Just Write.


As I went to complete both my first internship assignment and this very blog post you are reading, I suffered from terrible hesitation. Every idea I had was not good enough, and I was worried about my work being inadequate.

photo (7)For my internship, it was an issue of style. My last internship required quite a bit of writing, but it was all to be incredibly objective. Writing for a nonprofit can be quite the opposite. I was having terrible trouble adjusting from complete objectivity to emotionally charged writing.

For this blog post, it was an issue of writer’s block. I poured over the PDXSX blog posts, but couldn’t think of anything to contribute. I second-guessed all of my ideas, wrote a line and deleted it again and again.

That’s when it hit me.

Follow your instincts. Just write.

At the end of the day, as journalism students, we are writers. Yes, often times in our internships we will need to think outside the box and move out of our comfort zone. That can be an intimidating, but ultimately rewarding, experience. But sometimes, the solution to our tough assignments is to go back to the basics. Many of us will have to do tons of writing assignments for our employers. My advice is to just start writing. Review any sample materials you may have handy, and make sure the quality of your grammar and spelling is impeccable. With these basics in your toolkit, form several words on the page, which will inevitably turn to sentences. You now have something better than you had just sitting there staring at the blinking line. Use your background in journalism and just write (remember, you can always go back and edit!) and you will be surprised what you can accomplish.

(And remember, if you need a break, you can always do what I do to relieve stress!)

– Katherine Cook

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4 Responses to Just Write.

  1. pdxsx says:

    Good job, Libby! An outstanding first post to kick off the term! And, you are absolutely correct, as journalism students, you just have to start writing! 🙂

  2. I can really relate to this post, as I am having a similar, yet opposite problem: losing some of my more creative, stylish writing skills for the more formal style of writing for a newspaper. It’s been a challenge and I’ve also found myself staring at the blinking line in the Word document. It’s definitely helpful to stop over thinking and just sit down and write.

    I also love the idea of adopting/petting/looking up videos of cats to relieve the stress…can’t ever go wrong with that!

  3. Switching to writing a certain way has been interesting for me as well, and forces me to think a little bit longer or differently before writing. It’s easy to second guess yourself. But great point about just writing and trusting your instincts. And even if it’s not perfect, at least you’ll know what to fix for next time. The point of these internships is to learn and push ourselves, right?

  4. Kathy Kwong says:

    I believe we as journalists, have all been down this road “block” a time or two. I have found it hard to come back to reality when I’m zoned out trying to force creative stories when there’s just no words, let alone story. I have also found that changing writing voices can be a challenge, something I hadn’t considered too much pre-internship. It has required fine tuning and will be a work in progress. Thanks for reminding us that we are journalists, we are human and sometimes we just need to start from the beginning, start simple and piece things together. Eventually, we will overcome the stumble. Thanks for sharing your insight.

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