How I'm Staying Inspired and Productive As A Fashion Journalism Intern

Sunday, September 13, 2020

Many of you may know that journalism is something that I'm passionate about and would love to establish a career in, and so I have been interning as a contributing writer for The Manc's style section over the past few months. Not only has this been an incredible opportunity to gain more experience writing, but it has also given me a glimpse into the professional world of journalism while learning how to work effectively from home. I thought I'd share my top tips for staying productive and inspired during at-home internships for those of you who are also aspiring journalists looking to get started, so I hope that it's helpful!

Plan my week in advance
My week will often be filled with various other things aside from writing for The Manc, so scheduling my time is necessary. Even though my internship is quite relaxed with submission deadlines, I always try to do them as soon as possible and then plan the rest of my week accordingly. Although it only takes 2 minutes to roughly plan out what days of the week I'll be busy and which ones I'm free to work on articles, it'll save me a lot of stress later down the line. It's easy to feel like I'm in work-mode constantly when spending time at home, so I must plan effectively to ensure that I can meet deadlines whilst still being able to relax.

Choose areas of genuine interest and that spark passion to write about
Figuring out what I enjoy and bringing that to my work has made a massive difference for me, and this passion shines through in writing. As I'm not given a brief of what to write about and subsequently allowed a lot of creative control, I can quite often tailor my articles to specific interests and passions of mine. This is a massive help when I'm writing lots of pieces, as it never feels like a chore or burden when I genuinely enjoy the topics that I'm investigating.

Have an ideas bank to fall back on
When I'm pitching article ideas, I always try to think of things that are trending and related to Manchester (as that is what The Manc focuses on). However, it can sometimes be hard to think of various pitches each week, especially if I'm having a mental block, which is why I've created a massive list of ideas and topics that I can fall back on. This could be anything from a random trend that has become popular, a tweet or Instagram post that has inspired me or any random thoughts that could become an article. Not only are these useful to have when I need an extra idea or two, but quite often I find that an idea I wrote down a few months ago will now be much more relevant or have a whole new angle that I can explore. It's also worth hanging onto these, as the ideas I haven't used or The Manc have rejected can always be pitched elsewhere.

Lookout for new ideas and inspiration in my daily life
I'm always thinking about ideas for potential articles, regardless of what I'm doing. Whether I'm scrolling through social media, reading fashion magazines on my phone, going shopping or just observing what people are wearing when I'm out, my mind is creating possible pitches. A lot of my ideas have hit me when I've least expected it, so it's beneficial being alert and ready for any inspiration to come your way. Although I would be a bit cautious if you're reading a lot of magazine and newspaper articles for inspiration, as you don't want to end up copying their ideas by accident.

Divide my accounts
Following on from that, it's still important to know when to switch off. Whilst I'm always subconsciously making observations of trends, sometimes it feels good to step back and not have this at the forefront of my mind while I relax. I've found it helpful to make new social media accounts for journalism where I can follow many different brands, celebrities, magazines etc., that way I can easily flick onto this when I'm looking for ideas but I can also scroll through my personal accounts when I'm trying to relax and wind down. I also highly recommend making the most of Twitter lists, as they're a perfect way to categorise tweets and gain some separation between work and life.

Keep in regular contact with colleagues and team members
If you're doing your internship virtually or working from home like I am, it's really important to stay in touch with people who you are working with. This will help you keep track of any important updates and feedback for your work, plus it also creates a community atmosphere where you can support each other and collaborate on ideas. There's nothing better than the feeling of achievement when you're congratulated for an article that performed well, and likewise, it's great to cheer on your teammates and support their pieces.

I hope you enjoyed this blog post, and if there's anything you'd like to know about my internship, feel free to let me know in the comments or on my social media!

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