Written by Kirsten Gansert
After two years of college focusing on math, science, and business classes, I have had to rediscover something that was once a part of my everyday life: writing. I loved writing in high school and did it on a regular basis, but as college progressed I found myself writing less and less. My internship at the Abbi Agency has challenged me to refine my writing skills. Here are the three most important things I have learned during my time as an intern:
1. Practice makes perfect
For me, writing is definitely one of those skills that if I don’t practice it every day, I start to lose it. Even after just a weekend of not writing anything, I find myself struggling to write clearly and fluidly. If you just write something short each day- even just a paragraph or two- you can begin to hone your skills and avoid becoming rusty. Another tool I have found to be useful is reading the paper or magazines on a regular basis. Observe other people’s writing styles and how they get the point of the article communicated to their audience.
2. Clear your head
Writer’s block can quickly become a very real issue on mid-summer afternoons. Even for assignments where there is not a lot of creativity required, sometimes I just need to clear my thoughts and switch to another assignment for a bit to avoid becoming too repetitive or verbose. Even slight changes in my routine help, whether it’s a snack, different music, or another cup of coffee. After focusing on another assignment for a little while or changing my environment, I can go back to the previous assignment with a fresh outlook and find ways to improve it. I have also learned to seek inspiration in similar posts and assignments in order to get a feel for the voice and format I should be using.
3. Manage your time and organize your thoughts
Time management is a skill I began to learn after countless hours spent aimlessly socializing instead of studying in the library at college. I am a strong proponent of to-do lists and outlines. When I feel overwhelmed with assignments and tasks, I write out everything I need to accomplish in a to-do list. Somehow the visual of everything I need to do laid out in front of me makes everything seem a lot more manageable. With my writing, I find it useful to make an outline of the main points I want to get across to the audience. Even if this outline is just a few bullet points, it helps me keep my writing relevant to the assignment and avoid trailing off into extraneous details. One hour of work spent focused is better than several hours of work spent disorganized.
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