Good evening my dears!
As I sit down to write today, I can’t help but feel a bit frustrated.
I had intentions of doing a follow-up article about student loans and the fact that the deadline has been pushed back, yet again. Though, I am sure a lot of you have already seen that—I know the follow-up post can wait.
The truth is, while this opportunity through Bulletin and Facebook is an amazing job—my dream job even—none of that matter unless I am able to master the social media algorithms, catch the right person’s eye, hit the nail on the head with an article and, ultimately, “go viral.”
To me, perhaps the most exhausting aspect of social media is the uptake it requires to maintain a follow count. When I downloaded Instagram, I was in the eighth grade. I was posting for fun, wearing snapbacks, using too many emojis, duck-facing it, and throwing up the deuces. Now, I depend on Instagram for my livelihood.
I writer longer, “click-baity” captions. I do my hair and makeup every.single.day so that I am always “photo ready.” I’m whitening my teeth more regularly for the same reasons (and that bleach freaking hurts). I post frequently—sometimes multiple times a day. I accept any and every friend request, just in case that person wants to connect with me in a business-related way. News flash: most are sugar daddy requests or accounts asking me if I would like to buy followers.
The point I try to make here is, while I do not mind doing these things, it is not how I would necessarily choose to spend my time or behave on a regular basis. I miss posting for fun and not having to say a silent prayer each time something goes live that this will be the post that gets the right attention.
The reason I studied journalism is because I fell in love with learning at a young age. I have always said, if I could spend my entire life in school…I would. The world is so fascinating to me, and to have the luxury of learning from it each day seems like a dream. Journalism felt like the best way to do that without forking over my entire life to the dark abyss of student loans. With journalism, my job is to learn from other people. Hear new stories, ask more questions and, even, a chance to document those moments. It’s my mini dream-world.
When this opportunity with Facebook came along, I was on cloud nine—and frankly, still am. While the job requires more posting out of me, more social media consumption, more attention to physical appearance; the opportunity has also allowed me to merge a second love into my career of journalism.
The minor I never knew I would choose in college. I always thought of “writing” as something everyone could do so long as they were taught the alphabet and how to read. In a totally non-arrogant way, I never thought of it as something that really required much effort.
It was not, truly, until my first college English course that I was taught to think differently about “writing.” My freshman year English professor threw magnificent writers our way, dating back to Arthur Conan Doyle. He regurgitated Sherlock Holmes to the class and spun new life into it. While I groaned when “The Adventures of the Speckled Band” landed on my desk, yet again. This time around ended differently. How amazing is it that writers, people, in the late 1800s were thinking just as keenly about the world as we are today? Taking their own experiences of true crime, in this case, and conjuring up mysteries of their own; locked-room mysteries at that.
Creative writing allows me to take the reality and truth of journalism and twist it into new thoughts, places and people of the future, of the past and, even, of the present. It decorates an otherwise bland story, and gives it new meaning outside of just “fact.”
My goal with my degree, this opportunity with Bulletin and, ultimately, my life, is to never stop learning from all of you, fellow humans. I want to listen and hear your stories, I want to learn each day, I want to take those stories and regurgitate them in a true and trustworthy way, yet, allow them to possess the adjectives required to read with meaning and depth—the way words do in creative writing.
I suppose, the point I sit and attempt to make is this: while I am frustrated and I am tired of social media insights and I am, sometimes, worried my words will never reach the platform I yearn—I am equally as grateful to sit at my laptop and dedicate each day to trying. Trying to make a point that journalism and creative writing can coexist. That truth and fact can also be beautiful and deep. That black is just as equal as white. And, that your story matters just as much as mine.
Thus, I will whiten my teeth, I will do my makeup, I will post regularly, and I will beg you to share. I do these things, and often grudgingly, with the hope that someday more people like you will find themselves at the bottom of this article.
I couldn’t care less about the number of subscribers I reach, nor the amount of money a career in writing will make me. I care that I tried. I care that, some read my work and some, maybe, even learned from it. The point of this job, for me, is not to “go viral,” but to make an impact. To, hopefully, inspire you to not only continue to learn, but to continue to chase what you believe. To merge your loves, and open your mind. Listen to other people’s stories, learn from them, and share them in your own way.
Honestly, how else has the world ever inspired?