This blog has been contributed by Ramya Ramalingam, Student Editor of Issue 20 (september-October 2014) of ParentEdge.
Around April 2013, I started writing short articles for ParentEdge magazine, though I wasn’t yet an intern. I’d always liked writing, but my works were usually unadulterated and raw and I hadn’t honed my writing skills before I was given this opportunity. However, when I started writing articles for ParentEdge, I was given interesting but slightly challenging themes to write about such as “Good Homestays in India” and “Child-friendly Restaurants”, and I realised that I would have to work much harder than I had before. A lot of work went into my first few articles, mostly because it was a completely a new experience. I had to research about quite a lot of places and things, shortlist a few names, write two to three drafts for each article, edit each draft multiple times as well as try to keep to the deadlines given to me by the editor of Parent Edge, Mrs. Kritika Srinivasan.
But gradually, as I grew used to the routine, I found my writing improving and my style bettering. My vocabulary had increased and it no longer took that much time to construct the body of an article and write about it. I also felt more comfortable with whatever topics I was given, no matter how unprepared I was.
My association with ParentEdge began when I won one of their book-review contests. I requested them to consider me for writing a few articles for the magazine and they agreed. Gradually, the size and number of articles that I was to write increased.
Then, around the October of 2013, I got offered an internship with the magazine, meaning I would have to write bigger, more main articles, which required inputs from experts. This in turn implied that I would have to interview multiple persons. Again, this upped the ante. I had never taken an interview before, and just before the first one, my stomach was a writhing bag of nerves. But after I started, I realised that it wasn’t as hard as I’d thought. I mean, I did make quite a few mistakes, such as not asking the interviewee any impromptu questions (other than the ones I had already prepared) as well as not listening as keenly as I should have. Luckily, I had the interview recorded, as suggested by Kritika, and listened to it multiple times while writing the article. Of course, mistakes are the road to learning, and I tried to keep my numerous errors in mind for my next interview. To my surprise, I was almost not scared at all when I called the next expert and it was overall a much better interview than the previous one.