For this week’s post I had the hardest time coming up with something to write about. Over the last year, I’ve been writing weekly blog posts for CTSI, in partnership with Student Life. The posts generally follow rough guidelines:
- Word count: 400-700
- Text blocks must be broken up by images
- Submit by noon the day before it needs to be posted
- Cover student life topics (in my case, also the educational aspect)
- Write myself into each post.
Apart from the above, there really are few other rules, which means plenty of room to explore potential topics and write about all kinds of experiences.
Having to go through this process weekly for an entire year, has taught me a few things.
1. You almost always have to do it again.
ahh track changes, my good friend.
A blogging job means that I am not the final authority on the readiness of my writing. My post is submitted and subjected to comments and edits, which I consider in my revisions, before posting.
The feedback is crucial to me, as it gives me a better sense of what is expected of me, and points out certain bad writing habits I tend to slide into.
2. Find the creativity, or it might not find you.
come here you!
Not submitting a blog post on the basis of not having anything to write about is a pretty bad reason. Yet, a deadline waiting to be met is also one of the stressful things to deal with.
The key is to plan ahead, have backup ideas, and venture into new environments to look for interesting topics.
3. Your voice is important. Use it.
“HEY YOU ACROSS THE STREET …you have nice hair…”
This year, I’ve written about student learning, de-stressing, achievement, and done professor interviews. But I’ve also incorporated my own interests in art, music, travels, and poetry into my posts.
I’ve become more adept at making connections between different parts of me, and crafting them into reflective pieces of writing that satisfy my job expectations, but also showcase who I am.
4. Professionalism is a matter of choices.
just suck it up and keep going jasmine.
Meeting my deadlines every week means I have to know how long roughly it takes for me to draft a post, do the necessary research, or create illustrations, and include time for potential revisions. This has to be fitted into my schedule regardless of whether I have essays to hand in, functions to attend, or motivation to write.
Having to choose every week to begin the process all over again, has allowed me to experience a degree of discipline in my writing that I wouldn’t otherwise know.
5. You won’t accomplish everything you set out to do.
uhh… let me get back to you on that one.
I planned to do three professor interviews, and explore more thought-provoking topics such as technology in the classroom. But the grind of schoolwork caught up, and posts that required a lot of extra research were pushed back, and never actually came to fruition.
What I am choosing to focus on, however, is what I did manage to do: I successfully did two interviews, blogged on a variety of topics, and even wrote a couple of more practical posts I had not planned on writing.
Looking back, I feel blessed when I reflect on my personal and professional growth. These lessons have made me a better writer, a better worker, a better student and a better teacher.
As a student blogger who set out to write about learning,
I’d say I’ve done pretty well. 😉
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