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My Life as a Paste Intern – Week 18

This week was a sad one as my time with Paste Magazine came to a close. I found myself covering least news but writing better content as I wanted my last week as an intern to count. Seating in my usual black desk chair typing away on my bronze-colored laptop was both rewarding and heartbreaking as I knew my time with the magazine was about to meet its end. Writing the last article was a poignant moment as I didn’t want it to end. My fellow interns and I have ended on a good note by exchanging numbers and social media to keep in touch. The end of my internship hit me on Friday as I packed up my belongings for the last time and left the Paste office one last time. It was a little anti-climatic as the Shaky Knees Festival stole some of the thunder from my last day.

This week, I reflect on my time with Paste. When I first applied for the internship, self-doubt, lack of preparedness and my questionable writing ability made me think writing for a well-known publication was out of the question. But when I got the call in December to interview for the internship, I was more than surprised – I was flabbergasted that my work was good enough to meet with the news editor. After the meeting, I still felt unsure so in usual pessimistic fashion, I psych myself out of the position. Getting the call back for the internship was one of my best days as a graduate student. But little did I know that I was in for one hell of a ride. Between my regular job, school and personal issues, the internship became both a safe haven and a source of tension as I tried to plan out my time so nothing ever felt neglected. Some days I  successfully kept all the balls in the air, and other days not so much. I had my ups and downs dealing with the internship as I went through the growing pains of writing professionally. In the end, I learned a lot of lessons (both easy and hard) when it comes to being a better writer. Through all the tribulations and triumphs, I am very grateful for the opportunity to write for such an amazing publication. Hopefully, my Paste internship was just the beginning of my journey as a published writer.

My Life as a Paste Intern: Week 17

This week, my time at Paste Magazine was a nice reprieve from last week’s epic misstep. Like most weeks, the news started off at a trickle before it started picking up. I found myself finding amazing stories to write at a feverish pace as I wanted to my second to last week as an intern count. Seating in my usual black desk chair typing away on my bronze-colored laptop was the best time I had writing in a while. By the end of the week, I found my stride as I turned a slow news day into a rewarding one through my politic piece for the website. My fellow interns and I have built a nice comradery as we went out for lunch. Hopefully, we can repeat that again as next Friday is our last day. The end of my internship hit me on Friday as my fellow interns and I had to fill out paperwork plus the evaluation I sent my news editor.

This week, I felt something I haven’t in a while when it comes to my writing – self-confidence. Every writer struggles with self-confidence especially when it comes to having others read your work. As someone who only wrote when prompted or needed to, my confidence as a writer has always been on the lower end of the gauge. But every once in a while, there is a moment where you felt like your voice and message are reaching the masses. This week, I felt my confidence grow within me as a few of my articles were quite popular with the Paste crowd.  After months with Paste, I finally got the hint that knowing your audience is a key to success for any writer (but writing a blog and working on a website are two different things). I felt like I finally found my niche as a writer when it comes music news reporting. Creating content about something you love is a major plus for an audiophile like myself. Hopefully, as my tenure with Paste comes to a close, I will ride this wave of self-confidence into the rest of my work.

My Life as a Paste Intern: Week 16

Working at the Paste office this week was a mixed bag for me. The week started off a little slow on Monday as it always does. As the week rolled on, I found my writing output increasing with better results each time. I was proud of myself as I peck away on my HP laptop sitting in my usual spot at the wooden desk. Everything seemed to be going well until I made a major faux – promising a feature without consulting the proper channels. Getting reprimanded for overstepping my bounds was the smallest I had felt in a while. I had it coming, and it was definitely a learning experience.  But all work out as I got another feature out of this crazy situation and ended up with some good feedback on my work. Between this feature and my feature list posted on Monday, I had a great week as a writer.

Again the two-headed monster of self-sabotage and overstepping reared its ugly head this week at the Paste office. Just as I thought my ways were being subdued, I let my ego get in the way and make a huge promise I had no authority over. Being an intern, mistakes are going to happen, but this time, I really made a mess I thought was going to end my tenure with Paste. I haven’t received an angry email in quite some time. My self-doubt and overzealous nature have always been my worst enemies because of my people-pleasing nature. But looking at it with a little perspective, my subconscious has pushed me into some uncomfortable situations. I just let things happen without actively participating in trying to prevent it. I felt like my fears keep holding me back from doing and being my best. But I will conquer this demon as I continue to push all the negativity and darkness to the side for a more fruitful and exciting future. I know with time this will happen.

My Life as a Paste Intern: Week 15

Writing for Paste Magazine this week was a mixed bag. I found myself sitting in the black chair creating content that I was proud of this week.  I found myself still making the same rookie mistakes I thought I was over.  I got checked by my editor which was a wake-up call for me if I want to pursue freelance writing as a career.  I was proud of myself for churning out some decent content without much trepidation. There’s still no word on my next feature piece yet so come back to this spot when it arrives.

Self-sabotage and professionalism reared their ugly heads this week at the Paste office. To get you up to speed, I have been tackling this two-headed monster since high school. This issue always seems to come up every time I get close to some achievement or earn someone’s praise. I did it when it came to entering art contests and good job opportunities. I seemed to be doing it now as I enter the last stretch of this internship. I recognized what it was when I got called out for my unprofessionalism for an unfulfilled pitch. Just a while earlier, I was praised for doing a great job in a previous article. I felt like I was once again messing up a good thing. Over the years, I have done my best to keep myself from doubting any and every opportunity that comes my way. Being a pessimist hasn’t helped the situation either. I have to get better at pushing all the negativity and darkness to the side for a more fruitful and exciting future. I know with time this will happen.

My Life as a Paste Intern: Week 14

This week, my time at Paste Magazine was a little slow yet fulfilling. With it being spring break in Atlanta and other areas, the news seemed to trickle in this week as people lived their lives. At the beginning of the work, I found myself alone as my fellow interns were absent. Of course, my anxiety was a little high as I felt the pressure to make for the others’ absence. I found myself still making the same rookie mistakes I thought I was over. By the end of the week, I found my stride as the content churned out of me like a leaky water faucet. On top of the content surge, I made a new attempt at having another feature for the website. Keep your eyes posted for the results.

Self-pressure and anxiety were the demons I had to conquer this week at the office. As a writer, I am still not as confident as I want to be, but it deeps more when writing for Paste. Since I was a kid, I suffered from serious self-doubt and low self-esteem when it came to any and everything. Even though it has gone better over time, my craft is still a major concern considering how I am still new to writing. I want to do my best so I place this unneeded pressure on myself to be perfect in every way. That need for perfection has created quite a bit of inner turmoil (typical artist). Perfection has led to a lot of second-guessing, but I am slowly conquering that. But every time my nagging self-doubt starts to get loud, I try to get out of my head and let my heart and words speak for my capabilities.

My Life as a Paste Intern: Week 13

After a spring break filled with work and more work, the Paste office seemed to be an oasis away from the fast-paced graduate student life.  This week, I found material lit a fire within my writing soul (I’m looking at you, Steven Spielberg). The variety fulfilled me in a way I haven’t felt since my first month at Paste. With my financial woes pressing on my mind, I found solace in being able to shut out my problems and write with a sense of purpose and duty (even if it’s pop culture-related). Dealing with my news editor rather than the managing news editor made me realize how much Scott had groomed me to be a better writer since interning for Paste. The comradery amongst my fellow interns and I seemed off this week as everyone seems to be on opposite schedules with no time to fraternize. Hopefully, next week will be even better than this week.

This week, time management was my biggest enemy. I felt like my writing suffered due to the shortened time periods I had at Paste this week. Usually, I go with the flow, but between class, work, life and this internship I felt out of sorts like my mind and body were in two different time zones. Being absentminded, I always feel like my brain is betraying me. But being back the first week after spring break, I felt extra scatterbrained. My body was at Paste, but my mind was thinking of every assignment and task I needed to accomplish by Sunday. I struggled to try to work in moments of personal time as my calendar was full this week with no breaks (other than going to see the Show of Shows). Even Dad’s birthday seems to be an afterthought as I think of all things due around that time. At this moment, I would like to thank my Google Calendar for always keeping me on point. I have to get more organized this quarter with all the things I have coming up. With that in mind, I can’t let my writing – professional or personal – struggle due to my overly ambitious ways. I want the remaining weeks of this internship to be just as fulfilling as the first ones. I just need to take a breath and schedule everything out. I’ll be just fine (I hope).

My Life as a Paste Intern: Week 12

Writing for this week at Paste was an interesting one. Being out for spring break, my intern workload felt different as Scott took the week off while managing news editor Jim oversaw my work. Being under the direction of someone else was a little different in that Jim was a little more hands off than Scott when it came to the idea of news and subject matter. I was quite refreshing yet unnerving at the same time. I got to expand my writing wings and do something a little more political this time. Of course, there were the usual rookie writer snafus I had to conquer (which got on my nerves for the umpteenth time). I’m a human being, not a robot (despite popular belief). Despite the spirit of relaxed comradery spring break offers, my fellow interns and I were a little mum when it came to talking. I guess it’s guys being guys. Just when I had reached the highest plateau with my retweet from Kate Nash, I had my articles reposted on Facebook by some of my supportive classmates.

My struggle this week had to do with change and taking constructive criticism. Dealing with the managing news editor was an experience I loved and hated at the same time. I relished in the idea of doing news without any judgment or hipster ideals interfering with my craft. On the other hand, having to report to a major figure within the organization added a sense of pressure and upheaval my Aquarian mindset was not prepared for. I don’t mind having my grammar corrected, but some of it was nitpicky which bothered me a bit. I liked the free reign over my subject matter, but I still need some structure in my work life. My A-type personality needs and craves structure when it comes to my professional and personal life. So I end this to say I will be so glad when my news editor returns even though I enjoyed the break.

My Life as a Paste Intern: Week 11

This week at Paste was a mixed bag of thoughts and emotions. While the news I covered this week was more fulfilling, I felt like my software was trying to be a sideline player hater. I felt like my turnaround was a little slowed down by my aging laptop and memory-sucking software. On top of that, I had to play the waiting game when it came to getting approval for my articles. I do admit that my time at GameSkinny made me a little impatient when it comes to editorial work. I complained to myself or others on occasion about the rapid-fire pace. But on the plus side,  my personal strife subsided enough that I could focus on my work at Paste without being rushed. I could write without interference or have to worry about my time management. Of course, there were the usual rookie writer snafus I had to conquer (which got on my nerves for the umpteenth time). I’m a human being, not a robot (despite popular belief). While my writing was a little hit-or-miss, the intern bond was still in full effect as we bonded over my Wikipedia brain’s ability to remember pop culture facts. This week ended on a real high note as English singer-songwriter Kate Nash retweet my write up about her new single and video “Life in Pink.”

This week, I continued to suffer from a bad case of boredom. But for an Aquarian like myself, boredom can lead to my two least attractive qualities – a bad temperament and impatience. Primadonna Adreon tends to rear his ugly head, and completely show out. Of course, being the emotionless person I am, PA never came out to play, but he kept creeping up every once in a while to make me an unsatisfied mess. I wanted to write so much, but the material I found was a little lackluster even what I enjoyed covering. I still needed a good shakeup I’ve been whining about. I feel my professional fortitude is still strong but is starting to wane. I hope I can make it to May without letting PA out to play for the sake of my professional career.

My Life as a Paste Intern: Week 10

Writing for Paste this week was more pretty even kill. My hands and mind worked overtime to crank out content this week. But I still felt stifled by the subjects I was tackling,. While still a task, writing each article made me fill a sense of pride as my turnaround was better than usual. with so much personal strife going outside of Paste. It was a relief to have a place where I could write without interference. The more content I churned out the more I felt like a legit writer for a prestigious publication. Of course, there were the usual rookie writer snafus I had to navigate, but other than that I felt accomplished for the first time in a while. Along with writing, bonding was on the docket as well. My fellow interns and I traded stories and gossip back and forth about the latest news. A weird twist happened by weeks end as I was cited in a Wikipedia article.

This week, I suffered from a treacherous double whammy this week  – lack of motivation and boredom. My “laziness” impacted me in a variety of ways – spiritually, mentally, emotionally and physically. I had to push my self throughout the week to write – whether it be assignments, the internship or my personal projects. I did manage to push through my mental exhaustion, but my mind felt like a dial-up modem waiting for the information to filter from my brain to my fingertips. On top of the fact, I felt myself wanting to be more political with my news coverage. I knew it was a little outside of my comfort zone, but I’m an Aquarian who gets bored easily. I needed a good shakeup.I feel like my personal struggled are starting to affect my professional fortitude, and I will not let this continue. I vow that this coming week I will shake whatever has come over me and push for better material to cover. I have to for the sake of my writing and sanity.

My Life as a Paste Intern: Week 9

Writing for Paste is week was an improvement over last week. Tiredness and exhaustion gave way to determination and fortitude as I picked up up the pace on my article output. This week’s material was the right motivation for me to turn out content out at a ferocious pace. Pushing more melanin-originated content along with some quirky topics made my job a little more interesting this week while keeping the Paste audience in mind. With so much outside turmoil going on, I found solace in being able to shut out my problems and write with a purpose even if it is more entertainment-originated. My feature article from last week gave me the right energy to be more in-tune with my writing. Besides getting my writing mojo back, the comradery with my fellow interns was back on point (connecting with others is still an issue I’m working on). On top of my writing being re-energized, my feature article is still getting me noticed a week after it was published. Yay!

This week, my work became a source of tension for me as the subjects I was covering were a little boring to me. After my feature article got published last week, I felt a sense of purpose as a writer that I had ever felt before. I guess I got a little tired of covering the same areas day in and day out. Don’t get me wrong, I love covering anything entertainment – music, film, television or video games – any and every day, but I felt myself wanting to be more political with my news coverage. I knew it was a little outside of my comfort zone, but I’m an Aquarian who gets bored easily. I needed a good shakeup. Seeing so many breaking news events coming up on my phone notifications made me want to stretch my wings as a writer. I have done a bit here and there with politics and news events, but usually within the entertainment sphere. We live in a world where something happens every day, and I plan to be more active in covering it. I have to for the sake of my writing and sanity. Being woke isn’t just something for the Gram or Twitter. It’s a state of mind, and I want to state my claim in the game when it comes to people of color.

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