14 July 2009

Why Journalism is Great: A Third Grade Paper

Well, it's not exactly but I initially just wrote the first part of the title and it sounded too juvenile to not make fun of.

I was just sifting through some websites, wondering if I made the right decision applying to the Journalism major (finally) at my college when it dawned on me that journalism is the key to every door I could possibly want to open. If I was this clear minded while writing my application essay, I would be far more certain of my actual chances of acceptance.

I had been slightly skeptical of declaring a major for a while now because of my desire to do several other things and specifically, not be tied down to any one profession for the rest of my life. Earlier in my years I had considered acting (which I still consider everyday actually) and some type of hosting situation - along with traveling and writing short stories. I've also always had a deep rooted place in my heart for fashion of all kinds but never the ambition to pursue any particular career in the field. Lately though I've found myself obsessed with fashion blogs, photographs, and reading fashion-related essays both online and in magazines. Strangely, this first led me to believing journalism might not be the right track for me. How could journalism help me advance in any of these other areas I'm interested in?

I'm stupid.

Journalism is the only thing that can help me. When writing for a fashion magazine or blog, you get to completely indulge in all areas of that market and same for a music magazine or any genre for that matter. With a Journalism degree, I have the option of still focusing on any career I'd like, clearly not just the news. While I enjoy my style of writing which I think is kind of strange and personal, I definitely need to let go of some excess words I use and the frequent 'cliches'. I need my writing to become a little more succinct and direct. These stylistic problems are easily solvable with the help of a university full of excellent teachers.

To be completely honest, I'm not interested in the typical journalism career path. I don't think I have the capacity to do formal interviews with world leaders or write an entire article on one topic that may not interest me very much. I want to do what I want to do, if that makes sense. I most enjoy reading stories or articles that focus on a real human being. I like to hear people's secrets or little anecdotes about their life. My favorite books have always been non-fiction, specifically autobiographies, and I feel like those kinds of silly yet completely enthralling life tales are the ones I want to be a part of.

Chuck Klosterman's book 'Killing Yourself to Live' absolutely transformed the way I thought a book could be written and unintentionally defined what I want to do for a living - or at least part of my living. I need to write a book about my ridiculous, kooky thoughts on music that has shaped my life. And I don't want to be selfish either. I want to write another book (perhaps a sequel after the first one does so well) with individual chapters dedicated to other people's musical tales. If I were to do any interviewing, it would be with regular people who have these extraordinarily beautiful stories filled with their first kiss set to a cheesy song in an Oldsmobile or a first dance on their wedding night that had been planned for years in their head. Especially, I want to hear the really strange stories I can't even think up - maybe an album that changed someone's life or made them move to Ireland... whatever, you know?

I'm sure it's been done before and I'm positive it's at least been thought of before but since music is one of the most innate creations in our universe, I think it's worth exploring over and over again. I think these same thoughts on love as well - attraction specifically. For years, I've wanted to write a weekly or daily column dedicated to attraction of all kinds. As a person that has always been attracted to the wrong guys or at the very least, the weirdest guys, I want to find out other people's take on why they love what they love. Everyone finds something attractive or lovable and I want to know why. Once again, I know I'm not the first person to come up with this idea but I want to be one of the people to go further and listen to the everyday people that are just as fascinating as the celebrities we always hear about except there's way more of them and they're far more relatable. You don't need US Magazine trying to tell you that "stars are just like US!" when you have real, spectacular people with dynamic voices that actually are just like you and want to share their experiences as well.

I sat in Urban Outfitters the other day for probably more than a half hour staring at all the shoppers going up and down the stairs. Some were beautiful, some were lost, some were listening to headphones completely oblivious to their surroundings, etc. All of them told me a thousand things without saying a word. It's like... unbelievable. It is like nothing else. I love the elements we are all made up of. While I can't be a scientist or researcher, I can certainly put my own spin on some of the daily human quirks we all have and write about them in a sensitive, sincere way.

This directly leads to acting as well. I have taken acting classes for a million years now. Since the first day I was able to recall thoughts, I wanted to be an actor. Before I even understood exactly what that meant, I just knew I wanted to entertain people, get attention, and express emotions on a higher level. When I finally did come to understand what the acting industry equated to, I decided that deliberately seeking out competition is not in my blood and I would be better off sticking to being me. Lately though, I've been having second thoughts. I by no means want to audition for anything or be a part of an ensemble or have any freaking camaraderie with a 'fun group of wacky pals' or anything but I do miss simply acting - minus all the sideshow freak stuff. Talking about observing people's quirks and interesting habits makes me think of how much I love them so much and want to have a chance to be everyone I've ever met for even just a second. It fascinates me way too much.

This could also be why I so easily become obsessed with the people I believe to have the most interesting quirks and habits of all. They consume my entire brain with the curiosity that floods in.

So basically, as of today, some of my goals would be:

- write two books: one in a Chuck Klosterman-type style focusing on my own musical exploits (non-fiction, funny, possibly short story format, filled with phenomenal playlists, suggestions, and possibly a place for the reader to fill in their own life changing playlists as well); the second book focusing on other people's stories based in music. For this I would interview hundreds of people all over the country (I think I'd stick to just this country at first) and choose twenty or so to write detailed chapters on filled in with my views of their tales and descriptions I picked up within each interview.

- write a column in a newspaper or magazine focusing on attraction among all kinds of people. I would want to find out about everything, from the most common forms of attraction to the oddest couples you could think of (maybe even relationships that work involving more than two people). I'm so interested in finding out about other forms of love besides the conventional man/woman, same age, same background sort of love that is probably not as common as one would think. I'm sure there are tons of kinky, peculiar-yet-not kinds of attraction happening all over the world. I want to share those stories.

- Express big emotions.

That's about it. I think journalism is perfect for me. I hope my college thinks so too.

One more thought: I LOVE how a song creeps up on you when you least expect it. I have had the same playlist on this blog for months now and suddenly "Skinny Love" came on and gave me chills. I've heard it a bunch of times but the colder temperature in my office right now mixed with the eerie opening chords of the song just blew my mind. How can that be possible? The earthly elements surrounding a song change the song into something new. How absolutely hypnotizing.

1 comment:

Victor Valentine said...

You should write a book. I would read it, Maven.