First and foremost, working on this story was a lot of fun. At times it was stressful and frustrating, and at times I felt like I would never be able to work my way out of it, I’d never be able to fully articulate everything I’d learned and make it into a succinct and informative story. And to that end, I think I’ve still got a long way to go.
Without a doubt, I’m proud of the story I managed to put together, but I can’t help but feel like it could have been better. Whether with more reporting, more time, or simply more knowledge of the intricacies of building journalistic stories, I feel like it could have been a better creation for the reader. But, I remind myself in such moments of doubt, that that is why I am here. To learn about these very things. To learn how to manage time, to find sources, to ask the right questions, to structure the right narrative, to include the right information.
I did really appreciate the chance to get to know this story though. I feel way more confident and comfortable when I can dig deep into a story and feel certain (or mostly certain) that I am doing my readers a service by telling them what they need to know in the best possible manner — when I don’t know a subject, I worry that I can’t possibly guide them through the swamp of information.
And just generally, I love long form. I’m a huge fan of the New Yorker and the New York Times Magazine and the Boston Review, so getting to participate in the creation of a bigger, more encompassing story (no matter how many thousands of words shorter it was than the journalism that I love most), was a real delight.