A Writer’s Reflections: Spring 2021
The last semester has been a challenging and exceptional learning experience for me, especially in regards to Careers in Writing. Among the top skills I learned were how to operate remotely as a professional, how to design and organize a professional portfolio website like the one before you now, and how to write a wide array of different types of works, including academic and research articles, travel blog posts, game feature articles, and interview articles. Each new project provided its own unique set of challenges and learning experiences. The most consistent takeaway from all of them was the utilization of critical thinking, creativity and innovation, communication, collaboration, and practicing integrity. I can now say with pride that I have my own URL where I can showcase my skills, and even share the things I’m interested in through use of those skills.
The marketable skills I grew during this semester are often at the forefront of my mind these days. The one most consistently present throughout my work was the practice of maintaining integrity. Throughout every work, I made sure to cite sources, label images, and even post image source links. The feature images of my posts even have their source details listed near the context statements of my work. The other most consistent skills I practice were communication and collaboration as I worked with my peers in the content creation groups we were put together in. We would edit each others’ work, offer feedback, and when time permitted, share ideas or thoughts that often influenced later writing. Being in such a team helped me even further develop all of my other skills, not excluding integrity and emotional intelligence.
When talking about emotional intelligence, I believe includes the ability to appeal emotionally and psychologically to readers. During our interest blog assignment, I wrote a gamer blog article called Gamer’s Frontier: Exploring Valheim. This is a project I thoroughly enjoyed in no small part due to my interest in games, but what really struck me was when my teammates talked about how they enjoyed the article because of how personable I was with my writing. The content made an informal approach appropriate, and I was able to share my own thoughts and display some of my personality in my writing, making readers smile and laugh as they went over the article. That was a very uplifting experience, and gave me a good indicator that I’m on the right track.
My gamer blog article also involved a lot of innovation and creativity, which was a persistently important skill throughout the semester. Other works I created that put this skill to use include my infographic titled MDA: The Developer’s Perspective, and my travel blog article titled The Small Town Serenbe Experience. Each of these works required me to be informative, yet creative in my delivery, with the former involving a degree of visual aesthetic design skills, and the latter involving psychological, visual, and emotional appeal.
Looking back on communication and collaboration skills, there is one project in particular that really stood out to me as an opportunity to develop both. I had the unique opportunity and privilege to interview Author and Kennesaw State University Professor Tony Grooms. The article for said interview can be found here. I had the opportunity to learn a lot about communication and collaboration not only through practicing these skills with my teammates, but also through learning about them from and practicing them with Professor Grooms himself. He was friendly and personable, and very open about his experiences as an author. I got to learn about a number of career building opportunities, unique experiences he had becoming and being a writer, and a little bit about how and where writers find their inspiration. He also shared some excellent insight about why writers do what they do. The article for my interview with him was exceptionally fun to write, and I still find myself hoping it does the man justice.
Speaking of career building, this semester offered me an opportunity to take part in some career building activities, the first stage of many I’m hoping. The post detailing these experiences can be found here. Each one was a great opportunity for growth and learning, teaching about greater communication skills. Writing the event article was a great way to practice critical thinking, and helped me consolidate relevant information in the background.
Of all the skills I practiced, two that I consider to have developed very significantly throughout the entire semester are my research and analysis skills, and my critical thinking skills. Both can be exemplified in nearly all of my work, but the four that utilized those skills most extensively are the posts titled Exploring Writing as Content: Breaking down the Dilemma, my mock research proposal regarding Video Games in Education and Psychology, and my anthropological reviews of the 1987 film Roxanne, and the 1993 film Dave. Each project was an opportunity to either look back on past projects, reflecting on the research and analysis I did to complete them, or to carry out new research and analysis on topics of significant interest. Each one required me to critically think about how I wanted to present them, who my target audiences would be, and, perhaps most importantly to me, about the concepts and topics I was writing about.
Each and every project built upon and utilized my learning ability, and gave me a renewed passion for writing as a career, especially in creative fields such as video game journalism, novel writing, and interactive storytelling. I enjoyed each and every project, and have poured that passion for writing into all of them. It’s been an incredible journey, and I hope to continue it well into the future, hopefully alongside the new friends and colleagues I found along the way!