This website was archived on July 21, 2019. It is frozen in time on that date.

Sonya Mann's active website is Sonya, Supposedly.

Being Mentored by the Longform Podcast

I am a young writer by every definition, twenty-one and relatively inexperienced. My ideas for my career are half-formed. Accordingly, this is an education-heavy portion of my life, which is good. I’m not going to college like many of my peers, but I am actively learning and developing myself as an editorial professional (broadly speaking).

the Longform podcast

Part of that is working, part of it is reading, and an increasingly large part is listening — not only to people in my “real” life, but also listening to wise strangers who aren’t addressing me specifically. For instance, I pay close attention to the journalists interviewed by Max Linsky, Aaron Lammer, and Evan Ratliff on the Longform podcast. (Only a few months ago, I didn’t like podcasts, but that opinion changed quickly after I acquired a commute.)

I don’t have access to many professional writers in my “real” life. Sure, occasionally I hang out with Adam Brinklow and I got to meet Yael Grauer the other day, but mostly I encounter regular people with a bunch of different types of jobs. Which is fine — variety is the spice of life, right? Only interacting with one type of person would be like having salt on your food and eschewing all over flavors.

But I dearly want to feel connected to people who do the work I aspire to. The Longform podcast gives me a window into the circumstances and habits of journalists I admire, and it feels… nourishing. It makes me believe the career I’m in love with is possible.

It’s awesome that the internet enables this. I know it was technically possible back when people mainly read words on paper, but not in the same way, at the same scale, or on demand. In 1985 I couldn’t have Twitter-followed everyone who wrote an article I liked, to keep up with their future posts and maybe talk to them personally. Being able to do that is so cool — and it helps me stay motivated.

the internet is a ship
The Flying Dutchman by Dean Meyers.

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