Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Building Strong Relationships With Your Editors: A User's Guide

My editor once told me it's not what you know—it's what you know and who you know. As you probably have already gathered, it's darn near impossible to make it in this tiny industry without knowing someone. Therefore, it's been really important to me to establish good relationships with my editors and to meet with editors whose positions interest me—at and at Teen Mag's parent company—this summer. 

When I was at school last summer, I emailed my editors at as often as I could. I asked my editor if I could stay on staff as a contributing writer, and she said yes! I pitched articles and blog posts as often as my school schedule would allow, and I told my other editors anytime I was up to anything exciting. Granted, I don't think anyone really cared when I told them about a cappella concerts I covered for my school newspaper, but it was really important to me that everyone knew I was doing everything I could to become a better writer when I couldn't be at Teen Mag. It was more difficult to contribute when I was studying abroad, but I always would send a quick message about things in my new life that pertained to Teen Mag, like when Justin Bieber came to town and fangirls waited for him outside his hotel—which was on my street. (Some things are universal.) 

Since I've returned to the office, however, I've been second guessing how much is too much. My editors have each told me that they want to get lunch with me, but when I emailed them to ask them when they are free, they each told me that they were busy. I'm scared to email them more about it since I know they're really busy and I don't want to be annoying! Since I often stay late to work on projects, I have talked to my editors about my time at Teen Mag, what I'm enjoying about my internship, and my future—in fact, when I stayed late at work one day this week, one of my editors told me she wants to hire me next year. (When the h-bomb was dropped I actually pretended to be cool and then texted my mom and best friend about 15 incoherent messages on the way to the subway). 

That being said, I've realized that I don't just want to keep in touch with my editors because I want a job—it's because I really care about Teen Mag and the people I work with who have afforded me this incredible opportunity. I love learning from them and I love coming to my job every day because they make Teen Mag an awesome place. 

I think I'm starting to get really nervous because the other interns I work with are getting lunch appointments with the editors. The rational side of me is saying that this is because the other editors don't know the other interns as well, and because the other interns wrap up their internships before I do. But the irrational side of me is starting to get nervous that I'm doing something wrong by not following up with my editors (even though they keep telling me they're going to get lunch in conversation). I know my crazy lady side is acting up right now, and I need to keep it in check somehow.

Am I being totally crazy, Edsters? How would you handle this situation? How do you keep in touch with your editors? I need your advice! 

Until next time, 
Ed's Web Intern

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