Tag Archives: Writing

Week Five: From Complaints to Thanksgiving in June

I am aware that I am writing this post in the early stages of Week Six–my last week of interning at the newsroom.  But I will try to keep the contents of this post relevent to Week Five and not Week Six.  Forgive me for any inconsistencies in verb tenses. 

A fourth intern has arrived and we have not communicated since she’s been here.  Intern # 3 and I have only greeted each other casually and have exchanged no words other than hello.

Week Five was a tiring, emotionally stressful, and bleak week.  I’m beginning to question if I can do this.

I woke up Monday morning and I could not muster up the strength to come to work.  I felt sick and weak.  I decided to stay home. 

I discovered a new show towards the end of Week Four: Lost.  And I feel lost.  What am I doing in a newsroom?  Why am I deciding to work more than the required 120 hours when everyday I feel like I have to drag myself from bed.

It didn’t help my motivation when I arrived at work one day asking for something to write and I was given a story that was literally picked up from the garbage can.  The story was about a  mascot for the rescue squad of a local town.  My pride was hurt when I thought that the only story the editor found me worthy to write about that day was one that was thrown in and rescued from the trash.  What has happened to my other stories?  No one gave me any word on them.  Did the editors think the stories were poorly written?  Did they think that I’m a bad writer?  If so what don’t they tell me?  I’m strong enough to hear that I’m a bad writer and wise enough to work towards improving my writing.

During Week Five, my spirit was crushed.  My energy was depleted.  Through all of that, I stumbled upon another blog that brought up the issue of struggling to be grateful for being given the opportunity to intern, while feeling ungrateful for some of the task one performs.

Amid all of my complaints, I choose to be grateful.  Something happened that helped steer me in this direction.  I approached “The Editor” and asked if I could interview him about journalism and his job as a journalist as part of my assignment and grade for the internship.  He agreed and we talked.

although he was cynical about generation Y, and  in my opinion, he did not recognize some valuable contributions some people of our generation have made to the world (Google, for example), I thought he made some good points about the decadence of print journalism as a result of the success of the World Wide Web.

He also said several things that were very poignant and I took to heart.  One thing he talked about was how he takes great pride in teaching people who are eager to learn from him.  He said that he was very disappointed from the interns he had this year because all he got from them was a bunch of complaints and eye rolling, and even more disappointing was that we wanted to do things very well when he only wanted to teach us what he has learned from years as a journalists.

I was hurt by that because I wanted nothing more than to learn from someone like him, and in my opinion, all the other intern and I wanted to do was to learn journalism in a more practical way and to produce work in the newspaper so that we had something to show our professors.

But I took all that he said in and I apologized to him in an email and admitted that he was right, and I’m changing my perspective.  I’m thankful that I even got an internship, and I’m thankful that I got to work with a nice group of people, and I’m also thankful that I got the opportunity to meet all the editors–that I got to learn a lot from “The Editor.” 

I know that by Week Six, my last week, I would have an even more positive outlook on things.  I know this because I can read into the future.  Not exactly, Week Six is already over and I’m unscathed.

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Am I Blogging Into the Void?

For most of my life, before I even learned the fundamental principles of writing, I had this romantic desire to be a writer.  I don’t know why the craft of writing has been so appealing to me.  Maybe it is because I am an independent thinker and work  best by myself.  Maybe it is because I know that writing is something that I can do and that if I work hard and practice enough, I could write well.  Maybe it is because I am self-driven.  I don’t know.

I say writing is a romantic desire because, often I think that it is only something that could be imagined or dreamed about.  Something that only a few exceptional people could master.  Not me.  And the way I approach writing is usually whimsical.  I may have an idea in my head one moment and the next I’ll be convinced that I’m ought to write a novel about it.  Of course, my novels do not go any further than a rough chapter, if even that…because I’m always so overwhelmed about beginning the necessary research.  Consider that this blog started during Spring break when I was sitting around the house bored out of my head and decided to watch the movie Julie & Julia, which inspired me so much that I thought, why not start a blog again?

The movie was so inspirational that it called me to action.  It taught me that yes, I could be a writer.  All I have to do is start writing.  It also taught me that if I like writing I am already a writer. 

So calling myself a writer is a morale and confidence boost.  But is it only temporal?  Does it only keep me optimistic for a certain period and leave me feeling like a failure who is wasting time by having these romantic and whimsical notions when the inspiration has faded?

While, there are many benefits I see in blogging, primarily the opportunity it gives me to practice the craft of writing, many times it makes me feel disappointed by showing me how difficult the entire process of writing is.  The actually writing process is one thing, which most people can do.  However, what happens after something is written?  What if no one reads what you write? Could you still consider yourself a writer?  Are the words I write just going into the void?  If no one reads what I write does this mean that what I have to say doesn’t matter?          

I feel this way every time I check my dashboard and see that no one has left me a comment or have “liked” a post that I have written which to me, seemed to be good.  Of course my experience with blogging so far has not always been disappointing.  I was excited one day when I checked my stats and saw that I had 14 hits on my post titled “Atmosphere of a College Library.”  I told my little brother, who must have thought that I was a lunatic for jumping around the living room, that I felt like I had won the lottery.  I knew people had read the post because they had referred it to their friends on Facebook and Twitter.  That meant a world to me because before then, I had no indication that anyone even visited my blog site.

I thought from that time on, I would have no problem getting hits, however I was wrong.  Each day I check my dashboard, checking for comments, so far the only comment I have gotten is the one posted by me.  I crave conversation with other bloggers.  I crave validity that my work is in some way decent and that I am just not wasting my words into the “cyber void.”  However, like Julie in the movie, I wont give up. I’ll continue writing.  Although it seems like an overly ambitious goal, maybe someday I’ll be Freshly Pressed. But if that doesn’t happen, even simply receiving a comment from someone, anyone…will mean the world to me.

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