Kenzie Waldon

MY STORIES:

MY BLOG:

At the beginning of this semester, I didn’t know what else I could learn about writing. After all, (insert sarcasm here) I was already an established music writer at a local magazine; what more could I learn about the craft of writing a story? I am pleased to say that I couldn’t have been more wrong. The information and advice I’ve obtained in this course has boosted my writing skills more than I could have ever thought. 

One thing in particular that I realized came from our designated textbook for this class, “Writing as Craft and Magic.” One of the first assigned readings made the distinction between the definitions of a writer and a reporter. The epiphany I had with this new token of information is that I lean more toward a writer mentality that borders on journalism more than I do with reporting. While I love to tell stories about the community around me, I know my passion does not lie in churning out news on a daily basis. I like to take my time with pieces to fully indulge myself in the content while also staying as creative as I can with it. A daily news reporter has more restrictions than my creative writer brain could ever handle for a long period of time. 

Our focus on beat reporting this semester has helped my professional career by teaching me how to balance writing four feature stories at a time. Right before the semester started, I was offered the opportunity to write my first feature stories for SLUG Magazine on two different bands for the Virtualized Showcase. I was progressively writing these features while also developing my two enterprise stories for this class. The overlap made my workload immense but ultimately taught me how to manage my time for possibly similar future scenarios. One of the most difficult parts about it, though, was the worry that I wouldn’t be able to give my full attention to each piece to make sure that each article was getting the proper attention and representation that it deserved. I’ve found that a lot of panic and hope goes into being a professional storyteller. But the satisfaction of seeing your hard work published for the world to see is an unmeasurable and addictive feeling.

I plan to continue with my involvement in reporting on the African American and other marginalized communities after my academic career is over. It’s important for a community to be properly represented and given a platform to spotlight the positivity that supports our diverse public. At the moment, I am a music writer for SLUG Magazine, and I will make sure in all future endeavors where I’m reporting on a community that I’m not casting out any minority groups that may have been overshadowed by my own blinded ignorance. It’s important to dive deep in the smaller communities of Utah so our cultural diversity can grow and Utah can be seen for the developing diverse state it is becoming.

ABOUT ME:

My name is Kenzie Waldon and I am a junior at the University of Utah on the Journalism track in the Communication department with a minor in Creative Writing. I am a music writer for SLUG Magazine, a local publication dedicated to spotlighting the underground community of Utah. I’m also the recipient of the Robert K. Avery Scholarship for the 2021-2022 academic year. If I’m not working on school or writing, I’m singing and playing guitar in the glam rock band Slick Velveteens or at home cuddling my two dogs.