The first week of school is officially over. We ended in the chilliest way possible, with our first snow day. But just because school was canceled, that didn’t mean that story brainstorming was.
This week I worked closely with my editor, Jeanne Abbott, on some story ideas for Boomtown. Boomtown is a magazine-style special section of the Missourian that focuses on how to live your best life over 50 in Columbia, and I am in charge of the public service section. This includes things like volunteering and other activities that lend a helping hand to the community.
Over half of my ideas were slashed right off of the bat, but they needed to go. Sometimes it’s hard not to go to the cliches or the first thoughts that pop in your head about whatever topic you’re working on. But that’s a part of the journalism process, refining your ideas from start to finish.
I’m dealing with some personal stuff this week as well, and have learned that work and life balance is important at all times of the semester. I have been working hard on my story topics, but have also been able to be communicative with my professors and editors about a sick family member who is close to the end of their life. I am thankful for my editors and professor being so understanding and willing to work with me during this uncertain and shaky time.
I just wrapped up contacting some sources for my story ideas and got a couple of great responses. When a story starts to take shape and you connect with a potential subject—that’s the stuff right there. It’s like drinking a large coffee with eight shots of espresso in it, it really gets my brain going. I find myself constantly saying thank you to the wonderful people of Columbia for being so responsive (even on a weekend).
I’m really excited to see where these stories go and look forward to reporting back with an update later this week!
Until we meet again!