I'm working on a 'popular article' that started out very much in the name of a grade, and has just blossomed into something so much more. That's such an ambiguous statement, but I'm not sure how else to frame it. I took a risk, I guess you can call it that, and asked someone that I have recently become very aware of and equally intrigued by to take a chance on me. I asked for an interview, pretty much on a whim, thinking the worst thing that could come out of was a harsh "hell no" type of scenario. Amazingly, he agreed, despite having no real reason to not assume I was a complete single-white-female-stalker chick and this wasn't going to turn into some sort of fatal attraction situation [besides my identifying myself as attached to a grad school, which I'm pretty sure he just took me by my word on].
Well I'm not [psychotic] and this isn't [daytime television].
I've already gotten so much out of the experience and I'm still knee deep in it. I like to think of myself as a fairly non-addictive personality - I don't even have the energy to play dress up for the Twilight midnight opening night, and I LOVE the series - but I am OBSESSED with this whole process.
Everything from the research, to the actual interview itself, to the combing through the recording [play.stop.rewind. repeat. repeat. repeat. play], to the first draft, to the complete overhaul I did this afternoon, and the critiques and edits, all of it. There's so much that goes in to writing a piece like this. Yes, in a sense you're still writing it for yourself and a particular audience [and in my case a professor standing in the way of an actual audience], but it's also about the subject. I'm doing a profile on an actual person, not an ambiguous object or a lofty idea/theory, and you want to be able to do that person justice; to really tell their story in a way that represents them honestly. There are so many positions and angles that you can take on a project like this, it's up to the writer to find a theme in the story and take a set of information and turn that into a 5 page or however long depiction of someone's life.
There's definitely a certain element of pressure, but it's quite thrilling and humbling at the same time. I'm very excited/eager to see what the end product looks like.