Demand for Good Storytelling


Before graduate school, I could only articulate my professional goals in a way that felt insufficient. I wanted to be a writer. I did not know any writers who made a living out of it, so in essence, I felt as if my aspirations were to be unemployed or marry rich. I'm far from either of those scenarios.

I still want to be a writer and dammit, I'm going to make a living out of it!

Though, for those of you living outside of my own head, I've learned to frame my goals slightly differently that begs an opening for more employment opportunities: I want to be a storyteller. Good stories need to be told in film, magazines, community newspapers, social media, and even, yes, video games.

The demand for good storytelling is not going anywhere. I've been lifted up by book's like  Jonathan Gottschall's "The Storytelling Animal: How Stories Make us Human" and Jonah Sach's "Winning the Story Wars: Why Those Who Tell (and Live) the Best Stories Will Rule the Future." 

We are, as a species, addicted to story. Even when the body goes to sleep, the mind stays up all night, telling itself stories.
— Jonathan Gottschall, The Storytelling Animal: How Stories Make Us Human

Storytelling is the skill I want to carry with me in my long journey of making a living.

With that, there are two publications I would love to someday contribute. The first is The New Yorker magazine. I grew up with it in my home, my father wanting to keep in touch with his New York roots in Vermont. When I started making my own salary after college, subscribing to the magazine was one of the first adult decisions I made. At first, I read only the fiction section, where I discovered authors like Junot Diaz reading "Miss Lora". Mostly I've read stories by lesser known authors but ones whose writing left me desperate to be that good.

I moved past the fiction and came to read each issue cover to cover, because the writing from movie reviews to Talk of the Town is clean, sharp, and funny. 

But let's be realistic in my fantasy, The New Yorker is the kind of goal to be attained once one's storytelling career is established. So what will come before?

I would like to contribute to a fast growing, innovative media company, like BuzzFeed. I used to share catchy Buzzfeed stories with friends about 21 photos of cats being jerks or Ryan Gosling memes. Seriously. It is what the company did best. Now, stories include more in-depth reporting like "Fostering Profits" by BuzzFeed news reporter, Aram Roston, and news data editor, Jeremy Singer-Vine. The two investigated the largest for-profit foster care company in the country, National Mentor Holdings, after the murder of two-year old Alexandria Hill by her foster parents in July.

A quick peek at the company's openings and a long list in Editorial awaits. Knowing that a company is hiring for several reporting positions is always a good sign. 

If I were writing this from sunny California (yup, still here in snowy Boston) I'd be praising HBO and only discussing TV and film.

Because I am in Boston, there is no closer ambition than writing for The Boston Globe. The 68 Blocks series in 2012 influenced my decision to apply to journalism school and reading stories like "Survivors tell of carnage at Marathon finish line" by top Globe reporters are my daily guide in how to write and report well.

There we are. A few aspirations told from my small corner at Northeastern.


Emily TurnerComment