I have had the opportunity within the past couple months of writing for my University of Cincinnati’s college newspaper, The News Record. It’s mostly work in hard news, and encompasses an extremely journalistic style of writing.
At first, I felt a bit out of my element. I was used to research paper essays that were 10 and 20 pages long, creative works and poetry, flowery language and flow-y transitions. I truly feel my voice continues to live within the confines of those realms. The reality is you tend to lose a voice when writing hard news in this way.
The first article I ever wrote came back with red marks, and slashes though entire lines..."fix AP style", "we don't capitalize a person's title here", "no transitions", "we'll just change this flowery language"...
You can imagine my surprise as a student who has excelled within all writing aspects of my life, been a 4.0 student for…well, forever…and has had multiple papers returned with phrases such as, ”Future Writer,” ”You should consider writing in the future,” and “You should be a writer” written atop them in red ink.
Well, I will be honest with you my fair-weathered friends, while I was frustrated, I also loved it. Although I do feel that more creative, opinionative, and persuasive pieces are my forte, my writing for the newspaper has been an excellent learning experience. I succeeded within a few articles-time to create and transform a new facet to my writing which I have never explored before.
It’s like when you receive a professor who refuses to give A’s and consistently tells you what you are doing wrong. It’s maddening, but also exhilarating.
I love a challenge…when I don’t get an easy A…when a teacher doesn’t just brush me off or placate me that my writing is perfect…because I can tell you, it’s not.
Never become complacent as a creative and believe that something you write or create is wonderful or doesn’t need any work. If you do, I will have to tell you…it is quite possible that you have lost your touch.
My advice to every writer…Never be satisfied. Thirst for more. More in life, more knowledge, more skills, more in your writing