Magazine: the place to be

People come from all over the country – the world, even – to attend the Missouri School of Journalism. For a lot of them, it’s a only thing that would have brought them to Missouri. It’s a fly0ver state. It’s the Midwest. The summer’s are humid. But then again, we also have a pretty good J-School. Go figure.

I grew up with the J-School. I remember taking walks through campus with my mother, learning about the archway statues and hearing about the impressive funding for the newly renovated Reynolds Journalism Institute. I had considered leaving Columbia for college and studying fashion design or journalism elsewhere, but none of it really made sense when what I needed was right in front of me.

I’ve always loved storytelling and think it’s the best reason to write – to be a record of the ordinary and the extraordinary and really understanding why we are the way we are. As much as I hate talking about myself, I’m always itching to hear someone else explain exactly why they do something or how they ended up where they are, or even where they want to go. It’s so interesting to let their stories unfold, and to be able to convey that passion or experience through whatever medium is an enormous responsibility but can yield great outcome. Journalists, writers, photographers, documentary filmmakers; we’re all storytellers.

This week in lecture, we heard about what to look forward to in the upcoming years as we move into our interest areas and dive into the field. Nearly two years in and I’m still excited to get to learn the about the resources and tools of the magazine world. Years ago, the goal started off as a dream to work for a glossy fashion magazine (think The Devil Wears Prada, or I’d probably even take Ugly Betty if it meant being a part of a major NYC fashion publication industry). And while my aspirations have changed and I can’t decide between journalism electives or describe where I see myself in 10 years and I’m simultaneously anticipating and dreading writing for the Missourian next fall,  I know going into my interest area that, at least for right now, I’m in the right place.


Writer’s block

Keeping a blog isn’t a new idea to me. Keeping a sustaining blog with good content…that is definitely a challenge.

I started my first Xanga blog in seventh grade under the insistence of my circle of middle school friends. Yes, I was one of those kids. My posts were “angsty” updates about school and friends and how I was always bored. This was also the time of the MySpace era, which I think we can all agree, belongs in the dusty refines of the inter-web. During junior year, I deleted my Xanga (not before reading through my posts with a slew of scoffs and eye-rolling) and upgraded to Blogger, which I intended to craft into a DIY and creative inspirations blog. That lasted for about two months. Again, that got deleted in acknowledgement of defeat. I began my first round of WordPress blogging last March in an attempt to “get back into the swing of things,” mainly, writing and journaling about college life. Yet again, that attempt was fruitless, and I’ve taken up one more domain name that can never be used again. My bad.

My latest blogging platform, other than this class-mandated page, is a Tumblr page. Though, to be honest, it’s more of a collection of re-blogged images of fashion runways and DIY crafting than an actual chronicle of my writing. I’ve been at it since July and, after a three-month long hiatus (school unfortunately does that to a person sometimes), I’m still revisiting it every now and then.

I guess what I’m trying to say is, blogging is hard. I still haven’t exactly found my purpose, my motivation. My muse, if you will. But what I do know is that I’m really glad this multimedia class is having me revisit the idea. And even if I don’t personally blog alldayeveryday, I can appreciate the power of sharing ideas and concepts through personal journaling in public forums.

If I’ve learned anything from this process, it’s that A) I like listing things, and B) if I could be one of those homebodies that crafts all day and has a closet that rivals Hobby Lobby, I would. In a heartbeat. The following are some blogs and sites that I currently frequent, or simply find enjoyable.

  1. Vanity Fair. On a more professional note. Not exactly a blog, but writing for them would be the dream.
  2. Thought Catalog. It’s cynical and hipster-esque, but I enjoy the distinguished voice of each contributor. Plus, as a nearly-20 something, some articles are just so spot on.
  3. Burdastyle. For the seamstress in me. I really like the spotlight they do on individual members and can’t help but feel motivated to finally finish whatever piece I’ve left by the wayside at the moment.
  4.  Sweet Home Style. Lovely visuals and creative ideas.
  5. Cupcakes and Cashmere. Again, more crafting and pretty pictures to stir the senses. Personal details from the creator, Emily, is a plus.
  6. Barney’s Blog. My favorite “How I Met Your Mother” character has a blog, and it’s just as absurd as you would expect it to be.
  7. Threadbanger’s video channel. DIY for people like me who need to see the project in action to make it their own. Can’t say I haven’t wrecked my closet on multiple occasions trying out some of their project ideas.