It’s really hard looking at a blank page. It’s intimidating. It’s a bit scary. I’m worried those first few words will set the tone for the whole page, and probably the next page, and maybe all the pages after that too.
For me, bordering on obsessively compulsive as it is, I evaluate the success of that first page based on how neat it is. I assess the consistency of the form of my words and my letters. I look at the form of each line and each paragraph and whether the form starts to fall apart as my eye moves further down the page. Does the last paragraph look lazy and tired when compared with the first?
Last September, I worked for a month as an (unpaid) intern for a women’s digital magazine. The prospect was initially exciting – I had discovered this particular website through Pinterest. Their Pins littered my feed and their apparent popularity was enticing. Thousands of followers, thousands of repins. Their aesthetic was sleek, polished, glamorous, wholesome, cool. I’d jumped at the opportunity to join them as an editorial intern for a month (expenses paid, they initially advertised, although this didn’t actually pan out).
I was an aspiring writer, keen to write about women and women’s issues, keen to find a platform that exclusively focused on women and women’s issues. Maybe a startup women’s digital magazine, like this one, was my future?