I did not spend a long time writing “news.” At The Daily, the label news had a very restrictive, stiff, starched meaning. The definition was unwilling to yield, yet desperate for some breath. When I started at The Daily, I thought I would write Arts and nothing else. Maybe some Leisure, here and there.
Finally, the Ferguson rallies happened in Seattle. One night, during her last quarter as Photo Editor, Ana had given me a ride home from work. It was late, but it was the night of the march. Even though things had almost piddled out, and we had missed the meatiest parts, Ana and I drove to Downtown anyway. She took photographs — some of the pics ended up in her portfolio — and I scribbled notes down on my reporter’s pad. For a story I wasn’t even writing. But I wanted to write it. And that’s when I decided I wanted to write for news.
My first stories were the best: They had my “arts writing” flair. I noticed human interest notes and stuck to some details I liked the most. But after a while of writing in the genre, my work fell apart. It no longer became about the people, and my ability to spin a story fell sick.
I liked the idea of being able to tell people’s stories, stories that were vastly different from my own. I can never write about being black, about being gay, about so many other things. But instead I could tell other peoples’ stories for them. I could be the vehicle, the way. (Danielle, you’re in the way. Fuck you, I am the way.)