OPINION: Introducing ... Intern Julianne McGee!
My name is Julianne McGee, and I’m the summer intern at the Burleson Star. I am 17 years old and will be a senior at Centennial High School next year. I’ve lived in Burleson for most of my life, and I’m excited about this opportunity to share stories about this wonderful town.
I’ve always had a passion for writing. When I was seven years old, I was inspired by a book I had read and decided to write a story of my own. I spent weeks crafting this short story, spending my time in class writing this story instead of doing my math worksheets or my science readings. I was so engrossed in creating this story that I even wrote during recess and would bounce ideas off some of my friends. I was unbelievably proud of that story and I shared it with everyone I could. Writing this story made me happier than anything else I had done. This four part short story truly launched my journey in writing.
I kept writing through out elementary and middle school, creating poetry and even more short stories. However, writing wasn’t my only passion. I began playing piano at age six and guitar at eight. Music played a large role in my life, allowing me to create personal goals and teaching me how to challenge myself to become better at whatever I do. When I was fourteen, I decided that I would mold my love for writing and music together and try my hand in songwriting.
I played the very first song I wrote at the Kerr Middle School talent show my eighth grade year. I won first place, but that didn’t really matter in my mind. What truly mattered is that I had finally found my niche as both a creative writer and a musician. I felt that I had finally found my calling in life, and began to pursue songwriting.
During the summer following that performance, I had the wonderful opportunity to attend the Real Life, Real Music songwriters camp in Austin. I got to write with two Grammy winning artists, Terri Hendrix and Lloyd Maines, and was able to record anything I had written that week in Cedar Creek Recording Studio. At the end of the week, everyone at the camp got to perform together at the Gibson Guitar Studio in downtown Austin.
This experience was incredibly influential to me as a writer, as I was able to find a community of writers to work alongside. Songwriting is an odd hobby for a teenager, and none of us attending the camp had friends in our hometowns that shared this passion. Everyone at the camp became quick friends and we bonded through the experience of creating stories through music. We still stay in touch and write music together to this day.
This songwriting camp also opened my eyes to the songwriting business and taught me that it’s possible to have a successful career in that field. I began to pursue songwriting with renewed vigor, thinking that a career in songwriting was my destined path in life. After a few years of songwriting, I began to second guess this. Did I truly love songwriting, or did I just enjoy the creative writing process? Is songwriting going to be my entire future, or should it just be a hobby?
I began to think back on my experiences as a writer, searching for what made writing such and instrumental piece of who I am. I searched my heart and I realized that what makes me truly love writing is my desire to create that are worth sharing. I love sharing stories, whether that be through creative writing or through my songwriting, and I’m excited to take this passion into a new path: journalism.
Journalistic writing will be a completely new experience for me. I am very excited to develop my writing style and broaden my understanding of the world of journalism. I’m also looking forward to the opportunity to share my writing with the community. I will also be applying my love for sharing stories by using other mediums, such as photography and with the Burleson Star Live radio show.
Here at the Burleson Star, I hope to learn more about the process of creating a weekly newspaper. I’m also looking forward to seeing different parts of the community I’m not exposed to in my life as a high school student. By the end of my time here at the Burleson Star, I hope to have stretched myself by taking on new challenges and to have shared thoroughly engaging stories.