Scrolling through some PR blogs this morning I stumbled across this and I had to share. I sit all day long at my job and at school. Hours of homework, aimless internet browsing and a few favorite television shows keeps me sitting at night too. I’ve been wanting to make some changes and I think this might be a good motivator. Be right back, taking a lap or five around the office.
Having fully submerged myself in my major, I am taking almost all professional skills courses to prepare myself for a career in public relations. I’m loving it, but I am also becoming steadily more intimidated as graduation nears. My intensive strategic writing course in particular is giving me some serious anxiety.
“What is required to be successful in this field?” The anxious, but eager seniors hoping for a job directly after graduation ask every time we have a guest speaker in this class.
“Strong writing skills.” The awesome public relations professional with a stellar resume and an even more stellar paycheck replies.
Writing, and being good at it, seems to be the ticket to a good life in this field. Before this class, that response would have thrilled me. I love writing and I had always excelled in all writing assignments throughout my younger years, through high school and into college. But now I am surrounded by droves of people who love writing, with professors who are published and professional guest speakers who have flourished thanks to their superb writing skills. It’s intimidating.
If I’ve learned anything this semester it’s that I won’t become a better writing until I learn to edit, edit and edit my writing. I have a horrible habit of confidently finishing a paper with little more than a skim through and turning it in. If there’s one huge take away for my future writing, it’s that editing is key. Seriously.
The editing isn’t just for grammar mistakes either (though I make plenty of those), but the content of the writing. Here’s what my professor and guest lecturers have instilled in my brain this semester when it comes to editing the content of your writing:
1) Don’t use two words when one will do. Keep it simple.
2) Write in the active voice. The fund didn’t lose money, we lost money.
3) Avoid jargon, hype and clichés. You weren’t frightened to death; you were scared.
4) Write clearly and concisely. Leave the gargantuan, perplexing words at home.
5) Write for your audience. Who will be reading this? Write accordingly.
My professor and today’s guest lecturer also made a strong argument that beyond just the editing, writing often can make a big difference. Practice makes perfect for everything else. Why wouldn’t writing be the same?
“If you write to impress it will always be bad, but if you write to express it will be always be good.”
– Thornton Wilder
- Getting all the classes I needed for senior spring
- Knowing in a week I’ll be spending Thanksgiving with my family + our new addition, my precious niece Maddy
- My best friend telling me she bought her plane ticket to come home next month
- That it’s almost time to start my month countdown to see the love of my life
- Christmas lights in Dinkytown
- Reuniting with old friends Thanksgiving weekend
- Love Actually being played every, single weekend on multiple channels from Thanksgiving to Christmas
- Texts that remind me how very loved I am each and every day
- This quote:
“If you let other people’s perception of you dictate your behavior, you will never grow as a person.”
Your turn guys! Whether today has been as amazing as mine or you’re ready for it to be over, finish this sentence:
I realize the election is over and so everyone can go back to not caring about politics, but I am one of those rare citizens that cares about politics even in non election years. So although this is a few days late (it’s been a busy week), I’d like to send a huge shout out to:
– Barack Obama, MY president. No explanation needed.
– MINNESOTA. Minnesota for being the most awesome state in the entire nation (besides maybe Colorado & Washington) who not only voted Blue for Obama, but rejected BOTH constitutional amendments against Same-Sex Marriage and Voter Restrictions, and now has a democratic house and senate at the state level. We’re about to do work.
– Tammy Duckworth, an incredible Asian-American veteran who lost her legs in battle and is now in our United States Senate.
– Tammy Baldwin, the first openly gay women serving in the Senate.
– All the other women who have helped us reached 20 women in the senate, the most we have EVER had.
– ANYONE saying Democrats don’t work & that they are going to move to Canada now:
1) Please stop being ignorant. Over half of the nation is not unemployed. Over half the nation is not collecting welfare. Over half the nation finds the job-less and welfare jokes incredibly offensive since that half the nation works their butts off to get by day in and day out. We don’t receive “handouts” from parents or trust funds. Yes, many people in poverty collect welfare. Yes, some of those people definitely do abuse it. They abuse it just as much as the guys on wall street abuse other people’s money and CEO’s of companies who step on the little guys who work for them. The difference? At the end of the day, those people on welfare are still poor. They still can’t afford to put food on the table, unlike the people at the top. So quit with the welfare, job jokes. They’re not funny.
2) And when it comes to leaving the country? Canada and every other first world country is more socialist than the US, so have fun with the taxes and “handouts” up there.
Alright, that’s my political vent for the election! It’s over and now we look forward to the next four years.
“That’s why we do this. That’s what politics can be. That’s why elections matter. It’s not small, it’s big. It’s important. Democracy in a nation of 300 million can be noisy and messy and complicated. We have our own opinions. Each of us has deeply held beliefs. And when we go through tough times, when we make big decisions as a country, it necessarily stirs passions, stirs up controversy. That won’t change after tonight. And it shouldn’t. These arguments we have are a mark of our liberty, and we can never forget that as we speak, people in distant nations are risking their lives right now just for a chance to argue about the issues that matter — (cheers, applause) — the chance to cast their ballots like we did today.”
– President Barack Obama – Election Night Speech