The Craft: Alex Laughlin, Audio Producer @ BuzzFeed News
Welcome to our first feature of The Craft, a monthly series where we converse with women (like you!) and highlight the thoughtful, analytical, and creative methods behind the work we do. Read on to find out how Alex keeps herself cool and collected in the middle of the mess we call 2017 and how to share your Craft with us for the next round.
TUESDAY, DECEMBER 5
What is your name and what do you do? (Links welcome!)
Take us through 24 hours of your day in 4 sentences.
I hit snooze at least two times on my alarm before I can get out of bed. I spend the day chatting with reporters and collecting tape from the day’s breaking news before recording and producing the day’s episode in the late afternoon/early evening. I try to get home at a reasonable hour and maybe even cook myself dinner (this is rare, let’s be real). I always end my day by going through my skincare routine and then reading in bed with my twinkle lights on.
Tell us one or two ways you practice self-care amid the workflow, whether your outlet is creative, therapeutic, or methodical.
Because of my job, my mental state is unfortunately super closely aligned with the news cycle. When things start getting intense and I feel myself spiraling, I will delete Twitter off my phone completely, either for a day, the weekend, or a full week. I’ve found that taking my focus offline whenever possible has been really helpful in keeping me feeling like a real human being.
I also *live* by my journal. I always have it with me; it’s like my safety blanket. I don’t do anything special in it — it’s not a bullet journal, and it isn’t particularly pretty. But it’s where I go to dump lists, brainstorms, tarot readings, inspiring quotes, and midday freakouts. I feel so much more comfortable just having it by my side throughout the day.
What do you do to sharpen your craft or hone in on your skills?
I work with some producers who are always offering advice and critiques that make me better at what I do technically. But I also think it’s really important to stay inspired by media and art — and to pay attention to what lights you up. When I feel myself getting into a rut, I will spend a day walking around my neighborhood by myself, listening to podcasts, going to museums, watching movies, or listening to music. I tend to feel that the energy that motivates creativity is consistent across mediums, so the more in touch you are with that energy, the better.
You’re taking off for the vacation/staycation of your dreams: what does your Out of Office message say?
Hello! If you’re getting this message, I am in the woods without internet access. I will be returning to civilization next week. Please direct any urgent requests to the many competent people on my team. ✌
Sound like something you want to be a part of? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org with your name, what you do, and a little bit of the how, and we'll be in touch with more information. Reach out, we're listening.