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My Life as a Paste Intern: Week 8

This week was quite a challenge for me as a writer. Tiredness and exhaustion weighed me down and overwhelmed my mindset. As hard as I tried to motivate myself, my body and mind were not into doing the usual news reports. I felt like my work took a downturn from the frequency of last week. I still did my work, but I kept making rookie mistakes I should be pasted by now. But I did manage to write some content that spoke to my heart. It was nice to push more melanin-originated content on the Paste audience. While news writing was a struggle this week, intern bonding was on point as usual. My fellow interns and I traded our usual stories, but I somewhat withdrew into myself as my exhaustion took over my body. Even the week was a little hard, it ended on a high note with my first feature article being published on the site.

This week, I had to overcome a treacherous foe of any writer – lack of motivation. 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. 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. I have to for the sake of my writing and sanity. I need to get my personal house in order starting today.

My Life as a Paste Intern: Week 7

Writing for Paste this week was more fulfilling than usual. My hands and mind were working overtime as I cranked out an incredible amount of articles this week. 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. My week ended with a great blessing as I got my first feature in the music section.

As a writer, I decided to place my toe in the features pond. I pitched my first feature on the film Black Panther for the magazine (I had to do it twice – go figure). Initially, I felt a sense of duty and pride as the response was very encouraging. I talked to Paste music editor, Michael, about my idea and how to tailor better in a market filled with features on Black Panther. As we spoke over the phone, I felt an overwhelming sense of pressure to deliver a piece that not only reflected me but my people as well. All of the sudden, I started to think I bit off more than I could chew. I mean I’ve done long pieces for websites before, but this was different. This was Paste Magazine I was creating this piece for. I needed to put on my journalist hat and write something that would speak not only to me but to the Paste audience. This only makes my anxiety go up to ten, but if I stay on top of things, this article should be a breeze. I just have to get out of my head and let my heart and words speak to my experience.

My Life as a Paste Intern: Week 6

Entering my sixth week as an intern, this week was more about quality than quantity. Getting to work at Paste this week as more fulfilling as I built on what I did last and mixed more of “me” into my articles. I was on my P’s and Q’s this week as I tried being more aware as a writer of not only what I was saying but how I saying it. Internet research was my best friend this week I constantly had to search and hunt for leads so not to be called out. For the first time in weeks, I actually socialized with my fellow interns. Being able to share such a special experience with others fed my need for acceptance.  Last week’s shoutout in the newsletter motivated me to do my best despite some distractions.

Being my diligent about researching my subject was something I had to tackle this week. Earlier in the week, I was called out for not going above and beyond to find my source for an article. Inside, I was like “Man, I looked for about fifteen minutes for the original source”, but I knew my editor was right. Research has always been a double-edged sword for me. I felt like a research pro after umpteenth research papers written, but I believed research fatigue set in leading to some lazy internet surfing. While I like being about to find multiple sources, it can be a little tedious and boring for a fast-paced personality like myself. This week was a much-needed wakeup call to be a more efficient writer during this internship and beyond. Even though I want to be a stellar, world-class writer now, I must have patience when taking part in the writing process. Hopefully, this mindset will help me tackle my mental roadblocks in the future.

My Life as a Paste Intern: Week 5

Going into my fifth week as an intern, my days this week was a little short but productive. Despite what’s going on outside the walls of Paste, I found sanctuary in being able to sit at my desk and report on the latest news. This week’s posts were filled with more personality than the past few weeks. Getting pushed by Scott each week has helped me to create the same effect in my work at Paste as I do in my personal work. Working with the other interns in close proximity helped me to keep up a nice pace and create some friendly competition (in my head). Of course, there’s still a lot for me to learn as May quietly approaches. This week’s momentum will hopefully filter over into next week especially after being placed in Paste’s weekly newsletter.

Writing this week at Paste was more about corporating my views without overwhelming the article. During my experience at GameSkinny, I was able to incorporate my opinions without thinking about what others had to say. Now in this new capacity, the difference between the two entities be felt as Paste has a broader audience than GameSkinny. Even though I wasn’t asked to quell my thoughts, I subconsciously stopped myself from incorporating myself into my work. This was probably why I felt like my work was a little lackluster.  Now, I feel more comfortable stating my own spin on the situation while keeping the magazine’s audience in mind.  I’m working towards more than thought-provoking, fact-based stories (within my parameters as an intern of course). Writing this week’s articles have pushed me to pitch a story or two I want to do. By May, I want to be a more well-rounded writer which is approaching faster than I like to admit. In this moment, all I think of is speak it and it will come true.

 

 

 

My Life as a Paste Intern: Week 4

Being in the Paste office this week was more refreshing than last week. This week, I found myself being more focused on getting news leads and pushing as much content as possible to satisfy the Paste audience. I do admit to being a little distracted by my impending birthday as my mind wondered occasionally to my birthday weekend. I spent much of my time trying to appeal to the Paste demographic while trying to incorporate pieces of Black culture on the site. I think this strategy worked this week as I landed on the top viewed stories more than once for the week. I look forward to bringing more balance to my content in the upcoming weeks.

The more I write for Paste the more I feel the need to inject some excellence outside of mainstream culture into the content I write and cover. At the same time, I want to cover stories that appeal to everyone. I’m finding this balance to be a tricky one as I feel the need to bring more representation into what I am reporting and writing about. Reading Paste contributor Shannon Houston’s 6 Things Black People Need to Stop Saying to White People in 2018 has motivated me to appeal to everyone while tackling important news and issues from other races and ethnicities. As with my personal content, I feel the need to give the world a taste of what Black culture looks and feels like (along with Hispanic, Latin, Asian, etc.). Hopefully, I’ll be able to carry this out with some potential pitches for future articles.

My Life as a Paste Intern: Week 3

Well, this week at Paste Magazine was short but fruitful. As the Canadian cold and MLK Day made its presence known in Metro Atlanta, news of the day still needed to be reported. I got to be in the office one day this and feel the spirit of being an actual writer for a major publication as I found news leads through my emails and Twitter. Most of my week I reported any and everything from my couch due to the weather and my busted car. I plan on pushing my work ethic and writing skills even more as the internship progresses.

This week my insecurities as a writer calmed down a bit. I can see an improvement in my news gathering skills as I found more leads on social media and accurate sources. I felt like my posts this week were not my best, but I put in my best effort to create great content. My technical illiteracy with the Paste system seems to be getting better. Having teachable moment from the staff is a big help. My writing is improving from week to week which is a great sign to me. Hopefully, it speaks to Paste and my future at the publication.

My Life as a Paste Intern: Weeks 1 & 2

Along with doing my Weekly Roundup, I’ll be posting about my progress as an intern at Paste. I want to give you a sneak peek of the behind-the-scenes of working at such a prestigious magazine.

Week 1

Walking into the open yet cozy workspace of Paste as an intern rather than a candidate was a different feeling. I felt like I found a comfortable safe space where all my writing dreams could come true. The moment I sat down at the makeshift desk and opened my laptop a mix of relief and anxiety came over me. I was excited to lay out my future at Paste, but I felt pressure to not mess up this amazing opportunity. But eventually, I felt comfortable and wanted by the warm and welcoming staff especially my boss Scott.

The first week at Paste was a little slow (thanks to the crazy haziness of Christmas and New Year’s).   My fellow interns and I worked diligently on our laptops to bring the world any and every news story possible. Not being able to work as frequently as the others, I put pressure on myself to create a much great news content as possible. I needed to step my game up if I wanted to compete with the big boys of online publishing.

After a lazy start, week one at Paste was very exciting yet overwhelming at the same time. Week two had less pressure attached to it, but the excitement was still there.

Week 2

This week at Paste felt more real than the first. I spent most of my week working on various news article while becoming more acquainted with my surroundings. Being the early bird I am, I showed up one or two days before anyone else was there. I sat patiently in my car each time just listening to the radio and checking my Twitter and email for news leads. Once in the Paste office, I immediately got to work trying to crank out as much news content as possible. It’s nice doing work that I actually enjoy rather than feel pressure to churn out content ad nauseam.

Working only three days a week has added a sense of pressure I didn’t know would hit me. I want the Paste staff to know I am worthy of this internship and a future with the magazine. With that said, my second week was more fast-paced and informative. I slowly learned that  I might be a little technology illiterate when it comes to composing written work for the internet. But I definitely a fast learner with each stumble being a teaching moment (thanks, Scott).  Hopefully, over the next few weeks, I will not only grow as a writer but as a writer for future endeavors.

Week two was more of a whirlwind with the internship, my part-time job and starting my fifth quarter as a Writing graduate. Eventually, my life will balance itself out.

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