Step Forward

I am tired — the kind of tired that makes you believe that it is accepable to drink five cups of coffee before 10am.

It is a good kind of tired though, the kind that makes you feel excited about the things you’ve accomplished in the last few days.

It’s a somewhat surprising kind of tired too, because after being an athlete for the last ten years I wasn’t quite expecting that a little office job would make me feel that kind of way.

It is getting easier though. Week two is already way more fun. I am not the ‘new intern ’ anymore, which is a relief. Being the new intern is like being the new shiny toy everybody wants to play with. Everybody wants to know things about you, and while I love talking journalism to my fellow writers, I am not a big fan of sharing too much information about myself.

When I first started working for the newspaper I assumed I would be lucky if I publish one, maybe even two articles every other week. I was more prepared for brewing coffee and doing paperwork. Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t hoping to do those kind of things, that’s just what I thought the term ‘intern’ stands for.

I was wrong — like turning left-instead-of-right-almost-getting-into-an-accident-kind of wrong. In my two weeks here I published almost fifteen articles. Why almost? Because I am currently working on number fifteen.

I did articles on ice hoecky, biking, rowing, soccer and basketball. Every day I am forced to leave my comfort zone and write about a sport I only know from televison (Minus the basketball one of course). I have to call up coaches, trying to pretend I didn’t just get all of my knowledge from wikipedia, about a sport that means the world to them.

Daily I have to think about interesting ways to start my articles — tell a story my editor constantly tells me. I am trying, I tell him, but it’s hard. He ignores my complaining. Thank God for that.

Yes, journalism is hard. It is hard to constantly think about new ways to start a story. It is hard to find something interesting in a topic, that you normally wouldn’t even mention over a boring dinner conversation.

This morning I had an interview at eight. I had to get up at 630am and take the train first and the bus after to even make it to my destination. Was I annoyed? No. Was I tired? Slighlty. Most of all I was excited. There is just something about interviews that absolutely fascinates me. I mentionned it in one of my previous articles, but the fact that you are allowed into people’s lives, the fact that you can ask any question is absolutely beautiful to me.

So I went to meet with a girl who is doing canoe slalom, to be honest I don’t even know if they even have this sport in America, anyway this girl is really good in what she does. Before the interview I googled some stuff about the sport itself, but also tried to get an idea about the kind of person she may be. Their gym, if you want to call it that, was right next to the water (Obviosuly!) and it was absolutely breathtaking. It was so peaceful and so worth waking up early for.

We had a really good conversation and I tried to make the whole thing less awkward, simply because I know for myself how much I hate interviews. It went well and she even inviteted me onto her canoe to try it out — I declined (I know. I know I should have said yes).

After I finished the interview I stayed in the same place for another 30 minutes or so. Just taking in the environment, the smells, the sounds and then it hit me. This is it. This is how I should begin every single story. Describe what I hear, see, smell. Give my reader the feeling, that he/she is sitting right next to me, make them believe they are actually there with me.

It took me less than an hour to write the article. The memories of the interview were still fresh, I could still smell the river and hear the birds waking up. I put it all in my story. Every little detail. I don’t know if my editor is going to like it, but personally I know, I made a step forward today.

Today I improved as a journalist.
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