The Trials of Column Writing

When I got accepted for my internship, songs were sung, dances were danced and birds saluted to. All in all, it was a time to rejoice. I immediately thought my life would be basically the same as Lauren Conrad’s at Teen Vogue. Because like many girls my generation, that is the first thing that pops into my head when I think of internship. Furthermore, my internship involved me writing a weekly column. Cue Sex and the City references; I was going to get my Carrie Bradshaw on.

But then cold lady reality gave me a harsh slap on the face and I realized that life is not a television/reality show (really, they are one and the same). My column is of the street style article variety and the legwork to capture those stylish people on camera is not as easy as those street photographers make it seem. First you have to scout out a person. I have probably been given the moniker “creepy girl who stares at people” around town because more times than I care to reveal I have chased someone down, sat on a bench to observe people’s outfits or casually followed someone for the most opportune photo-taking time.

Then comes the actual photo taking. It has to be straight, centered, clear and not too far or too close, which means I end up in precarious stances to get the shot. Obviously me in a crouching tiger stance taking a picture of someone posing is cause for people to stare inquiringly as they walk by. Clearly I don’t look like a legitimate street photographer. I’ve now sufficiently established my lack of a future in photography.

The second half of the job is a little easier because I feel more in my element with my hands on a keyboard than on a camera. However, words rarely ever just flow out and appear on the page as a masterpiece. Fellow writers will know this pain well. My pesky muse is fickle and often thinks it’s funny to run away and hide from me. I love fashion but sometimes there’s only so much I can say about how this piece is both functional and stylish. For the sake of my many readers (aka my mom) and my sanity, I had to vary things up a little.

A column is a weekly occurrence, so it’s pretty much a given that I need to submit something every week. Sounds easy in theory but when you put that in context with real life, school–three part-time jobs and two other obligations (what doesn’t everyone do this much?)–time is often cut down to the wire.

But with all that said and done, I’ve enjoyed my internship tremendously. I learned to stalk like a pro, to employ innovative ways of reiterating the same thing, and to use the excuse: “Sorry, can’t! I have a deadline” flawlessly. I wouldn’t trade those quizzical stares from strangers on the street, late nights begging my muse to stop playing around or exasperated sighs from my friends at my lack of a social life, for anything.

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