A little over a year ago, I received an email from Evelyn saying I was chosen to be a writer for Affinity Magazine. I had seen the opportunity pop up on Twitter and figured I’d give it a try. What I didn’t know was that I would begin what would be a fruitful, painful and amazing writing career for Affinity.
I didn’t really know what I was doing when I first got hired. I just had a computer and way too much free time on my hands. So I did what any normal 19-year-old would do; go on Twitter. I kept seeing tweets on how much of a trophy wife Ayesha Curry was and a lightbulb sparked above my head. The first article I wrote, on the unrealistic standards put on black women by being compared to Ayesha Curry, was something I wrote after I had finished my sophomore year in college. I didn’t, in any way, expect it to garner the attention it would attain after it was posted to Affinity’s Twitter page. The rush of receiving the reader feedback on the article, both good and bad, led me to write my second article on mental health in the black community. The praise and criticism was what kept me going
The summer of 2016 was a busy year to be a writer who talked about race relations in America. Philando Castile and Alton Sterling had just been murdered and I was in a state of hopelessness that only writing could seem to remedy, or at least alleviate. I wrote about the two as both a form of tribute and stress relief; it helped me cope. I managed to stay sane because of the plethora of articles I was able to write.
However, like many things we love, I grew apart from my writings. School had consumed my life at that point and I just didn’t have the time to give like I used to, but I still managed to post when I could. My last article, apart from this one, was a good one. I never really talked about how dangerous rejection was, even though I had plenty of opportunities to write about it in the past, so it was good to be able to finally do one.
Earlier this year, I was interviewed by CBS Interactive to serve as an editorial intern for the summer. I had mentioned my previous writing experience through my school, but I put particular emphasis on my writings with Affinity and how it gave me a passion for journalism, albeit at an amateur level. Now I’m happy to say I have now started my summer internship with CBS and I feel that I have everyone with Affinity to thank for it.
Now, on the cusp of my 21st birthday, I realize that I now have to pass the torch to a new line of younger and far more curious writers than I. I’ve cherished my time with Affinity and if I could pull off another year I would, but I need to move on in my career as a writer. To any of the current staff, new hires and aspiring Affinity writers, my best advice to you is to be creative and don’t be afraid to push the envelope when it comes to your writing. You get bad reviews sometimes, it happens, but don’t let it discourage you or your work ethic. Above all else make sure your work is professional and proofread; that professionalism is what will help you get a great writing job like I did. Don’t be afraid to add Affinity to your resume either because it definitely turns heads.
I want to thank Evelyn for taking a chance on a 19-year-old kid from Ohio, the many funny and passionate staff writers that I’ve had the opportunity to work with and, above all else, I want to thank the readers for giving me the drive to keep on pushing through. I’ll never forget you all. With that said, I give my sincerest goodbyes. Stay woke y’all.