I remember when I attended my first SHOUT meeting, I was really nervous. Back then, I had not expected to come this far despite my shortcomings. Now, whenever I look back, I realise a substantial part of me has been moulded by my experiences at SHOUT. It is, perhaps, the same for all of us. Writing for one of the best youth publications of the country means that you are bound to face some unforeseen situations. Here are some of the things too familiar to SHOUT writers.
WORD SPREADING LIKE A POPULAR MEME
When my first write-up got published in SHOUT, I had only informed my mom because: 1) I didn't feel like an article reviewing bad movies was something to boast about, 2) I didn't want random relatives to call me up and congratulate me, and 3) I'm not comfortable with any kind of attention. However, despite my clear-cut request, my parents had drummed the news to the entire family and neighbourhood, and soon enough, even the aunties at my school who never knew me were gossiping about me.
PROOFREAD, PROOFREAD, PROOFREAD
Soon after a majority of my friends found out, I started getting requests to proofread their essays. Initially, I didn't mind because there were few requests. Soon more and more people, including complete strangers, started asking me to edit their work. There were school essays, college application essays, and what not. At one point, I felt tired, especially when people would ask me to proofread “urgently” when I was busy. I'm sorry I ignored and let all of you down. I am human, not a proofreading machine.
“CAN YOU GET ME/MY SON/MY DAUGHTER INTO SHOUT?”
This is something I keep facing frequently: people I know asking me to help them join SHOUT. The fact is, if you can write well, you are always welcome at SHOUT.
The best part of being a member of the SHOUT family is the messages we receive from our readers. They are always leaving feedback, encouraging us, and correcting us when necessary. However, that also leaves our inboxes vulnerable to spam and weird messages. The stalking on social media is another problem. It is understandable that you might want to get to know us, but there is a difference between networking and going overboard with your stalking. A good idea would be to rather leave wholesome messages or dank memes.
Zarin Rayhana likes to spend her time by pondering over alternative theories about the universe instead of studying for school. Send her your theories at email@example.com