What were your responsibilities?
I was the editorial intern at Man Repeller so my tasks were pretty wide-ranging, which provided a necessary variety each day. I did anything from pitching and publishing my own stories, to transcribing interviews, to optimizing SEO and taking care of other more technical “back-end” duties. I also supervised reader engagement to make sure the comments section of MR remains constructive and generally supportive in terms of reader-to-reader relations.
How were you influenced by your time there?
I learned a lot at Man Repeller, in both the realms of applied skills, in a less tangible sense. In terms of applied skills, I was able to learn about SEO (Search Engine Optimization), how to think about and apply business- terms for the blog’s monetary trajectory, and simpler things such as the most efficient way to transcribe long interviews, which was useful when editing MR Roundtables and It’s Kind of a Funny Story. The latter is their interview series on couples in the fashion industry.
However, I’d say the most valuable learned skills were time-management and a flexible attitude. The fast-paced nature of the internet, when paired with the relentlessly forward-thinking nature of fashion, means that there is little time for reflection. It is critical to get a story out at exactly the right time, and even more important to be able to make the decision to cut it if necessary.
I was fortunate to sit in on MR editorial meetings and see how flexible the editors were about storylines. It is very easy to be idealistic about a piece, but I learned from Leandra and Amelia Diamond, MR’s Deputy Editor, how to keep audience and purpose in mind, in order to convey my ideas in the most useful way.
Was your writing influenced by your time at MR?
My writing was certainly influenced by my time at MR. Generally, I would say the MR voice is different from my “regular” writing voice, if that makes sense. This, I think, has a lot to do with the pace of the internet, as mentioned. Often Leandra or Amelia would request that I cut the first couple hundred words of my pieces and start with one of the sentences I wrote in a middle paragraph. There’s really no space to set the scene for many, many words. Plus, readers lose attention and the goal is to deliver an opinion or information as efficiently as possible.
I am not really sure whether or not I have “my” writing style down yet, so I had a lot of fun trying to write to the MR voice, and also trying to find my own voice within a larger one.