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.
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