Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Journalism Is a Terminal Condition (Plus, a Pretty Cool Giveaway)

This post is generously sponsored by ValueMags.com, but, as always, all content, wit & wisdom is my own.

I'm a counter. I'm forever look back & counting how long it's been since X, how many years since Y: almost 16 years since my father died, almost 10 years since I graduated from high school, almost one year since I began dating Nathan, just over one year since I left my first (awesome) post-collegiate job. Sometimes I look back through my old Xanga sites just to see what I was doing on this day five or six years ago.

Graduation day! (Please ignore my facial fatness.)
This summer marks four years since I graduated college. It seems impossible that I've been gone for that long, that I've only seen one of my best friends a handful of times in that period. Sometimes, it seems impossible to believe that I'm not a journalist as planned, that I don't write professionally, that I'm not a reporter or an author or a grantwriter or a blogger (the "real" kind, you know...). Instead, my life took a path I never expected, sending me into the worlds of religion, communications, politics & all sort of other things I never planned or trained for.

My degree is in Magazine Journalism, & if there's one thing I miss from college (aside from the friends & the youth-granted permission to drink like a fish), it's working for student media. In college, I wrote for the student newspaper, a respected & award-winning campus daily, & eventually held the position of assistant news editor, which I actually preferred to reporting. I also copyedited for a campus magazine called The Burr & was the managing editor of Fusion, yet another award-winning campus publication, this time a glossy quarterly focused on sexual minority issues. I spent most of my time in the newsroom or on my laptop, doing what I liked best: writing, writing, writing.

It was 9/11 that cemented my decision to major in journalism. Cliche, I know. But watching the second tower fall as a chipper blonde newscaster reporter looked on in horror but never lost her composure, I knew what I wanted to do. What's sort of ironic about this is that my real goal was to work for one of two publications, Family Circle or People - neither of which, of course, was likely to report on anything quite as emotionally heavy as 9/11. I was sometimes embarrassed of this ambition, like when I took a summer class in DC with political wannabes & intellectual types who wanted to change the world. When I announced my career aspirations to the class, I consoled myself by telling myself that even head honchos need relaxing reading material.

Obviously, I do not work for a magazine. Or a newspaper. Or any other sort of legitimate, professional media. Instead, this blog is my primary outlet, along with a few side projects I contribute to with some regularity. I could be more proactive than I am about seeking out writing opportunities - and I could really stand to reconnect with my old magazine habit instead of just day-in, day-out blog reading. Don't get me wrong, I like you guys, but my life is a better place when Glamour is involved.

It's fitting, then, that a representative from discount magazine site ValueMags.com recently asked if I'd like to host a giveaway to my readers. As someone who used to subscribe to upwards of 10 magazines (sorry, Mother Nature), my answer was a hearty "yes." So in commemoration of my almost-four-year graduation anniversary & in recognition of my deep & abiding love of magazines both trashy & heady, I present to you a simple but rewarding giveaway: Comment on this post to be entered to win a magazine subscription of your choice. And yes, that includes everything from the usually-a-billion-dollars People to specialty publications like Tropical Fish Hobbyist Magazine.

Go forth & indulge in casual reading material, friends!

32 comments:

kapachino said...

Awesome! I subscribe to one magazine and get one for free, and I've been wanting to expand. 

Cara Fish said...

I couldn't pass up an opportunity to subscribe to another "entertainment news" magazine. And as an avid read of your blog,I always look forward to the humor and genuine human emotion with which you write:)

Erica said...

It's been almost 4 years since I left Athens and I miss it so much! Was wearing an OU t-shirt the other day in Burbank, CA and , no joke, got stopped  at least 4 times by OU grads! Great giveaway!

theTsaritsa said...

I wish I could be writing for a living, too, and working at a magazine, any magazine, is my main goal. It's really awesome that people keep approaching you with these opportunities-- you must be doing something right! :)

Lindsay said...

I am absolutely the same way. Journalism major, specifically with a passion for magazines. I miss working on the university's weekly newspaper and yearbook. I loved our Monday night production nights at the copy desk (I served as a copy editor primarily). I turned down one newspaper job after graduation because it didn't seem right, then took on a job that seemed right at the time but was not even close. So I left that and now I'm trying to get back to my roots of journalism. Applying for every magazine position I can find, and freelancing as much as I can.

I am also in the vast minority of my fellow journalism major friends - everyone else is a journalist. Including one who is moving to MY city to work for the paper. I may be a little bitter about that...

Bri Z. said...

you never know, maybe later in life journalism will become a part of your career. or maybe not. from what i hear, most people don't end up doing anything related to their major. hell, i highly doubt i'll end up doing anything related to my english degree at this point haha

but at least you still have this outlet. and yay fun giveaway!

Mary said...

You just have to remember that everything happens for a reason, Kate.  Trust your instincts, follow your heart, and strive to always do the right thing and you will definitely end up happy, satisfied, and where you should be!

Daphne Price said...

I'm still trying to figure out what I want to be when I grow up... but in the meantime, sure, I'd love a free susbscription to a magazine :-)

xo

Newlyweds on a budget said...

I started out in journalism and moved on to public relations. Just wasn't meant to be I guess. I still love reading magazines though! And books! oh library, how i love thee...

Suburban Sweetheart said...

Me too! I come by it naturally I suppose - my mom is a children's librarian!
I just love being around the written word, I guess. Thanks for reading!

Stephany said...

Interesting! Most of the people I graduated with want nothing to do with journalism. In a class of about 50, less than 10 people raised their hand when they said they wanted to stay in journalism. Of course, I went to a college in Florida so... there you have it.

Stephany said...

I. love. this. giveaway. Woo! A free magazine subscription?!

When I started in the journalism program, they didn't have an option to do magazine. It was in one of the older programs but they took it out. Sad! I'm pretty sure I won't do much with journalism, but I do like the creative writing aspect that I (seldom) got to work with.

Quarterlifelady said...

I love magazines. I always have to fight the urge to buy one in the grocery store. I try to go to the library instead. Sounds lame, but I save a lot of money that way.

Elise said...

thanks for the shout out! I miss you! 

i also love Glamour magazine. ;)

Elise said...

that comment was lame. I thought i said "I love you. I also love Glamour magazine." i did not. Haha. crap.

Ali said...

I'm a counter too and a fan for your REAL blog.  Keep up the good work.  I always look forward to reading what you have to say!

Amanda said...

I still can't believe I'm not a journalist either! Love the blog and I looooove magazines!!

Suburban Sweetheart said...

And I love your email address!

terra said...

I still don't know what I want to be when I grow up, but I've very much in a career. Most days, I'm not really sure how I feel about that.

Katherine said...

Is this still going on? Because I would totes love to have Real Simple in my life more. The only thing I know about what I want to do right now is be more crafty and less hoardy. I feel that Real Simple could help with these things, no?

Good Girl Gone Blog said...

I started out in magazine journalism...but then went into PR. A blog is sort of like a magazine though, right?

Suburban Sweetheart said...

You're a stronger woman than I am to do PR! As you know, I tried it for
three months last summer, & I was truly miserable. My anxiety is too bad for
me to handle PR - it feels too much like sales, trying to get people to do
what you want. Dude, I'm awful at it. I envy your mad skillz!

suki said...

I wonder if my favorite magazine is in their list... Colors! :)

Suburban Sweetheart said...

It's true, though interestingly, I'd estimate that 75% or so of my college
journalism friends are now actual journalists. I'm certainly in the minority
here. I don't necessarily want to be a journalist, but there are definitely
aspects of it that I miss.

San said...

Honestly, isn't college just another milestone to being a grown up? I think a lot of people don't end up doing something with their college degree (at least, unless you have a very specific major).... it's all about the learning experience :)

Jamie pilgrim said...

This is really interesting. I often wonder how many people land the careers they originally went to school for. Especially with the American economy being on such a slump and there being a heavy push for everyone to get a secondary education. I've known (quite a few) people to take out nearly $50-100,000 in student loans only to end up working multiple retail jobs just to pay them back. It's really sad and definitely made me really consider what I'm going for and double-majoring just as a back up. 

 I've considered magazine journalism, did some research, took a class and became intimidated immediately. I don't know if I could be that competitive. It seems like a very rewarding career but you definitely need to have some major drive! I'll just stick to being a magazine junkie and supporting those writers! 

I wish you the best of luck though, I have a feeling if more writers were less stiff and humorous as you more articles would be read vs skimmed! haha

Jaclyn said...

I love this post (and was planning to comment even without the giveaway ;) ). You may not count it as such, but I definitely think this is a "real" blog. It's one of the best-written ones I read. It's always interesting. You're curious and creative and well-spoken. All sound like journalism'y things to me. And cheers to a fellow gal who at one point subscribed to an insane number of magazines. I'm actually STILL letting them all cancel out because holy God, I cannot read that much. That being said ... I'd dig a free subscription :) Good luck with the giveaway!

sameve said...

Journalism majors not working in journalism FTW! Life takes some unexpected twists and turns, especially in the career department. But, I'm glad both of us have found a place to write (even though we may not be "real" bloggers). As for magazines, I am a loyal subscriber to People Stylewatch. I used to get a couple of others, but couldn't justify the expense, so I would love to win this giveaway. Yay! 

April said...

It's nice to read about someone who loves magazine journalism as much as I do. The Devil Wears Prada is a favorite movie of mine because of that too. If I win the subscription, I would definitely get a subscription to an expensive foodie magazine that I wouldn't normally shell out for. :)

Arielle said...

I subscribe to Forbes and BusinessWeek. If I win I can subscribe to something less...middle aged wealthy man and more 20 something poor chick in Brooklyn. Woo.

skinny_dip said...

What do you mean you're not the "real" kind of blogger?! You're a blogger and you do it so well!

It's funny - 9/11 was my 21st birthday and it was also the day I decided that I wanted  to go to law school. But, I also always wanted to write. Then, I eventually realized that I really wanted to be a lawyer who wrote books on the side like John Grisham (but one who didn't write John Grisham-y books). Then I eventually settled on Communications because it allowed me to write & make a living. But, its all still evolving. I might (actually, I hope) I'm doing something new & unexpected & exciting in a few years time.

My big magazine dream when I was younger was (get this) to write for Vibe magazine so I could interview and write about all my favorite artists. Considering I'm a white girl from a sleepy seaside town in Canada, this is even harder to explain than Family Circle.

PS. Please enter me in the contest. I would use my entry to get Vibe delivered to my house so I could finally stop getting weird looks from the skinny hipster guys who run my local news-stand/bookstore.

Lydia Ross said...

Katey,
Love your blog. You say it all so well.  Although I can take no credit, I am really proud of you!  Your Mom and Dad get the credit of course.  Keep writing, you have something important to say.
Best,
Lydia

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