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Alyssa Silva – Huffington Post’s Newest Writer

 

Name: Alyssa Silva

Major: Marketing

Year: 2013

Hometown: Cumberland, RI

Personal Blog

Huffington Post Blog

 

HC: What made you want to write a blog about living with SMA?  Have you always liked to write, or did this experience make you want to write?

AS: My brother made it his New Year’s resolution to spread awareness on my disease, Spinal Muscular Atrophy, as much as possible by sharing my story with everyone.  As we were brainstorming how we were going to go about this, I thought it would be a great idea to share my everyday thoughts and experiences through a blog. It was completely out of the blue. I just thought it doesn’t get much more personal than that. My family was quite surprised by this because I’ve hated writing my entire life. Really. I only began to enjoy it once I started writing for Her Campus, actually!

HC:  Explain the path you took to build your way up to become a Huffington Post writer.  Do you feel “famous”?

AS: To be completely honest with you, I still can’t believe how it all happened. I went to the Women’s Summit here at Bryant in hopes of getting the chance to meet Arianna Huffington, the founder of the Huffington Post. She was having a book signing, and I knew this was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to promote my blog to her.  Knowing that I wouldn’t have much time to speak to Arianna, I typed up a short letter explaining my blog and handed it to her when we met. Later that night, one of her executive editors emailed me saying how much he loved my work and wanted me to be a blogger for the Huffington Post. I never expected something like that to ever happen! In fact, just being recognized by an executive editor was a huge honor in itself. He worked with me to get my first blog posted, and now I’ve been given an account to post content on my own. It’s so crazy. A lot of people have reached out to me already, and I love reading the comments people leave on my posts. I definitely don’t consider myself “famous” though.

HC:  What message are you trying to convey through your writing on your blog and through your writing for Huffington Post?

AS: My goal is to bring awareness to Spinal Muscular Atrophy through my blog. The posts I write are meant to educate people who don’t really know too much about this disease. I think people are often inclined to make judgments based on what they see, and fail to look past a person’s disability. I hope my blog can change that. At the same time, I want to inspire those who find themselves in difficult situations by sharing my own trials and tribulations. I want people to know they’re not alone and that they have the strength in them to fight no matter the circumstance. Getting the opportunity to publish my content in the Huffington Post is another great way for me to promote my blog and, most importantly, spread awareness on SMA. I am SO thankful for that.

HC:  Where do you see your writing taking you? 

AS: I’m not exactly sure yet, and not knowing used to kind of freak me out. But, now I’m beginning to realize that it’s okay to not have a plan. There’s something thrilling about not knowing what to expect. Let’s face it, I never planned on being in the Huffington Post, but it happened; and it completely changed my life for the better. For now, I’m just going to take things one day at a time while actively pursuing my goals. I love what I’m doing right now. I love that my words are inspiring others across the world, and I hope I can continue to do so for a very long time.

HC:  What would you say is the most difficult job of a writer?  What would you say is the easiest?

AS: The most difficult job is trying to consistently post content that you think your readers are going to enjoy. Whenever I publish a new blog, I’m always so worried that it is going to be a complete fail. It hasn’t happened yet, and I seriously hope it never will! However, once you have an idea that you think will attract your readers, writing just comes naturally. I’d say that’s definitely the easiest job, the actual writing itself.

HC:  Lastly, any advice for aspiring writers?

AS: Always, always, always write from the heart.  Don’t be afraid to express your emotions through your writing because that’s what people want to read.  They want to read something they can relate to.

 
Jessica is a senior at Bryant University where she is majoring in management and double minoring in marketing and communication.  She holds the position as Editor-In-Chief of Her Campus Bryant and was actually one of the first founding members!  Beyond Her Campus Bryant, she is the Vice President of the Bryant Marketing Association and a MyPath Mentor.  She loves working at the Amica Center for Career Education where she manages their marketing and social media efforts but also enjoys her time at the Hassenfeld Institute for Public Leadership and the school's bookstore. When at home in Connecticut, she loves to watch movies with her family, play with her dog, have bonfires with friends, sleepovers with her sister, and scrapbook! Jessica aspires to one day manage her own department of a fortune 500 company, or even run her own company with a little bit of writing on the side!  Upon graduating this coming May, she will jump-start her career at EMC as a Marketing Development Associate in the Marketing Development Program.
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