Being a journalist and a poet?

I’ve always been a writer. In high school my genre of choice was poetry. Yes, I was that kid. In eighth grade in particular, I would sit in the back of Earth Science and scribble in my notebook.

So when I decided to be a journalism major I wasn’t sure how much time I’d have for creative writing. News writing left much to be desired when it came to florid writing. It took everything out of me at first; my writing was boring for the first time in my memory.

Since journalism was completely new to me in college, I didn’t have time for other kinds of writing. Every once in awhile I jotted down some lines, but I was focused on newspaper things. And then, a class called publication workshop came along.

The whole point of publication workshop is to learn how to get published. I didn’t have enough material, so I had to start writing and I noticed something new. My poetry was completely different… in a not-bad way.

Journalism made me more observant of little things. I’m always watching out for what’s happening on campus so I can write about it. The observation skills were strengthened in every way, not just when I came from news.

My poetry not only had more inspiration, but it was more sparse. I’ve always been a bit of an adjective enthusiast, but when I reformed my writing for journalism, the plainness carried over. Florid language is great for some poems, but it can often be overdone especially for beginners. If less words carry more meaning, that’s a good thing. It’s poetic.

I’ve been told that good writers can write anything. While that is true, it is a lot harder than it seems. Journalism doesn’t kill creativity like I once thought, though. It actually strengthened my writing. So expand from your typical genre. It won’t hurt and it’s likely to have great results.

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