Challenging Experiences Only Make You Stronger


Last week was quite a trail for me. I was assigned my first blog post here at my internship. Not that I’m unfamiliar with writing blogs, but it’s a different story when I know it’s more than just a homework assignment that will just receive a grade and some feedback. This is real life. I have an organization that I am representing and my writing needs to meet the high-quality and standards of that organization.

Not to mention that my supervisor who would be editing my blog post was previously editor-in-chief at a well-known publication here in Oregon. She has been surrounded by some of the best and most experienced writers. To say I was intimidated to turn in my first draft is an understatement.

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After some stressful hours of writing I turned in my first draft. The following day I had a meeting to discuss my work. Luckily I was told that I had done a great job but I had also made some errors. From this experience I learned major lessons about what it takes to successfully write a complete and compelling post. Some of these may seem like common sense but it never hurts to review:

1. Fact check

Never assume you know the correct information. Always check directly with the source or others that are familiar with the information. Also, don’t rely on the Internet for all answers because the Internet doesn’t always have the correct facts. Whenever possible seek out those most familiar with the subject matter, you will get the most accurate information.

2. Know your Goal

When writing a blog post or story it is important that you know your ultimate goal. Knowing this will allow you to gather all necessary information. It will also allow you to let interviewees know what you are trying to accomplish with the information that you are gathering from the interview. Making them feel more comfortable and aware of their role in your story.

3. Edit, Edit, Edit

There can never be enough editing done on writing that is going to be published. Take great care in editing your work multiple times. Then have others look over it; the more eyes the better. It could be your colleague, sibling, roommate, or even a parent. This extra editing will decrease errors and ensure a stronger first draft, which will impress your supervisor.

Now that I’ve reviewed these tips and gone through this trying experience I am more than ready to get started on my next assigned blog post.

Cheyenne Knowles

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About Cheyenne Knowles

I am a recent graduate from the University of Oregon. I received my degree in Public Relations with a minor in Communications. My experiences working as a social media intern for the popular company Twistband and a public relations team member for Ethos magazine have ensured me that my passion lies public relations. I was most recently a Communications intern for the non-profit, The Children's Institute, in Portland, Ore. There, I boosted traffic and followers on social media accounts through strategic posts and audience research. In the future, I hope to work in media relations within either the sports and entertainment sector. I am eager to soon begin my professional journey and experience a multitude of exciting, new opportunities.
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7 Responses to Challenging Experiences Only Make You Stronger

  1. Emily Kirk says:

    Good tips for writing in general, Cheyenne! Sometimes we lose those minor details when writing because we can feel pressure or have so many ideas coming in at once that we want to jot down. Editing is arguably the most important one you have on your list! I know when I turn blog posts into the publication I write for on campus I triple check my work before sending it to my editor – only to have him send me it back with multiple corrections 🙂 Practice makes perfect!

  2. Hannah Olson says:

    Thanks for sharing this experience, Cheyenne! It’s true that successful editing comes when more eyes are involved. It’s crazy how when you are looking at a document for a long time, you can miss the simplest errors. Another trick I use is to print out a copy of what I’ve been working on. I swear – I always catch something on a printed version that somehow wasn’t there on my computer screen. I hope that your second blog post goes well and I’m sure these tips you provided will be helpful!

  3. pdxsx says:

    Nice work lady! I know your supervisor is a real stickler for rules and grammar, so you should be thrilled with the positive feedback you’ve received so far. Keep it up, you’ll only get better. 🙂

  4. hmartin3 says:

    Thanks for sharing these tips! Fact checking has been a huge part of my internship, and while it can be tedious and annoying, it is necessary. Your comment about finding information on the internet is very important as well. I have used information from a website that I only found later to be incorrect. It’s always better to call someone from the organization and confirm. Good luck with your next blog post!

  5. cmfbianco says:

    Great post, Cheyenne! I have been doing a lot of blog writing in my internship, and I always make sure to take breaks between editing if I can’t find someone to read it over for me! Fresh eyes definitely catch the most mistakes. I also agree that it’s important to know and understand your end goal when you’re writing; losing track of the goal can really mess things up. Congrats on doing well on your first post!

  6. aubreyhayden says:

    Interesting. I find my biggest problem is being able to carefully edit my own stuff. It’s very easy to breeze through something after you have written it.

  7. Jasmine N. Rockow says:

    Edit, edit and then edit again. I like to print it out and then read it on paper — I edit much more thoroughly this way. I actually love editing my work. It’s getting that first draft that kills me 😉

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