5 Things College Writers Can Be Doing Now

5 Things College Writers Can Be Doing Now

by Steve Gamel
Edit This

I was a late bloomer when it came to being a writer. When I was in high school, I swear my English teacher went through three or four red ink pens every time he sat down to grade one of my writing assignments. In college, my journalism professor grabbed an article I attempted to write for the university newspaper and asked, “Have you ever read a newspaper before?”

You’d think I would have gotten the point then that I should probably try a different profession, but I kept trudging along and got better. Not only do I own Edit This®, your source for all things writing and editing related, but I’ve won over plenty of clients who lean on me to give their business a clear and error-free voice. I’ve also won a few awards, most recently in Best of Denton County.

I share this with you because my 180-degree turnaround wouldn’t have been possible without the understanding that I needed to use my time wisely. Nothing was going to be given to me – I had to be better, and build credibility as a writer. If you’re a college student who wants to be a writer but clearly hasn’t hit your stride yet, don’t give up. Here are a few things you can do right now to get on track.

Ask your professors for constructive criticism — Your professor may not have the time to seek you out if he or she is teaching a large class. Ask for the criticism. If you are upfront about your passion, and you show a desire to improve, they’ll do all they can to help you.

Expose your writing to different people – Don’t just rely on your professors. Share your work with friends and other writers. Having multiple eyes look over your work helps you understand what different people are getting from it.

Get an internship – Get an internship where you can try your hand at different assignments and learn from writers and editors who are living out their passion. Internships will also help you figure out what type of writing you like the most. This is your chance to get your foot in the door.

Get your portfolio ready – People want to see and read what you’ve written, edited, projects you’ve collaborated on, etc. And the best way to start is by focusing on one published work at a time. It may seem like a daunting task at first, but you can do it.

Read with a critical eye – People say writers need to read, read, read. While this is true, you need to read with a critical eye. What I mean by that is, what did you like about what you just read? How would you have written it? Trust me, you can learn from both good and bad writers.

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