Photo courtesy of Soompi

Soompi [숨피]: your go-to news platform for all things Hallyu.

We all go through moments in our lives that affect us in many ways. Some of these moments’ impact is so tangible, you can only swear by them all year long.

Today, I’m going to share with you my story as a Features Writer for Soompi.

Introducing Soompi

Soompi is the world’s largest and longest-running English online media providing complete coverage of Korean pop culture. The platform was launched on March 27, 1998 when a K-pop fan named Soomp created what was originally a H.O.T. fansite, that later grew to become the Soompi we all know and love.

To this day, Soompi is K-pop fans’ first choice as a reliable source that brings us the latest Hallyu news. Recently, the veteran website celebrated its 20th anniversary

My Journey with Soompi

In early 2016, I developed an interest in Hallyu. To stay in the loop with the Korean wave, Soompi was my informational weapon of choice.

On November 2, I was racing against time to finish proofreading my dental thesis in order to graduate in December. That’s when a Twitter notification popped on my phone, indicating that Soompi was hiring Features Writers.

The first reflex I had was to throw my thesis draft, pick up my computer and start working on my resume and cover letter. I reconnected with my passion for writing back in 2015, and combining it with my passion for Hallyu was truly an epiphany.

A few months later in early 2017, and after losing hope of being chosen, I got an email telling me that I made it to the next step of the hiring process. A week later, I was scheduled for a Skype interview, and on April 7, my very first article saw the light of day.

The Epitome of 2017

My position as a Features Writer has been a truly rewarding experience, and the sense of accomplishment that came with it has been humbly accompanying me for the past year.

Every time one of my articles was published, I literally felt a piece of my soul regenerate. No matter how many hardships came my way, the tweet bearing my next article was all I needed to chase away the negativity and welcome it with open clicks.

Yet, my most memorable one had to be my contact renewal, of which I was notified a week before a scheduled surgery. Being at my weakest quickly shifted to being at my strongest, because I always chose to look at the greener side of the fence.

Furthermore, I had the best support system I could ever ask for:

  1. My precious Hallyu squad, who always vouched for me ever since I posted my first awkward lyrics.
  2. My two bestfriends, who always encouraged me to be the writer I was meant to be.
  3. My family, who graciously celebrated my first anniversary with me today through a small family gathering that I unfortunately couldn’t have during my graduation day.

Soompi Perks

As if what I mentioned above didn’t make me feel blissful enough, I was blessed with a lot of outstanding events throughout my writing journey.

Epik achievements

One of my most cherished articles was a piece I wrote about Tablo, my spiritual mentor and role model, which resulted in him reading it and giving me a shoutout.

This wonderful gesture happened around 3AM, and my brain refused to go back to sleep afterwards. Plus, my phone was blowing up with congratulatory messages that lasted all day long.

This was literally a dream come true, because I have always wanted to have Tablo read my work. Perhaps next time, it’ll be a lyrics draft. *Wishful thinking*

ARMY duty

Being a hardcore fan of BTS, it goes without saying that featuring the band as well as every single BTS member in various articles was on my bucket list.

Most of my ideas were inspired by them, and I’m thankful they were approved. Today, I woke up to my first published BTS-centered article, a personality quiz, thus fulfilling my duty as a fervent ARMY.

Leaving my comfort zone

Aside from the usual features I write, I tried to challenge myself and attempt different content. In doing so, I got to try quizzes, a memey article, a couple of articles for Soompi awards and year-end reviews, and a feature for PyeongChang Olympics that I am very proud of.

Recently, I wrote a feature in celebration of Soompi’s 20th anniversary, which was truly an honor to partake in.

Discovering new colors

In order to come up with quality content, I did a lot of research and discovered a lot of hidden gems while doing so. Plus, I wrote about a lot of talented idols and hip hop artists, who blew my mind away with their music every time I got to know them a little bit more.

Soompi Stats

As of today, I have written over 35 articles that received a total of 396K shares, 30K interactions, and 1413 comments.

While numbers cannot measure the immense feeling of pride I’m experiencing at the moment, I am eternally grateful for all the feedback I have received so far: the good remarks made me grow, and the not-so-good ones made me reflect. 

What Soompi has taught me

Every passing day is an opportunity to learn something new, and Soompi has definitely taught me a lot. Some of the lessons I have received throughout the passing year include but are not limited to:

  1. Challenging myself and exploring my potential to improve myself as a writer.
  2. Learning to be as objective as possible in my writings.
  3. Appreciating all sorts of talent and getting to know a lot of incredible artists that dominate the different musical genres.

Future Goals

If there is anything I firmly believe in, it’s the fact that you can grow to be a better version of yourself every single day. With that in mind, I hope that I will engage in the K-drama world and write pieces that will be to the liking of Soompiers around the world in the near future.

My name is Esmee, I’m a Moroccan lively dreamer, writer, and Hallyu enthusiast. I’m a healer on occasion, and today I’m blowing my first candle as a Soompi writer.

That’s all for today! Feel free to contact me if you have any questions, and stay tuned for more Hallyu gems. Until I see you next time, thank you for reading me.

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