In September 2008 I moved to New York City and began working in PR. I was told that it was a career that involved public speaking, impeccable personal presentation and involved ‘meeting people.’ I would need to remember all of my experience in journalism, because it would be ‘incredibly useful.’ My first year in the industry involved me mostly working in a back office with no windows (and thus no natural light), going to a scant few meetings outside of it and being told I was horrible at it. And in absolute truth, for the first six months I was, treading water like the chubby child I was until age 17. Somehow I missed two rounds of layoffs, and gained my feet in media relations almost by accident while pitching a financial newsletter company. I can safely say that 99% of the advice I received up until that point was total bunkum. All of my success was a combined pot of pity, luck and ignoring advice until I somehow won through. Every day was a new experience of sitting down at my desk, a cold shudder going through me, and starting to find some sort of footing on which to pitch a new journalist. I didn’t really understand why I was doing it. All I understood was that if I didn’t do it and report in volume, I’d be fired. There would be more jobs, but none would affect me more. It’s a combination of thank you and fuck you that I will never quite be able to put into words. Four years later, and I am at home, in my own office. I relax. I consider. I read. And I thank my lucky stars I never have to spend another day being told to read less and pitch more.