Well, well, well, blog post, we meet again. Here I am, faced with a blank post and so many possible things to write about. I guess the solution is to tackle them one at a time, as with any good to-do list. It is boring; it is basic; it may be irrelevant, but someday I will thank myself for having written it down (I think).
Christianity Today. Okay. Here we go. Christianity Today is actually a group of publications, including Leadership Journal, Today’s Christian Woman, Preaching Today, and others. Christianity Today magazine is the flagship publication, and will henceforth be referred to as CT. At CT, I am the editorial resident. I work with the news editors to report, write, and edit stories for both print and online. If you go to the website and you look at the “Gleanings” sidebar, bask in the awe that is (mostly) my work (Alternatively, you can click the “Christianity Today” link at the top of my page to see a list of all my published work, which I’ve kept mostly updated…until the last few days). My editor sends me interesting stories, then I aggregate the news reports from other sources into a single post. Aggregate is good journalist jargon to say that I don’t actually do the reporting, I just collect it from other people who did (And thaaaat’s the state of modern journalism for you!).
Obviously, the more rewarding work for me comes when I get to write. My editor assigned me my first true news story on my second day at work — and I was so nervous and anxious to impress him that I turned it around almost immediately and gave him a draft that night. Since then, I’ve learned that CT is very different from my previous journalistic experiences (read: The Washington Post); deadlines are a bit…lacking here. Because we’re a thought-oriented magazine, in other words, we can take our time and we won’t lose any race to reach readers.
Really, that’s been a huge challenge to me. I like to be busy. I like the challenge of pressing in on sources to nail down a story. I enjoyed the fast pace of daily, online journalism at the Post, but I also burned out on reporting while I was there. And I have to remind myself of that fact, that it’s one reason I picked CT. I wanted to see if I could flourish at a publication that allowed me to take a little more time.
And because CT is a monthly magazine, I’ve often got a lot of time on my hands — both at work and otherwise. I went from the college-induced state of constant overdrive to a job where I was forbidden (prohibited, banned, etc) from working outside of the 8 a.m.-to-4:30 p.m. workday for which I am paid. What do people even do in their evenings if they don’t work and don’t have homework? And how do they handle the thought of doing it (whatever “it” is, because I don’t know yet) forever?
I’ve become accustomed to more laid-back evenings spent curled up with a mug of tea and a book. I’ve read some good ones — Don Miller’s Blue Like Jazz, C.S. Lewis’s Mere Christianity, Kathryn Stockett’s The Help, Carlos Ruiz Zafon’s Shadow of the Wind, … the Bible (you know). Even a night spent going out to church (like tonight) seems like a big plan.
Yes, I’ve become that person.
But not really. It’s just hard to meet people. Three weekends ago I went on a 20s-group retreat with about 250 other people from Willow Creek Church’s Axis community, where I am doing a small group. That’s how I’ve met people so far, but I think I’m just unaccustomed to making friends without school. It’s like (how I imagine) dating. Can I just call a girl up and ask her to coffee? But I, like, don’t really know her, I tell myself…and for all the times I’ve told guys, “Just ask already,” I now humbly eat my words.
Hmm. All right. This is a good stopping point; more (as always) to come. No profound thoughts or big heartfelt sentiments in this post. Just needed to start writing again. Writing that isn’t for CT, I mean. I guess that’s a good sign: I’m not burnt out yet :)