The news is easy to follow if you have internet or Twitter and even easier if you have an interest in the matter.
My favorite story in the last week or so was that of a young girl covering her local news and she even broke the news of a homicide (go her!). Go here for more: https://orangestreetnews.com/ That’s news I like to hear, that of people reaching out in their community, young or old wanting to change people’s minds and wanting to be able to share the news with others. To be able to inform and do a civic duty is what journalism is all about.
Those are the moments when I wonder why I am not working in media right now. I sure don’t know, I did like it. I hope to return when I can write on health news, maybe science too but I won’t go too deep since its not my forte. But, why do any of us stop doing something because of another’s influence? Maybe not directly, but in a way that moves us in another direction perhaps. Maybe for better or for worse. I can say that Hilde is doing a service with her paper and she can’t do it all (of course not) and whether she ends up in the media or veers off into investigative reporting is up to the future.
We think we all have it all figured out but then life throws us curves and some of those curves are sharp, some might even have blades. Not too be too dark, but the truth is that no one knows what will happen tomorrow. Sorry, but we don’t. Anything is possible on any day.
So, I write here and to me that is something that I will hold onto for as long as I can. Actually, scratch that. I will hold on to that. Because why would I not want to write?
I like to tell people I’m a writer mostly because I am, but in my head I would love to be a part of a team or work setting. I’ve never had an office job. Are those boring or does it depend on the occupation? I’m going to go with the latter for the most part. I’m not really a reporter anymore, but one day I would like to get back to that as well. I’ve always wanted to work as a reporter at a newspaper during election season. In 2012, I’m wasn’t on any paper. I had graduated by then. I wrote some election related stories online, but nothing local. So, no pizza nights have been experienced by me. Is that a weird thing to want? The 4 AM late-night, no sleep, waiting on election results, trying to make the deadline kind of life. Yup, probably weird. But, politics is such a rush at the same time. I also thought briefly I would be some kind of investigative reporter or work on special reports, but I suppose I’m not saying no to any possibilities but putting all that on hold.
Right now I am working on ESL certification, a nutrition certificate, and maybe yoga or pilates teacher training (this last one is a long and ongoing thought for me, but eventually this will also be a thing for me). I applied to a job I’m probably not qualified for, but I’ve applied to tons of those already. I take rejection by reading the message and deciding to self-destruct the email in the five seconds after reading it or save it because no reason really email just piles up ok?
I know I need my own place though, that much is clear to me. Where? Obviously wherever the job is and wherever I end up. I hope its somewhere I am happy and the co-workers feel like a family. This is something I want besides: More friendships. More get-togethers for no reason, because isn’t that what friends do? I don’t really know, I was hoping you did.
(I do have friends, just not a lot and not one that is like someone I turn to when times are bad.)
So, I’m going to say that for right now it’s ok to be unsure of the next step. I will stay confident that my current educational pursuits will lead me somewhere, who knows it might make me famous or better yet.. working at a newspaper.
New goal (that I may or may not reach, since my interests change often) to meet by Spring 2016: Be on the staff of a local/state newspaper reporting in some form on election coverage. Yes, this would be bucket list level achievement. I’m so weird, I’m so sorry. I bet I will hate the deadlines again once in that environment Basically, something like this:
Well, happy October and happy time of year when everything around you is pumpkin.
So, here I am writing a post 3 months later. I did not forget about this blog, but yeah things have been going on. I’m in another city than I was before. I’ve been here for over two months now and no, I haven’t been able to wrap my head around the reason why I’m here. I’m very close even to wanting to throw it all away. That’s probably one of the reasons why I find myself on tumblr and writing this blog post.
But alas, yes that is where it stands. August was an intense month. Doing all these different things I have never taken part in. It’s only getting more intense as time goes by. City hall, public and urban affairs, people and why you should care about the issues facing them. Things like this. It’s a public affairs program, so this was expected. I just feel like I’m such a small fish in a big pond. Most of my classmates have done internships or worked in such a setting (council meetings, local and possibly state events) or have a background with such matters. I do not. I am lost. But, I’m trying.
It’s a trying time. I’ll probably finish writing this and then not write another post until December. You only blog when you want to sometimes. And even then, it’s sometimes like it doesn’t even matter if no one is really listening. (Is any one reading this?)
If you’re reading this, then hey– what is your struggle? You must have something. We’re all going through something currently, we just don’t really know what that is. It will probably take time before we know what that is. For me, I already know. It pains me to say that it’s my writing (and speaking) skills that need the most work. However will I survive? Whoever would have thought that the quiet girl from a small town in the Midwest would end up not only in the third largest city in the U.S. but in a place she knows nothing about.
Technically, I’m going to school for journalism. But, whether I find a job I enjoy or eventually end up in there is another question. So, alright I will work towards an internship and a job in media. Preferably online media, but hopefully by then I will be able to also do some multimedia work. Who can tell, right? But, what about the other things I want to do?
I don’t really have a bucket list or anything like that. But, here’s the thing. I want to travel some more, so if by chance I get an internship somewhere far I might consider it just for the opportunity. In journalism, no opportunity can be thrown away. I have to think about it, too though. Because, yeah as much as we might say that we love challenges and taking risks and all that (which is cool) but let’s face it we all have limits. I can definitely attest to that.
But I’m trying. I started an application for Teach for America last year but never completed it and well, it’s not going to happen (at least not this year). I think I want to do some more things before I venture out that way. But, not only that I also thought about applying to Teach English as a Foreign Language abroad. I’ve known some people that have done it with positive experiences, save where they might live, but I’m not really a big complainer in that respect. Again, it all depends what I can take.
Every now and then, I’m volunteering with events for the Girl Scouts. It would be a good idea to also get involved with the Boys and Girls Club. I’m not saying I’m trying to be a mentor or anything (I don’t feel like I have anything to offer on that, quite yet) but working with kids is great. Speaking of mentors, I’m currently reading Sheryl Sandberg’s book Lean In. She mentions in one chapter, that so many people have come up to her after a talk or lecture to ask her to be their mentor. To which, she has to say something like no mostly because that’s not how it works. You don’t need to ask someone to be your mentor, work with them and over time THEY will decide if they want to continue working with you and see where you’re going. I don’t think we all need mentors, but they are helpful as guides. The decisions we make should be our own.
I also am into healthy living and eating clean. I think we try to care more about ourselves as we grow older. It’s maybe just how it is, but it also makes me happy. I want to teach maybe pilates or yoga. Or get certified in teaching Classical Stretch, which is probably my favorite workout of all time. Then, I’ve recently got into Zumba so I want to take a class in that. I want to get into vlogging. I want to tell people that its ok to dance sometimes, because life is short. I want to tell students that I feel their pain, but only if they’re studying otherwise its their own fault. Sorry, I’m being real though. No, really I just want to have fun but also have a job and realize that stress does nothing.
But, I’m a writer first and foremost. So, realistically I’ll probably just be doing that for like ever. Hopefully, I find that one person someday because being forever alone is kind of one of my great fears as well.
Stay happy and think realistically of what YOU want!
A lot of writing has been going on in my world this week. Good thing that I found a reason to want to write again. Of course, there is always the chance that you might write something that is well, critically approached. To be real, everyone has their opinion and without calling people names or anything I’ll say that they have that right to. I’ll just say a few things about what I think about people who are overly critical and those that do nothing with the criticism.
Criticism of any kind should bring discussion. Whatever the topic at hand, it should be a way to let everyone speak. For example, take the topic of journalism and how it is moving away from print newspapers. This does not mean that journalism is going away, it means that there is more to learn about the field. The number one rule in journalism is probably being able to handle the critics. It doesn’t matter what you write about, if you can do this effortlessly than you are doing something right. I’ll tell you, be cool and don’t do anything rash (like delete their comments, because you might regret it later -_-). Having grace under pressure is an important thing to know how to utilize.
I’m probably going to be doing this writing thing for awhile. Opinions aside though, if writing online shares and views are important and sometimes I view those higher than anything else. There have been some times where I tweeted an article more than once to give it more shares, all the while feeling more guilty about this. Of course, the shares didn’t actually show up so no harm done. Anyway, the share and views came on their own anyway. I appreciate when people are honest, but I even more appreciate when people are real. Since I hate is myself, I also try to do it myself. The internet can be a weird place sometimes and we have to know what we’re dealing with before we throw it all out there (which sometimes we just do anyway, like I’m doing right now with this blog post).
So, yes. I want a discussion of thought to take place in the form of comments. I think people can be cruel any site you go to though and whether they are like that in real life remains to be seen. It’s possible that we all gain courage (that we never knew we had) once we take to the internet. Maybe because we’re online, because we’re alone and what is going on seems more private. We can scream at a person we don’t even know and no one will come after us (at least not in real life). This doesn’t happen when you know someone in real life because matters automatically become so much harder. It seems you cannot express so easily what you want to.
Anyway, I’m alright. Writing, reading, smiling, and hoping for the best. Trying not to let my guard down too easily, though I know that what I write is out there and it will be read and people will be critics because it is their nature. It is the nature of all writers, I suppose. I’ll keep on if you keep on.
I can’t stop doing what I love because of a small few.
I’m in on that media takeover thing. Even though it might seem like I’m just a writer who loves to read, I follow the news cycle like its my job mostly because that’s the field I’m trying to break into.
Now, five things about news writing that people don’t always tell you. (this from the perspective of someone who has written both online and for local newspapers).
1)The sources are actually not as bad as you would think. Mostly, because you do most of the research on your own. When there is the occasional bad source (code for a person that refuses to cooperate) then that just ruins my day and it has happened on a few occasions. But, I try not to let that matter too much. I know that what I they can’t tell me, someone else might. If he/she can’t though then it’s time to do some in-depth digging. This is where it gets tricky, because you have to know what you can and can’t say. I think talking to people in person would be better, but for some reason I don’t rule out phone interviews. In-person interviews are better and I know this, but maybe my inner “social interaction panic button” freaks out and just reaches for the phone instead. Alright, on to the next one.
2)Your editor has no idea what she’s even giving you to write about. This happened where I last worked, more of an internship at a local paper. A local dj was leaving, though when I called the radio station had said she had already left like a month ago. I immediately felt like I hadn’t called in fast enough, then realized that this couldn’t be my fault. “I’m just a student, I don’t know any better” is what I thought. It kind of worked and my editor was ok with it, giving my another assignment. This doesn’t always happen. Looking back, I wonder if I could have found other ways to contact the long gone radio dj, like over the phone (like I always did) talking about how she liked her last job. Then I thought about and was like, maybe she wouldn’t want to even hear from someone from the area. She did after all leave for a bigger city. Anyway, it’s done and whatever. But, be warned you can’t ask the editor what the story is about or who its about. They know, but not really. Not really at all.
3)Feature writing is not considered real news. It’s just not and I have to say that most of the news I wrote at any local paper has been that. News about some pet show, or dog groomer or a church. It was still news about the community, though and there were people who were reading it, but it was not like pressing or anything. The thing is though, I like feature writing AND news writing. If you’ve been reading this blog at all, you know that I pretty much like writing in general. Feature writing is a human interest piece, done right it can be incredibly moving and it can make anyone take notice. That’s what real journalism is about. It’s not about trying to fit into boxes called news and not news. It’s all news and it’s all happening.
4)Quotes.I’m always afraid of misquoting someone (possibly a journalist’s greatest fear) and sometimes ask them if I got that right. Those excited about having their story published will clarify, while some will not and I will just have to look up that info myself. One time on my internship, like the first story I was ever doing, I called back the source like three times to clarify something. Luckily, she was kind enough not to be too annoyed about it. I think she knew that I was a student, but it’s good to run into those kind people every now and then because it reminds you that you don’t have to feel so bad about asking again. I never met this woman I called back a few more times, because it was a phone interview. I put so much effort into that one article, that when the rest came spilling out I just kept going and using my phone like it was the only way to get things done. So, yeah. Use your head when it comes to quotes. Try to be verbatim. It’s not a college essay, no paraphrasing. In the real world, that’s called plagiarism. So, write and talk to people. You can do it. Or, I can do it. Yeah, I’ll keep at it.
5) So, now that I’m at five I have to say that I admittedly have nothing else to put here and maybe I’ve just been making this up as I go along. But the stories are real. Ignoring AP Style. Yeah, that’s something. Sometimes it might feel as though local newspapers ignore AP style, but the truth is if you know it then all the better. Really, so much better. They will love you. Now, I myself am still learning AP style and all that, but I try to use it when I’m writing for a local paper the best that I can. Sometimes they notice and sometimes they don’t. One time, a local newspaper told me to stop writing how I had learned in school. Considering at the time, I had only taken one journalism class I had no idea what they were talking about. But, I went with it. “You’re using golden coin style” they told me. I didn’t know what that meant, but learned more about it in school and online. Here’s a good piece explaining it. So I was doing this thing that they were saying and I didn’t even know it. All because I wanted the first words to jump out at the reader and make them want to keep reading. I didn’t see why this was bad. But, whatever sometimes news writing is just boring. Or, so I thought. Writing can be whatever you want it to be. Do stick to AP Style and do write with good grammar. But, you should have your own voice and make the reader want to keep reading. Suffice to say, that job didn’t end well.
The holidays are approaching. This is crazy to me, because it feels like yesterday was August. Weird. Well, I’ll let you get back to reading things and doing nothing when you should be doing something.
Also, all New Girl gifs are not mine and belong to this person. She did an awesome job though, mostly because New Girl is awesome. If you read this all the way through, then you are awesome too 🙂
So, I haven’t written in this blog for awhile and this week I’m writing every day. Call it a time for reflection or whatever, but sometimes you just need to write. I am well aware that I could get paid for my blogging or some other writing, but I don’t always do it. I guess I don’t really support all ads. The idea is that I write because it’s what I do, but a lot of the time I question why I do it at all.
I mean, I don’t hate writing or anything. I just wonder what it really all comes down to. Essentially, most of what I write is written on the basis that it is free or not paid (pretty much the same thing). Upon reading an op-ed today in The New York Times (from a few days ago) about writers who don’t get paid, I realized that all writers do it at some point. While the writer, Tim Kreider, almost begged younger writers to not write for free I began to realize that really not much has changed. Like, sure journalism has grown and evolved along with technology and social media. This does not mean that the role of being a writer, a task that requires someone who can write and is willing to do so, has changed.
This is essentially where the great struggle comes in. What are the choices that can be made? What can I do to find something I would want to actually do? The answer is that you can’t. Mostly, because when you’re not on a strict deadline you actually do tend to enjoy writing and what it does for you. In this way, you can end up hating what you do. I think this goes for a lot of professions though. If you do push yourself to do your best every time with the tendency to want to get more out of something, it’s really not going to be awesome. That’s the way it goes though, I suppose. We can’t always do the things we want to do, sometimes we just have to do things we hate to somewhat enjoy what we do. There will not always be a happy solution and that’s unfortunately a hard reality.
I can’t say I know what I’m doing. I want to write. Maybe a book. Yes, for sure I would like to write books and such. I’m about to start nanowrimo (the task of writing a novel in a month, 50,000 words). So, there is the writer in me. Wanting more, seeking more but knowing more won’t come to me so quickly. I may very well be stuck in a rut for some time, but I still think that writing is all I can do. I know no other job. I can volunteer, maybe teach, but really it must involve writing and communication to some extent.
Honestly, until I find the need to stop writing and stop being sad about not having a real job (not happening anytime soon) then I’ll just keep doing what I’m doing. Which is write, read, and then mentally freak out about the future.
But, that’s just me. Everyone has their own problems and their own struggles (unless your a writer).