Monday, June 8, 2009

Monday, Fun day!

This blog's title is only so chipper because I'm running on approx 3 cups of dark-roast coffee. Needless to say, I'm not a morning person, much less a Monday person.

Anyway, back to business. Everyone wants to make their work stand out; everyone wants to be a shining star. While there’s no surefire formula to becoming the next New York Times bestselling novelist, here are a few tips on the best ways to help yourself:

1) Write – which is easier said than done. Type, scribble, whatever. Once you get a sense of the type of articles your magazine runs, constantly be on the lookout for features or bits of info that could possibly be angled to turn into a great article idea. Try pitching some of your findings to your editor; it might turn into a brainstorming sesh, and who knows, you could end up with a great clip!

2) Keep up with your reading. Talking about what’s on your nightstand is always a great conversation starter amongst journalists. For suggestions, take a gander at Oprah’s Book Club reads, the NY Times bestseller list, or Booklist Magazine. Also, be sure to take risks with your reading; don’t just stick to your fave genre. If you’re a fantasy fanatic, try a suspenseful mystery. Writing flows best when it’s about what you know. The more you read, the more you know.

3) Socialize with your work. Post your articles or blogs to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn… you know, the works. Don’t be afraid of criticism – others’ comments can be the highest form of praise. It means people think your writing is worthwhile because they’re actually taking the time to read it. Plus, how else is the world going to find out how great you are if you don’t toot your own horn a bit?

4) Travel. How literally you want to take this advice is up to you – whether it’s exploring your neighborhood in the East Village or jetting to Tahiti. Just do whatever you can to broaden your base of experience. It’ll also give you something refreshing to talk about on future job or internship interviews (not just the same-old, same-old that editors hear every day: how you've always wanted to be a writer, etc).

5) Don’t feel awkward about asking staffers out to lunch or coffee. It will give you a great opportunity to personalize your relationship and chat about things outside of work (and no doubt they’ll appreciate the invitation to get out of the office for a bit). At the end of the summer, you might even want to mention something to your editor about working there again over winter break. I did that last year, and even though it was unpaid, I refreshed my connections there and it was a great way to secure an “in.” Those “ins” increase your odds of finding a post-grad job!

6) Update your resume any chance you get (obviously putting the most relevant experiences first). Along those same lines, it’s a good idea to keep a journal of the work you’re completing at your internship, even if it’s just as mundane as making an inventory of the beauty closet. After the summer’s over, chances are you won’t remember every little task you completed, and a comprehensive listing can help tailor your resume.

That’s all for today, folks. As for my read of the week: Revolutionary Road (yes, it was recently produced into a major motion picture with Kate Winslet and Leo, but I refuse to see the movie before the book). It’s a little somber for a beach read, but totally worth it.

Have a great week! xoxo,

cyber intern

1 comment:

  1. definitely some good tips in there. And Monday should be called fun day so as to allude yourself into actually believing it!