Tuesday, July 3, 2012

How To Overcome A Tough First Assignment, Part 1

Hey Edsters,

I turned in my first big assignment last week. And I think I kind of crashed and burned. This may not be the cheeriest of updates, but I think it's important to talk about because all of us are going to hit a snag here and there.

It just so happened that mine came in my second week of work.

I struggled with the assignment from the beginning.
I couldn't get anyone to talk to me about the topic, couldn't find much information online, blah blah blah. I was elated when I finally did interview a source, right up until he emailed to say that he wasn't as clear on the details as he thought and we shouldn't use anything he said. Back to square one.

What I ended up turning in was pretty short on useful information. I had asked for some guidance along the way, so at least my editors knew I was trying and I didn't just leave it for the last minute. I did my best to follow their advice, but I just couldn't get much of anything to pan out for this particular topic.

What I need to figure out now is how to stop psyching myself out. Ever since I realized I bombed that first assignment, I've been worrying about how it will affect the rest of my time at the mag. What if I don't get any other assignments? My current mindset has me neurotically overthinking everything, and I know that if I don't stop, it's going to cause me to mess up even more. I'm also putting a whole lot of additional pressure on myself to somehow be super intern to make up for it, but the added stress is only going to make things worse. 

The good news is that I learned a ton during the process. I made several mistakes along the way that I will never make again. And I have a few other things to work on that I had to momentarily set aside while I devoted my time to this assignment. Now it's just a matter of making sure those have a better outcome. I'd love to say that I'm confident that they will, but the fact that I tried so hard on the first assignment and it still didn't end well has me a little bit nervous. 

If you've been here before and you have any advice, or if you just want to offer some outside perspective, let me know in the comments.

Fingers crossed I'll answer my own question next week,
Edit intern

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