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Decision Making: My Struggle As A Professional Writer

8:00 AM

I have an article I need to write, an interview I need to prepare for, and a day to start, but I can't do any of that without writing this first. At the end of 2013 I was offered a position as editor for an online magazine that's kinda dope. I jumped at the chance because I mean, who wouldn't? It's the opportunity of a lifetime and has opened some doors for me and has given me confidence to pursue a few things I'd been holding off on. However, as great as things are, there was one thing I never counted on when taking this position. I'm filtering myself.

One of the things I've always loved about Twitter is being able to say what I wanted when I damn well pleased. It's liberating to be able to use profanity, state my opinion, and laugh with old and new friends about the goings on in the world. When I decided that I was going to be a writer, and that this was going to be my career and not just a hobby, I kept thinking that maybe I needed to create a separate Twitter, one for Alana the writer/editor, and one for Alana, the girl who works and rants from time to time. Being the procrastinator that I am, I never got around to it, but that wasn't a problem, until recently.

My job as editor has caused some organizations to follow me, and share things that I tweet. Writers follow me in hopes of connecting, but they don't know who I am because I find myself filtering the things that I say. And it's exhausting as hell. During the Grammys, I held back, a lot. I didn't tweet the way I would have a year ago, I didn't make fun of Stevie Wonder hairline like I did just a couple of years ago, because priorities. The reality is, I have to watch what I say because there is a small chance I might end up interviewing some of the people I talk about and my tweets could come back to bite me in the ass. I don't want to show up to interview someone and have them hit me with, "yeah, I saw that tweet about my hair sliding off my scalp." I actually said that Stevie along with some other funny things. Anyway, could you imagine the horror of having someone throwing your words up in your face? That could make for a very awkward interview.

When I covered an event for the magazine, I was offered the chance to cover the red carpet as well as the event, and interview different celebrities that were there for the occasion. I remember a certain celeb getting angry and deciding that they were going to get off of the red carpet because they were tired of waiting for their chance to talk to the next media outlet. My fingers were itching to tweet the moment, but I couldn't because again, professional. I struggle with that even knowing what I know now. Sometimes I throw caution to the wind and decide to tweet my first thought anyway, or I retweet something that's slightly reckless because I think it's funny. I find it so hard to filter. Anyone who knows me knows that I can not be stifled. I would rather give  up my position as writer/editor than become a person that I don't even recognize. I've got to find a balance, I know this, but I'm afraid I'll always be left asking the question, where do I draw the line between personal and professional?

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