JTP? For Me? I'm So Glad to Be Here
I wanted to take a bit of a departure from my typical video-game-obscurity writing, and pass on a sincere thanks to the JTP staff and editors.
I was chosen in week four, so I missed a good portion of the training. In any other situation, I would have been hopelessly behind and lost, but the editors made sure that I was able to literally dive right in from where I was.
I did have a slight advantage, as I have been both a writer and editor myself professionally, but I hadn't ever ventured into pure journalism before. Journalism and creative writing are really where my true desire/heart lies, but I've spent the last few years doing what pretty much everyone needs to do--making enough money to survive by writing articles and copy.
The JTP program was, firstly, a breath of fresh air after years of copyediting. At first, I struggled a little bit with my newfound freedom.
It was a little something like this inside my brain: "What do you mean there aren't assigned keywords and lengths? Choose my own topics? Are you nuts?"
But I jumped right into the pool, and lo and behold, I started swimming. My first article probably had quite a bit of fluff in it. I also wasn't aware that short articles were ok, so it was over 1200 words. I tend to write long anyway, so no big deal. Really, I think it's better to get in the habit of long form articles early (although fluff will always be fluff. Long form with concise info is great!) and then work shorter later on. I like to really dig into topics and try to find the obscure angles, so it worked for me.
Then the Great Flappy Bird Debacle of 2014 happened, and I wrote an article on it that quickly made the front page. Not kidding, I actually took screenshots of the first 10 articles on the homepage and maybe I shared it to Facebook with a link and then bragged extensively.
It's a proud thing to have your article on the homepage, regardless if all the promoted articles get there eventually or not.
The only regret I have is missing a few daily articles due to illness and work. Some days, I broach 18 hours of work...that's something I've worked on to make more time for Gameskinny in the future. That would be my number one advice for newbies; write every daily article, even if it has to be short and you think it's terrible or you're uninspired or you are bored, or hungry, or lazy, or busy...just write. A short article won't take you more than an hour, and the feedback you get will give you the skills you need to advance your writing. And eventually, you'll find your niche and comfort zone and it will be much more effortless.
I also had some funny experiences--like writing a Goat Simulator article, and accidentally posting it 28 times. The Great Goat Debacle of 2014 was quickly resolved, thanks to the talented IT staff.
It's been so much fun that I've decided to come back for another round. So I will get the full experience this time, right from day one.
Writing-wise, I learned to tighten up my writing, choose topics, and write to my audience, which is significantly different from writing for my typical audience. It was nice to write a little bit more casually, but my ability to research deeply certainly helped me out quite a bit. I feel a bit as if I'm not qualified to say much more than this, as I missed so much. Expect a follow-up at the end of the next eight weeks with full opinions.
In the mean time, I love it here...and they absolutely cannot get rid of me know. Really--I stuck my fingers to the keyboard with glue...oh....wait......
Hey...pssst. My header image is taken from The Oatmeal. You should totally check him out, he's awesome. The rest are from memegenerator or memecenter.