Friday, November 18, 2005

Finding that niche

Well, the quarter is winding down, and I can say I learned quite a bit. My Magazine Journalism class was particularly helpful. If you remember, at the beginning of the school year I announced that the writing course was going to be this quarter's Class From Hell. And it certainly was. I think I have a good shot at an A, however, depending on how the professor reacts to my final piece, which I turned in on Monday, along with my groaning, sleep-deprived classmates. The girl who sits next to me had been working on hers a few hours before the nine am class, sigh.

Anyway, in this class I learned that:

1. I do have some writing talent, but it is a very middling, vanilla, we're-going-to-Steak-n'-Shake-for-dinner, not-Ruby-Tuesday's, but-you-should-still-be-grateful-to-be-going-out-to-eat kind of talent. This is unfortunate, since although journalism is my "major" and history is my "specialization," magazine journalism is my "focus." You see, the journalism major has several different "tracks" that students can choose from, where they eventually expect to make their careers. For instance, a philosophy major might have a focus of "academia" or "unemployed."

What I'm saying is, as Martin Luther was good at being a monk, so I am good at magazine writing. Ahhhh, well, I take it back, it's not quite that bad ;)

2. I hate, hate, hate the reporting aspect of journalism (again, not a good sign, eh?) I find that the writing part is quite fun, even if it does induce late-night cold sweats about the grammar (try not to announce your incompetence!) and the lead (get the reader!) and the narrative structure (keep the reader!) and this phrase or that phrase and the lackluster transitions and how that part could have been so much better if you just switched the graphs and ...

3. Magazines are so specialized. Basically, sayeth the Scripps School Career Experts, the thing to do is to develop an interest in an arcane and utterly strange subject, such as cows and meat-packing, and then get a job writing for Meat Processing Magazine or something. Yes, there really is a periodical called Meat Processing Magazine. It is "a monthly magazine serving the meat, poultry and seafood processing interests at the management level" and has special issues focusing on the Top 200 Processors and Rising Stars in the industry. Niche, niche, niche! All would-be magazine writers, find your niche!

Given my eating habits, perhaps my faculty advisor would recommend that I shoot to become the editor of Professional Candy Buyer, "the only candy trade journal to primarily focus on buying, merchandising and marketing candy." Then, I, like this lady, will be able to write editorials about the importance of making contacts with the decision-makers at candy companies and the many opportunities for networking at the Candy Hall of Fame induction ceremony.

Wouldn't that be your dream job? Unless, of course, candy-making is like hot dog-making, in which case, it would sort of spoil sweets for you, FOREVER. Since I am not planning on actually getting a job in the press, there is no risk for me!


  1. "I hate, hate, hate the reporting aspect of journalism (again, not a good sign, eh?)"

    Yes, I agree that you MIGHT need to work on that! ;)

    When are you home??

  2. Yay!!!!!!!

    ....Just in time for me to go out of town...

    Darn timing! ;)