Friday, August 27, 2010

The Abroadest

Most everybody knows that I write for that slightly off-the-wall, not-quite-politically-correct, liberal-as-they-get, alternative school newspaper the martini. (We don't capitalize the 'm'. Just...we don't.) I inherit layout this year, but before I get to that, I have something else that I inherited.

I'm going abroad.

Which shouldn't be news to anybody.

The point of this is that before I can get to play with Microsoft Publisher, I'm going to be writing more than a few articles until the title of The Abroadest. The column is officially unofficially titled A Word from Not-America (read the disclaimer/warning in the first sentence of this post) and tells about life across the ocean. A pretty cool concept when you think about it, getting that global perspective of things.

Only, there's some issues at the moment.

The first is that Ashley, the wonderful whip-wielding editor-in-chief has decided that we're going to be completely batshit and awesome this year and put out an edition in the first week of school, in time for the Club Fair held on the quad. Probably so that people know what they're getting themselves into and yeah, welcome to college. Due to this fact, my first article as The Abroadest is going to come while I'm still on American soil, and probably have something to do with pre-abroad jitters. That's fine - I've got plenty of those.

My issue is that I am having the damndest time actually writing this thing.

I've started twice. That should tell you something.

I have no problem writing fiction pieces and letting the world look at them, read them, and possibly rip them apart. That's not an issue. I'm a little more selective about the stuff I use for publication in what's really a journalistic fashion. And, really, unless you write for The Herald or can't stand martini in any way, everybody on campus reads it. Even the professors. Hell, everybody from the newest of the first-years all the way to the president reads it.

Should give you an idea of the audience.

And, because we're such a small campus, people will and can, recognize you when you go places - like the library, or the dining hall. Hang out with fellow staffers or have conversation with them, it's noticed. You're associated vicariously, and if you write something that's probably not quite up to snuff, they'll talk about that, too.

I'd like to be talked about in a good way - either that I've fostered conversation about something, or wrote something witty, fun, and that makes you think. Not because every English major on campus has the opinion that I shouldn't even write my own name.

If I didn't know what my editor would say, I'd ask her. She'll say, Write whatever. You're the Abroadest.

Not. Helpful.

Oh, and my second issue? Articles are due Sundays before we publish (we usually come out in the middle of the week) by noon. I have two days.

And I have the horoscopes to do, but those are fun to mangle. If we're not using the ones that some alum sent in, which, because horoscopes is also my job...not cool.

Then again, this column is now my job, and I think I'm so far failing miserably. Any hints that anybody has about writing for a journalistic deadline would be helpful.

Or, Louise could do what she's always done - write what comes to mind, edit it slightly, and let it fly. Fuh.


Anonymous said...

Write about what it's like to pack your life for a semester into 2 suitcases. Write about the weirdest batshit advice you've gotten from Great Auntie Muriel. Write about how hard it is to write this article because you simply have NO idea what to expect. And about putting your name on it, and having an association, finally, with your nonfiction writing--this is very true. You will no longer be anonymous. But it's a good thing. I think you're ready. And I won't let you print something I think is shit. Promise!!

Molly Louise said...

Thanks Ash.

"The difference between life and the movies is that a script has to make sense, and life doesn't."

-Joseph L. Mankiewicz