine 'Nova' which was very briefly relaunched by Deborah Bee. That made me want to get into journalism, although sadly it folded before I got a chance to do work experience there. In terms of journalists I love and wish I could be even a fraction as good as, there's Caitlin Moran, Marina Hyde and Jezebel's Lindy West.

Is being a journalist everything you hoped it would be?
It hasn't been as straightforward as I'd hoped but I've written for some incredible magazines, interviewed some amazing and inspiring people and had my own column, so I'm pretty pleased about that.

What is next in store for you?
More freelance writing and then I'd like to settle down at a magazine or website.

Is there any advice you could offer aspiring journalists?

Be helpful, positive and enthusiastic. Read as much (on and offline) as possible. And don't take any rejections too hard - there is always another opportunity around the corner.

Thank you for taking the time to answer these questions! You can follow Laura on twitter. You can also find her website here. 

Lots of love
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