So Felix Salmon set journo-Twitter afire this afternoon with some very grim advice to aspiring journalists; namely, don't become a journalist.
Like Felix, I also get occasional e-mails from aspiring journalists. And my advice is very different; namely, become a journalist! Awhile back I sat down and tried to write up my best guidance for how to do that. It's incomplete, and imperfect, and biased towards my own experience, but in the hopes that it's useful to somebody, somewhere, here it is.