Journalism and Creative Writing

I’ve been writing Paper Beats World for awhile now, and it occurred to me that I’ve overlooked a pretty serious piece of information about myself.

When I was in high school I didn’t want to be a creative writer, I wanted to be a journalist. To that point, I took three years of journalism. In my first year, I won an award called a Keystone for a piece I wrote. In my last year, I was the editorials editor. That’s right, I ran the whole page. I loved and hated it at the same time.

I loved being on the school paper. It was completely student run, which meant we even did things like calling local businesses for advertising. And I learned so much.

I was introduced to a different way of writing than I’d experienced before. In English class we focused on writing a certain amount of words to fill a space. Everything was neat, with double spaces at the end of every sentence. We talked about our emotions in English, and how a piece made us feel.

There was no time for any of that shit in Journalism. We wrote the facts, in a very specific order. We didn’t add our feelings into what we were writing about unless we were writing an editorial piece. And we used as little room as possible!

I learned so much from studying journalism. Now, we’re going to talk about a lot of them this month, but here’s something that I don’t think I’ll get around to saying anywhere else. It’s something that, if you’ve never been told before, you should hear now.

An editor that is not afraid of hurting your feelings and will just honestly edit your work is worth everything.

Don’t ever be offended, don’t ever get mad. They are helping you more than you can ever imagine. In fact, if you can learn to self edit your work, you’ll go a long way.

Of course, that’s hardly the only thing our brothers and sisters in journalism have to teach us. Not only will we be talking about how journalism can help your writing improve this month, I’ll be talking a little bit about my experiences on both papers.

Should be fun.


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