How A Writing Internship Became My Gurukul To Get Real

Posted: September 4, 2017

Despite a demanding full-time job, I decided to take up a writing internship. Here’s the how, what and why of it.

“What are your hobbies?”
“I like reading books, singing etc” and a small voice within me added, “Writing.”

Women’s Web had by then touched my heart and mind with their women-centric and women’s point of view articles. Last year, when I landed on their announcement that they were looking for interns, it looked a very tempting offer.

Writing has always been something I liked doing but here was an opportunity to get constructive and real feedback which was my key perk for wanting to do it. I wanted to grab this writing internship and dropped an email as suggested and sent samples of my writing from my blog.

When the editor called me for an interview I could hear her being skeptical from the beginning because I had a full time job. A full time job is something which these days means 24/7 for most people because of which people even forget to give themselves ‘me’ time.

I always used to make time to read a lot and then whenever opportunity presented, write. It used to be simple newsletters and blogs at the workplace, a poem for a kid for some topic, a story for a niece etc etc. What I realized through all these avenues is that I really liked writing – I liked the research involved, getting to know people and the final shaping of the story with words. Then friends pushed me to start my own blog which I did, with topics from personal experience and some short stories. However one thing I didn’t know always was, “Can I write?”

This was one question I wanted answered and a writing internship with people who are experts in that field is a dream come true. I replied during the conversation that yes, I do work and that I will write even with targets around it. Somewhere, the editor heard the urge in me and was convinced that I would dedicate time for this too.

Making the writing internship work

Interview done I was given the internship and I was assigned a mentor and then started 3 months of training and learning. This internship definitely meant articles to be submitted on time, and even re-doing an entire article as it doesn’t make sense after receiving feedback; it also meant when you are sitting for a day wondering how to start, your mentor realizes what’s happening and gives you the right push.

The mentor relationship is key for any internship and though I started with not knowing how I would do this, I ended up quite happy with how she was able to bring out some of the aspects of my writing which I didn’t know existed at all.

As I joined during the time of Father’s Day my first few articles were on that and I got to interview two ‘hands-on’ fathers for this. Getting to know many successful women entrepreneurs was something that brought a huge revelation to me as to how many people are working on their ‘dreams’ . The article closest to my heart would be the one on women athletes from India who represented us at Rio Olympics. The thought, research and final writing of this article was an Adrenalin rush throughout.

The ending of three months was an enlightened but sad moment for me. It was like ending of schooling and letting you go into the world to do your own thing.

“What are your hobbies?”
“I like to read, sing and I love to write as it gives expression to my thoughts.”

The confidence to say this was my marks!
As they say, we should take up every opportunity to learn something new. You never know when you will use it but the learning stays and would come out at a time when you don’t realise it.

So this was one more feather of learning I added to my cap, and it is here to stay.

Women’s Web internships are periodically updated here. Stay tuned!

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